Welcome

We are Gregarious Mammal, a pair of tech writers, journalists and developer experience experts based in Berlin, Germany. Here you can listen to our podcast, read our writing(s) and much more.

  • Matthew Setter - ownCloud, PHP, Technical Writing and more

    Matthew Setter - ownCloud, PHP, Technical Writing and more

    In this episode Cate and Chris speak with Matthew Setter about ownCloud, PHP, Technical Writing and more.

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  • So, I wrote my first book

    So, I wrote my first book

    I wrote my first book, and it's the 2nd edition of SitePoint's "Jump Start Responsive Web Design" covering all you need to get started with responsive web design, ideally you can read it in a weekend and start applying the knowledge on Monday.

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  • OverOps interview, The future of online learning, ex-military in tech and much more

    OverOps interview, The future of online learning, ex-military in tech and much more

    In this episode Cate and Chris speak with Tal Weiss from OverOps, discuss the future of education, ex-military in tech, standing desks and more.

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  • About Ship at Docker

    I have been a Docker fan since almost day 1, working for a company that packaged its project to work in containers early-on, writing many blog posts on usage and related tooling, attending meetups here in Berlin and contributing to two code sprints as a mentor. Late last year I gave a talk at LinuxCon in Berlin to see Solomon Hykes (Founder) sat in the front row, a nerve-racking delight.

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  • WTD Episode 5: Where do we belong?

    WTD Episode 5: Where do we belong?

    In this episode, we explore where technical writers belong in an organization. Is tech comm best placed within engineering, marketing, product management, or another group? We also talk about strategies for doc navigation, in particular, the merits of inline links and/or sidebar navigation, using a post from Every Page Is Page One as a starting point. Are hierarchical sidebar menus still useful, or are they a relic of the past? Finally, we provide details about the upcoming Write the Docs conference in Portland, and Chris mentions his new book on responsive design. 

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  • A Developers Guide to Better Presentations — Part 1, Stage Craft

    I am not the best public speaker or presenter, but I give lots and enjoy giving them. I also attend many meetups and conferences and so have built a good repertoire of what works and what doesn’t. I have been planning this post for a while, but after a particularly poor presentation last week from a major technical project disappointed me, I felt motivated to get off my backside and write it. Part 1 (of an undecided number) covers stagecraft and vocal techniques.

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  • Smarter App Notifications With OpenBack

    Notifications: you probably love them or hate them. I like them when they are useful to me, and this is something that the OpenBack SDK attempts to solve. It offers a framework for you to make your in-app notifications more than annoying notices, but tailoring them to users contexts and allowing them to do more with notifications.

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  • The Future of Work, Interview with Postman, and Skilled Migrants

    In this episode Cate and Chris speak with Abhinav Asthana from Postman, discuss the future of work, and skilled migrant visas.

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  • An Introduction to Speech Synthesis Markup Language

    Speech synthesis is a not a new technology — computers have been attempting to speak to us for decades — but with the recent rise of voice-activated appliances, speech synthesis is undergoing a renaissance. At more than one meetup I heard Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) mentioned for modeling computerized speech and thought it warranted further investigation.

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  • What exactly is BioHacking?

    In this episode Cate and Chris speak with Paul Lauener from BioMonkey about BioHacking to improve your physical and mental self and what (if anything) it has to do with embedding microchips in your body.

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  • Docker for Windows, Linux, and Mac

    Released earlier in 2017, Docker’s new native applications for Windows and Mac replaced the older methods for running Docker on Windows and Mac and created a better experience for developers using those platforms.

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  • Real-Time OCR for Mobile Apps With RTR SDK

    I remember the first time I tried the image recognition technology in the Google translate app, snapping a poster to instantly translate what it said into a language I understood. It was far from perfect, but it was cool, and it showed the potential of what more traditional optical character recognition could be used for.

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  • Preventing SQL injections in Ruby (and other vulnerabilities)

    Ruby is a wonderful language for beginner coders to start with and scale to large, distributed Web and Desktop applications. It has an accepting and helpful community and strives to keep itself up to date to match the needs of developers.

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  • The realities and challenges of being a digital nomad

    You jet around the world, a road and sky warrior armed with a laptop in search of a power socket and decent WiFi. No ties, no responsibilities; work when you need it and when you’re bored, you move on. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

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  • Logz.io, Tech in Israel, Robots for Seniors and is the Laptop dead?

    Logz.io, Tech in Israel, Robots for Seniors and is the Laptop dead?

    In this episode Chris and Cate interview Asaf from Logz.io, discuss the Israeli tech scene, robots for seniors and the death of the laptop.

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  • JVM-Free Kotlin With Kotlin/Native

    I would never call myself a real programmer, but I have a healthy obsession with studying new languages that emerge, especially those that arrive with little baggage and attempt to solve current problems and new use cases. This brought about my explorations in recent years of Swift and Kotlin, both initially aimed to fix issues with the languages traditionally used in their worlds, but rapidly became used in more widespread contexts, and generally, have enthusiastic communities.

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  • Enterprising Israel

    Much has been written already about Israel’s incredibly successful and mature tech startup scene, but I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at Codemotion in Israel, so thought I would line up interviews with local entrepreneurs, catch some sun, and enjoy the food that Tel Aviv is famous for (and I wasn’t disappointed on that front). I barely scratched the surface of what the city (and country) has to offer, but I hope you will find those I spoke to interesting and useful.

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  • Tech Salary Trends in 2017

    Stack Overflow's 2017 developer survey crossed my desk at the same time as a report on tech wage trends from Dice.com, who I’d never heard of before, but the report echoed many of my own observations, so I read further. It’s only from US data, but again, I have seen similar trends in other countries, so thought I’d share insights with you, in case, you know, you’re looking for a change, or are inquisitive about your worth.

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  • CeBIT 2017 - Business as Usual

    I’ve never been to CeBit before, but it’s reasonably well-known on the tech conference circuit for announcements, and as it’s only a two-hour train ride from home, I jumped on a Deutsche Bahn and headed to the Worlds largest fairground in Hannover.

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  • The Internet of Industrial Things

    When most people think about the Internet of Things (IoT), it likely conjures ideas of activity-monitoring wearables like Fitbit or home devices for home security (iSmart), lighting (Hue), and coffee makers (Nespresso Prodigio). It’s a mixed opinion on the success of consumer IoT devices, but IoT is making its biggest impact in the industrial realm, where it’s used to reconcile problems that have plagued workplaces for centuries. Industry can use sensor technology to increase efficiency, improve supply chains, reduce waste and increase safety and speed. Last week, I attended the Connected World event from Bosch and bring a selection of companies and activities in what I will term, “The Internet of Industrial Things” (IoIT).

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  • Blockchain, music and tech cooperatives with Resonate

    Blockchain, music and tech cooperatives with Resonate

    Chris talks with Peter Harris from Resonate about music streaming on the blockchain, tech cooperatives and much more.

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  • Berlin-the blockchain capital of the world?

    With the UK exiting the European Union, Germany is jostling to become the new FinTech capital of the EU. Frankfurt has the history and established finance industry, but Berlin is more affordable, is larger, and has a more diverse population, looking at challenges from different perspectives. With at least six regular blockchain and cryptocurrency related meetups, founding members of Ethereum and Monax present in the city, and countless cryptocurrency related projects, analysts are beginning to call Berlin “the blockchain capital of the world.” As this year’s FinTech Safary threw the doors of organization and co-working spaces open, I met with a small selection of people involved in the scene to see how true this claim is.

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  • Docker Secrets Management

    I’m sure we’ve all been there. That moment when you realize that important and sensitive access details have leaked online into a public space and potentially rendered your services to unrequited access. With the ever-growing amount of services we depend on for our development stack, the number of sensitive details to remember and track has also increased. To cope with this problem, tools have emerged in the field of “secrets management.” In this post, I am going to look at Docker Secrets, the new secrets management feature available in Docker 1.13 and higher.

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  • What's Next? Google Announces New Features for its Cloud

    What's Next? Google Announces New Features for its Cloud

    Cloud Next is Google’s regular conference that covers all their cloud-related products. That’s something of a vague and overarching classification, but I squeezed into the Google office in Berlin to watch a live stream of the event and will get you all up to speed.

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  • Teaching Children to Code

    Teaching Children to Code

    Two experiences in my life have shaped the way I try to talk about technology. One was over ten years ago when I taught a room full of retirees, long-term unemployed, and recent immigrants basic computer skills. I realized that I could throw many of the subjects I had studied out of the window and that the best way to teach people was to give them a reason to learn. Fast forward to last year (and a subject I wrote previously on SitePoint) when I taught programming to a group of recent Syrian refugees. Again, I had to throw away much of my own learning and preconceptions and think afresh.

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