Welcome

I am Chris Ward (aka Chris Chinchilla). I am a Developer, Writer, and full of crazy ideas.

After 15 years as a developer I realized that my skills lie in helping others understand technical subjects. I achieve this through technical writing, blogging, networking and educating people through presentations and workshops.

This site is the home of my personal and work projects and the experiences I have working on them. If you like what you see, read more, come and see me present, or support what I do.

Why do you call yourself Chris Chinchilla? Yes it does sound silly doesn’t it! It’s a nickname I’ve had since 1997 after a passing comment at school, I’ve carried it through all my fanzine and music years and like it. For those who are interested, a Chinchilla is a small (and very cute) South American rodent, a Small Town in Queensland, Australia and is a real name in South America.

  • 2016 in review

    2016 has been an eventful year in many, many ways. I don't want to dwell on big global topics in this post, but review what I got up to.

  • The Daily Bark, 27th December 2016

    The Daily Bark, 27th December 2016

    After a brief holiday break, I'm back with a bonanza of links from the past week.

  • Testing Code Examples in Documentation

    Testing Code Examples in Documentation

    In my last post, I covered how to improve the written component of your documentation with automated spell-checking and suggestions for better writing. In this post, I'll cover the code component of good documentation; trying an example and finding it doesn't work is a sure-fire way to annoy a reader.

  • Tech your privilege at the door

    Tech your privilege at the door

    I am a thirty-something white, English speaking male working in tech. I feel like this simultaneously gives me every right and no right to discuss privilege.

  • Picking over 2016

    Picking over 2016 In this episode Chris and Cate discuss 2016 and look forward (maybe) to 2017.
  • Wtd Episode 2 - Findability, Helping Users Find What They're Looking for in Documentation

    Wtd Episode 2 - Findability, Helping Users Find What They're Looking for in Documentation In episode 2 of the Write the Docs podcast, we explore how to help users find what they're looking for in your documentation. We talk about various tools for findability - search, tags, faceted filters, sidebar navigation, inline links, related links, terms/glossaries, and breadcrumbs.
  • The Daily Bark, 15th December 2016

    The Daily Bark, 15th December 2016

    The Daily bark for 13/12/16

  • The Daily Bark, 13th December 2017

    The Daily Bark, 13th December 2017

    The Daily bark for 13/12/16

  • My problems with this time of year

    My problems with this time of year That time of year is upon us, wether it be Christmas, 'The Holidays', Festivus, or whatever else you decide to call it. It's here, loud, everywhere and in your face. It felt like time to explain my point of view and problems with this time of the year.
  • The Daily Bark, 9th December 2016

    The Daily Bark, 9th December 2016

    The Daily bark for 09/12/16

  • The Daily Bark, 1st December 2016

    The Daily Bark, 1st December 2016

    The Daily bark for 01/12/16

  • The Daily Bark, 30th November 2016

    The Daily Bark, 30th November 2016

    The Daily bark for 30/11/16

  • Improve Documentation by Automating Spelling and Grammar Checks

    Improve Documentation by Automating Spelling and Grammar Checks

    This is not an article about writing better documentation. For that, I recommend reading my recent popular post on Medium. Instead, this is the first in a series of posts on automating the boring and repetitive tasks in a documentation process. This article covers spelling and checking documentation for common grammatical and style issues, and in future articles, I'll cover testing code, generating screenshots, and other crazy ideas.

  • Trump, tech, news, opinions and solutions

    Trump, tech, news, opinions and solutions The past two weeks have been so eventful and I have so much to say about them it's hard to know where to start. Consequently, this episode may ramble and go off at tangents, hopefully there will be enough semblance of sense to grasp some concrete concepts. Let's take this chronologically and in order of magnitude, which in this case, are the same.
  • Web Summit 2016 - IoT, Learning, Chatbots, Biohacking & More

    Web Summit 2016 - IoT, Learning, Chatbots, Biohacking & More

    53,056 people from 166 countries descended on Lisbon for this year’s Web Summit. I’m not sure if this makes it the world’s largest startup event, but it’s damn big. I have attended startup events around the world and have often found them obsessed with nothing but raising money. Whilst the topic was in abundance at Web Summit, it also had enough of something for everyone, with discussions on technology, design, ethics, futurism, and more. If you’re not interested in discussion, but would rather just network and party, you will also have a full schedule.

  • Wtd Episode 1 - This Week in Tech Comm

    Wtd Episode 1 - This Week in Tech Comm In this first episode, we introduce the co-hosts, the podcast theme, and chat about a few articles. The four co-hosts include Jared Morgan, Carlee Potter, Chris Ward, and Tom Johnson. We're located in Sydney, Brisbane, Berlin, and California. In this episode, we chat about content strategy, style guides, abbreviations and acronyms, developer-written UI copy, and more.
  • Live Blogging Hello Again from Apple

    I'm sat at an Apple event in Berlin and there's not many people here, which says something about what people feel about Macs vs iPhones, or something. In a week when IBM became one of Apple's biggest clients and Microsoft announced more interesting products. It feels like there is growing disappointment and boredom in what Apple is offering.

  • Hands on with the Lenovo Yoga Book

    Hands on with the Lenovo Yoga Book

    When I saw the announcement of the Yoga Book at IFA I was fascinated. A tablet with a proper keyboard, and a graphics tablet that I could doodle and even write on. Sign me up!

  • The Weekly Squeak, 23rd October

    The Weekly Squeak, 23rd October

    I've been travelling a lot the past couple of weeks from running a booth at the Essen Spiele Messe to conferences in Pristina. Cate and I will record a new podcast episode next week to discuss many of these, so in the meantime, this is just a links show folks.

  • How I Wrote the Atom Medium Exporter and How You Can Help Make It Better

    How I Wrote the Atom Medium Exporter and How You Can Help Make It Better

    I recently created a package for the Atom text editor that exports your markdown files to Medium. Find out how I wrote it and how you can help me improve it.

  • A documentation crash course for developers

    A documentation crash course for developers

    When you've spent a lot of time working on the latest great project, library, service or platform you generally would like people to use it. Whether people find out about you from a presentation, the media, internet search or word of mouth, what's the first aspect of your project that people usually encounter?

  • Belgrade to Berlin, it's tech conference season

    Belgrade to Berlin, it's tech conference season

    I haven't been to many meetups the past weeks as the beginning of October is traditionally conference season in tech, and as I look back through my Timehop for the past years, pretty much every year around this time I am at a conference.

  • Developing Add-ons for Enterprise Apps like JIRA

    Developing Add-ons for Enterprise Apps like JIRA

    Since 2008, many developers have focused on building, distributing and selling (or hoping to sell) their efforts in two curated, walled garden stores. The Apple App store and Google Play (and related) stores have helped developers find audiences of billions around the world. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Some say the “app store” model has forced a race to the bottom, with prices and developer revenue share reduced, despite such large audiences.

  • Our Robot Overlords - Death or Desperation

    Our Robot Overlords - Death or Desperation

    In this episode Chris and Cate discuss our robot overlords and what our future with them will really look like.

  • Tech Communities with Jessica Rose

    Tech Communities with Jessica Rose

    In this episode Chris and Cate discuss tech community, developer relations, imposter syndrome and more with the infamous Jessica Rose.