Writing

I have been a professional and semi-professional writer for over ten years. Here you can find posts from across all the projects I work on as well as several creative writing projects in progress, and my personal thoughts, reviews and rambling dating back many years. I was also Editor of the SitePoint Mobile channel from 2014-16.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Highlights of Mobile World Congress 2017

    The Highlights of Mobile World Congress 2017

    There is a lot to see, hear, and discover at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and its many side events. From helping the developing world, to brain imaging, and sensors on seals, these are some of my highlights.

  • Mobile World Congress 2017

    Mobile World Congress 2017

    2016 was quite a year for technology and its impact on the world. Subconsciously or not, nestled amongst the booths of generic Chinese handsets and app marketing companies were many projects and people at MWC that sought to accomplish something more meaningful. Here are some of the themes and concepts I feel will shape 2017 and 2018.

  • Preventing SQL injections in Python (and other vulnerabilities)

    Preventing SQL injections in Python (and other vulnerabilities)

    Python is a wonderful language, ideal for beginners, and easy to scale up from starter projects to complex applications for data processing and serving dynamic web pages. As you increase complexity in your applications, it can be easy to inadvertently introduce potential problems and vulnerabilities. In this article, I will highlight the easiest to miss that can cause the biggest problems, how to avoid them and tools and services that help you save time doing so.

  • Setapp aims to solve the App problem for Macs

    Setapp aims to solve the App problem for Macs

    There are currently two major issues and trends with application development. One is users finding your efforts, and the other is then making money when they do.

  • A switchers tale - My week(s) with Linux

    A switchers tale - My week(s) with Linux

    After using macOS for over 20 years I was interested to get new perspectives and try other operating systems in my daily work. In this second part, I spend a month with Linux.

  • Automating Screenshots in Documentation

    Drawing my short series to a close (we’ve talked about testing code examples in documentation and automating spelling and grammar checks in documentation), let’s cover one of the hardest elements of documentation to create and keep up to date: screenshots.

  • Build Native Apps in the Browser with Configure.IT

    Build Native Apps in the Browser with Configure.IT

    Creating a modern and feature-rich mobile app has never been a simple task, but is now more complex than ever. There are a plethora of platforms, programming languages and strategies to consider, and knowing where to start and what path to follow involves understanding and appreciating a lot of interconnected components.

  • Java-Free Android

    Java-Free Android

    Android finds itself in interesting times. Google has begun creating it’s own ‘premium’ versions of the operating system (OS), Cyanogen have ceased development, and many feel that Android will change name or shape in the near future.

  • A switchers tale - My week with Windows

    A switchers tale - My week with Windows

    After using macOS for over 20 years I was interested to get new perspectives and try other operating systems in my daily work. In this first part, I spend a month with Windows.

  • Build and program with Sam labs Curious Cars

    Build and program with Sam labs Curious Cars

    Last year at IFA I came across a small stall lurking within a gathering of startups. The booth was full of blinking small blocks, motors and switches that aimed to help children learn to code.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.