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Author Archives: Chris Ward

Chris Ward is a technical writer, speaker, and developer.

An Overview of the Kontena Platform

Back in my Docker hosting post, I noted that deploying and orchestrating containers live was still a missing step in the Docker workflow for many developers. A handful of complex orchestration tools entered to fill the void, with large cloud companies offering to host your setup for you. In that post, I intentionally avoided tools that sat in the middle ...

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Does GraphQL Reduce the Need for Documentation?

Before we begin, note that this post isn’t intended as an introduction to GraphQL. For a beginner’s guide, I suggest Derek Haynes’ Codeship post or howtographql.com. As a technical writer, I was intrigued by the claim that GraphQL reduces the time you need to spend on documenting an API and reduces the amount of documentation your application needs. I wanted ...

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HashiCorp Tools Useful for Continuous Integration

HashiCorp is a company that feels like it’s always been around. Quietly plugging away just out of the limelight working on awesome products and every now and then releasing something groundbreaking that you wondered how you worked without it. I attended a couple of meetups recently that covered HashiCorp tools and felt the time was ripe I dug into all ...

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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. The previous solution, Docker Toolbox, depended on VirtualBox to create a small Linux virtual machine that hosted your images and containers. It worked well but could be ...

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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 ...

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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. If you have an application with an interface, then screenshots are a great way to show users important components and ...

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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. The techniques for testing code fall into two distinct camps, ...

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Improve Documentation by Automating Spelling and Grammar Checks

What’s one of the first things you look at when trying a new piece of software? Or after you’ve hit that tempting Download button, what’s your usual next step? I will take a bet that for at least 70 percent of you, it’s the documentation that you check out next. However, writing documentation is typically something that developers would rather ...

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An Introduction to Docker for Mac

Recently out of private beta, Docker’s new native applications aim to replace the current methods for running Docker on Windows and Mac, creating a better experience for developers using those platforms. For the previous solution, Docker Toolbox used VirtualBox to create a small Linux virtual machine that hosted your images and containers. It worked pretty well but could be unreliable ...

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