Hidden Figures, Shine Theory, and Being Friends with Women

I saw Hidden Figures this week, and I happy-cried at least three times during it. It is a blatantly heroic story about very feminine expressions of power. There is a trickster, a paladin, and a wizard, and although they each have their own missions and their own tribulations, they do it all in immaculate lipstick,…

Response to: Modern Technical Writing, by Andrew Etter

I’ll be honest. I’m a little mad I didn’t write this book. It’s clear, lucid, and pithy. I agree with much of the philosophy of minimal tooling and semantic separation of form and content. Etter says, Great documentation makes new hires productive in days instead of weeks, prevents thousands of calls to customer support, is…

Guest post: SysAdvent!

I wrote a pitch for SysAdvent and got it accepted, and then realized that it was due right in the middle of all my travel, so it’s a good thing my volunteer editor was willing to work with me on the timing. Day 17 – Write It Down or Suffer the Consequences This article has…

Nodevember Talk – Search-First Writing for Developers

[View the story “Nodevember – Search-First Writing for Developers” on Storify]

Publish and pull managers

@kwugirl has done some great work around ask culture and guess culture (, and how frustrating it can be when you are framing communication the wrong way so that you are constantly rubbing on someone.  Ask culture says that it’s ok for someone to make a direct request for a favor, and it’s equally ok…

Why we must be prepared to kill off data

[View the story “The Death of Data” on Storify]

Guest Post on

I was supposed to be at SeaGL this weekend for an awesome conference with the opensource world. Sadly, I fell in the garage and dislocated my shoulder, so I can’t attend. On the bright side, the post I wrote to promote my talk at the conference is available! Four Steps to Better Documentation In it,…

Tech events and alcohol: a proposal

I was just at a conference, which was much like any other conference in their after-hours events. The food was pretty good, the beer and wine flowed freely, and the mixers were Coke, Diet Coke, and sparkling water. There’s a lot of complicated parts of throwing a conference, especially in a hotel, and each of…

Search-First Writing for Developers (Nodevember, 2016)

Becoming a welcoming open source project, Mentoring Branch

Cate Huston (@catehstn) asked what we could do that would get us from “open source” on a project to “welcoming source”.  Codes of conduct, good newbie issues and good onboarding were her initial suggestions, and I said that a good project would also have a really clear goal, because one of my consistent frustrations with…

Upcoming appearances

Velocity Berlin
Minneapolis DevOps Meetup