From The Blog

Sphinx extensions for developer portals

I’ve been gushing about docs-as-code, but realised that I haven’t shared many hands-on tips for actually building different types of sites in this sort of toolchain. I’ve been mostly using Sphinx which generates much better-looking documentation than its website suggests. It’s a python-based static site generator, with a thriving community and lots of great extensions. Today I thought I’d share the extensions I use the most for developer portals (like the Aiven docs, one of my work projects and the source of the screenshots in this post) and what I like about them. Spoiler: may contain a theme as well as the extensions.

Internal DevRel: Colleague Enablement

I work in Developer Relations for a very technical company (Aiven), and I usually describe my job as half explaining my employer’s technology to developers, and half explaining developers to my employers. However in the last year or so, I’ve realised that there is a variation on this theme that is impactful for my internal colleagues: explaining technology and developers to people who are experts in something else. I work with specialists in various aspects of sales and marketing (DevRel reports into Marketing) and my colleagues are genuinely curious to know more about the domain we work in! I thought I’d share more about how I enable my colleagues, and why I think it works for us. Continue reading

Outline your writing to ease the creative process

For most of my career I’ve been a software developer, but now I’m mostly a communicator. As a manager, I give the right level of detail to many different audiences, and I deliver that in words they can understand. As a Developer Advocate, I explain complex technical concepts in useful, memorable, and occasionally entertaining ways. However the best software developers are lazy and I’m still always looking for ways to get things done with less effort on my part! For writing, the best process I know feels like unnecessary overhead, but it’s always worth it in the end so today I’m sharing my secrets: create an outline before you start. Continue reading

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