Sphinx front matter and template variables

I'm building a docs-as-code site at work at the moment (you can peek if you like https://developer.aiven.io) and working with ReStructuredText in this setup is new to me. One thing I really missed was the concept of front matter, which I'm not sure is even official or documented but seems to be reasonably widely supported (I promise to save the rant about markdown for another day). It took me a while to figure this out for Sphinx/rst but now I'm looking at it working, I had better write it down before I forget! Continue reading

Use Database Connection Strings with Laravel 8

I've been doing a lot of database stuff lately, and not much PHP, so when I returned to make my first Laravel project for a while, I had to check the docs to remind myself how some of this works. I noticed that the default approach to database credentials is still to use separate credentials for the host, port, and other variables. I'm using Aiven databases (because I work there and managed databases are great for demo apps as well as real ones!) which supply connection strings, but Laravel supports these too. Continue reading

Considering Developer Relations as a Career Move

I think that Developer Relations is a fabulous career, and I'm often asked how I got started, or how someone else could get started. There are a lot of people hiring for Developer Relations roles just now (including me!) so here are my tips.

There are so many different Developer Relations roles (called "DevRel") that I am definitely going to fall short of covering them all in any sort of detail! My own background is in Software Engineering, and I've mostly worked as a Developer Advocate since making the move into DevRel, so that's my context here. Continue reading

Best Things About Developer Advocacy

There are some excellent articles around about what a Developer Advocate does, but have you ever wondered WHY we do what we do? I tried to articulate this when chatting with another developer lately, and I'm still thinking about it! So I thought I'd write it down to share a little more widely why I love this strange, misshapen career as much as I do. Continue reading

Measuring Repo Community Health with GitHub's API

I'm on record saying that GitHub is your Landing Page and when I think about companies having open source profiles, I think about how many developers will have the first contact with them on GitHub. If it's a code example you're looking for then like it or not, GitHub is considered a search engine by many developers.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at GitHub's Community Health measure of the repositories I'm responsible for. You can view each repo's community page separately through the web interface (look under "Insights") but that's not especially scalable if you have a lot of projects to track.

screeshot of the project's /community page, showing low completion Continue reading

Intro to RPi Pico with Mini Memory Game

I am the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi Pico which is a dinky microcontroller from the lovely people at Raspberry Pi. I also have the RGB Pico Keypad Base, because my husband was buying something else from Pimoroni (3D printer filament, more on that another day) and we love them and ... here we are :)

I've tried to write down and link to the stuff I found useful along the way with this project, in case it helps you too. Well, no, really so I can come back to it next time I'm using one of these!

Continue reading

Lab Book Meets Bullet Journal

I enjoy a productivity hack as much as the next person, and I'm often asked about my setup. My background is in engineering (I hold an MEng in Electronic Engineering from York) and recognise the legacy of the lab book in much of what I do. If you're new to the lab book concept, check out this excellent article on how to maintain one properly. My practice breaks a LOT of the lab book rules and is also heavily influenced by the Bullet Journal trend (if you have time to spare, the instagram #bulletjournal hashtag gives a prettier introduction), which is a way to combine the benefits of productivity and processing information by writing it. Today's post gives a quick tour of my process. Continue reading