Category Archives: technology

2018, a Retrospective in Pictures

January After a lot of travel in the autumn of 2017, we spent a quiet winter break at home, with a week of being full-time parents while Mitchell’s mother had a well-deserved vacation of her own. Mitchell and I went on a day trip to San Francisco, where he experienced “snow” for the first time Read More…

January

After a lot of travel in the autumn of 2017, we spent a quiet winter break at home, with a week of being full-time parents while Mitchell’s mother had a well-deserved vacation of her own.

Mitchell and I went on a day trip to San Francisco, where he experienced “snow” for the first time at the Academy of Science, and Lindsay and her sister taught him how to climb a tree.

Mitchell at the Academy of Science.
Mitchell in a tree.
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My Career Evolution from Tech Writer to… Many Things

I recently gave a talk at at internal Amazon conference for tech writers. I was a technical writer from early in my career, and still consider tech writing one of my foundational skills. In the talk, I hoped to provide some insight to other technical writers about their own skills, and how those could be Read More…

I recently gave a talk at at internal Amazon conference for tech writers. I was a technical writer from early in my career, and still consider tech writing one of my foundational skills. In the talk, I hoped to provide some insight to other technical writers about their own skills, and how those could be used in other roles. I’m sharing all that information here, in case you also find it useful. (It was an hour-long talk, which makes for a very long blog post!)

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Marketing Your Open Source Project

In March of this year, I spoke at the Southern California Area Linux Expo (SCaLE), a conference I’ve been attending for years and highly recommend for its kind community, and great people and content. Here’s the video of my talk: Here are the slides: Marketing Your Open Source Project – SCaLE16x from deirdrestraughan   I’m submitting Read More…

In March of this year, I spoke at the Southern California Area Linux Expo (SCaLE), a conference I’ve been attending for years and highly recommend for its kind community, and great people and content.

Here’s the video of my talk:

Here are the slides:

 

I’m submitting this talk to other conferences, and it will evolve over time, so I hope to get a chance to continue refining it and sharing what I know with more people.

On Bullying

When I attended US schools in the 1970s, the term “bullying” was used to describe extreme cases of recurrent physical abuse of kids, by kids. Verbal abuse, no matter how severe, was identified by the soft term “teasing.” Most of the adults around us did not see teasing as a problem that they could or Read More…

When I attended US schools in the 1970s, the term “bullying” was used to describe extreme cases of recurrent physical abuse of kids, by kids. Verbal abuse, no matter how severe, was identified by the soft term “teasing.”

Most of the adults around us did not see teasing as a problem that they could or should address. Everyone advised victims to reply with the childish chant: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” We all knew that this was bullshit: words can hurt – a lot – and are often intended to do so. But adults believed that: “It’s all part of growing up; kids have to toughen up and learn to handle it.”

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UNIVAC computer, Computer History Museum

Letting Go of a Beloved Technology

It’s both the blessing and the curse of tech that there is always something new to learn, invent, and do. Some technologies require years of study and practice to become truly skilled at, and it can seem as if, the minute you finally reach a pinnacle of achievement with Technology X, along comes Technology Y Read More…

It’s both the blessing and the curse of tech that there is always something new to learn, invent, and do. Some technologies require years of study and practice to become truly skilled at, and it can seem as if, the minute you finally reach a pinnacle of achievement with Technology X, along comes Technology Y – and everyone is excited to switch to it.

It’s a painful reckoning. The technology that you loved, worked hard at, possibly helped to create, is being eclipsed. All that you have invested in it – blood, sweat, brains, tears, and time – now feels like wasted effort. What should you do? Continue reading