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How I got into writing an article for a big tech magazine

Today is the release of the new "entwickler magazin" with the cover story "Introduction to Kubernetes" being mine. Read how I became an author overnight.
How I got into writing an article for a big tech magazine

Yes, you read it right. Big news! After a lot of hours of researching, writing and auditing my colleague Andreas and I finally finished our first article about Kubernetes called “Einführung in Kubernetes” (engl. Introduction to Kubernetes). I am particularly proud that our article is the cover story of the new magazine.

Today is the official release of the latest Entwickler Magazin about Kubernetes and container orchestration. Entwickler Magazin is a german magazine dedicated to developers, administrators, architects and project-leads. It is released on a two-monthly basis in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

But how did I get there? How does a Cloud Engineer get to write an article and also being the cover page of a magazine?

Well, it all started on May the 15th in the Kubernetes Slack channel. I was like almost every day idle in the german channel and ready to help the small german community on questions about Kubernetes. Some people joined, left and then Dominik joined and wrote:

A wonderful good afternoon, dear K8S community 🙂 My name is Dominik Mohilo and some of you may already know me as editor of JAXenter, Java Magazin and Entwickler Magazin. For the next developer magazine (issue 5.18) I'm currently planning a Kubernetes focus or title topic. On the one hand for an introduction (with infographics), on the other hand for interesting technical articles. If someone feels called to do so, I would be happy if he or she would contact me. Either here in Slack by PM or directly by mail to dmohilo@sandsmedia.com-Translated to English. Original German Post: Slack

Paranoid as I am I very first thought "yeah sure" and thought it's a scam or some  social engineering going on to get access to corporate data. It just sounded to good. I checked the website and did some research on him. It looked kind of okayisch so I contacted him via Slack. We had a good chat and as I never did this before I asked him different questions about his expectations and how the process usually works. It sounded good to me as it was something new, a challenge and little bit of "what could possibly go wrong". So I agreed on writing an article about Kubernetes and how to get into the technology from a beginners point of view.

Can't stop. Won't stop.

Well there I was, sitting in front of my desk and thinking: "Ok, and now?" I had no idea how to start. There wasn't a guide online which describes how to write a cover page article. 😅 I started to think of: How would you do a workshop for your colleagues to explain to them what Kubernetes is and how it works? With this question in mind, I split the article into different topics to write about.

These were my main topics, which could be read like a short recipe:

  • Start with background and history info about Kubernetes,
  • then explain step per step the whole technology stack,
  • add a small example how to use it,
  • and finish everything with some real world info so it's not 100% theory.

I started writing about my topics, sent some drafts to Dominik, asked if it's still okay and kept things rolling. Andreas, a colleague of mine, joined and we worked together on the article. He got some great ideas on how to showcase Networking within Kubernetes. We worked every day on the article and pushed each other on creating an article everybody without any knowledge could follow. After the article was finished we had some beers and thought about the infographic part. Well, to be honest I drew something really, really (!!) ugly on paper and we felt like geniuses. 😂 So we sent the sketch over to Dominik and explained it in detail. Some days went by and Dominik came back to me with the result. He worked together with some Designer and this guy or women has some mad skills, because s/he turned my drawing into a shiny, well polished and clear version of it. I was really impressed.

We put the screenshots and texts together, migrated the text into a special format for the print people and we're doomed to wait. Week after week went by until Dominik posted me the first Cover, then another week later he sent me a picture of the fresh magazine in the middle of an altar in the editors office. Another two weeks went by until the official release date which is today.

Luckily I was at the station in Frankfurt am Main and had a short time to look for the magazine in the kiosk between two trains. I have to admit: Seeing your own article, in a real magazine on the shelf of a store is a really great feeling.

So, if you are looking for a simple and understandable “Introduction to Kubernetes” you are in good hands with the magazine. On over 10 pages you will learn the basics and be introduced with a clearly arranged information graphic. Also included is a small demo for a specific use case. Here is a picture of the cover.

Update 17. August 2018: From today on there is also a reading sample available online.

Was ist Kubernetes? Eine Einführung in das Open-Source-Projekt
Wir möchten in diesem Artikel einen Überblick über Docker und Kubernetes geben und so ein Grundverständnis der Funktionalitäten schaffen.
Magazine announcement at entwickler.de

Let me know in the comments if you've read my article or if you've also written an article yourself for the very first or hundreds time. I'm very interested on how you got to do so and how you felt.