Category Archives: Markdown

Becoming a Next Generation SE, Part 2 – Learn Markdown

Our second installment in the “How to become a Next Generation SE” focuses on yet another critical skill – Markdown.

“I still don’t know what Markdown is…?” I respect that.  I might suggest you head over to our friends over at What Is Markdown and read their breakdown.  It’s a bit more deep than just documentation, in this case, but hey have a good breakdown of the basics, if it helps you get there.

“Why Markdown?”  You might ask, and rightfully so.  Markdown is the documentation standard on GitHub for one.  For those who are looking to participate, and maybe just aren’t ready to learn to code as an SE just yet – this is a great starting point.  You can contribute in a few ways:

  • Contribute to an existing project by helping with the documentation
  • Contribute a new project by creating valuable missing documentation on something.
  • Write unique and original presentations for your daily tasks, such as customer meetings.

I’ve been forcing myself to learn markdown using a few of these methods already.  One of them was inspired while I was learning about contributing markdown projects on GitHub and found Sinker’s Taco Fancy – a VNX Techbook level document which has sub-components combined to make numerous recipes and is #foodie gold!  My personal result?  I documented one of the recipes my friends and family beg for consistently.  My spaghetti and meatballs are borderline epic, if I do say so myself.  I’ve decided to set my recipe free unto the world, hoping for feedback, additions, enhancements, and anything else that might come from setting it free. OK, so I’m slightly imitating what EMC has done recently by firmly embracing Open Source and offering open versions of Greenplum Database, HAWQ, and GemFire – but the point is the same – everyone benefits!  Want more Open Source EMC stuff? Don’t forget to drop by EMC{code} on GitHub.

Here are the links to the markdown versions of my Italian Red Sauce (Gravy) and Meatballs – I bet you ‘fork’ them before the weekend’s over!

The other process I’ve been working on is starting a new master deck (PPT) to use for my presentations on all things EMC, using Markdown.  This was inspired again by Matt Cowger – he’s the meanest, nastiest, best mentor you could ever have at EMC! 🙂  He introduced me to Deckset – a markdown based app for managing your presentations.


Below are a few of the bookmarked sites I have in regards to Markdown, which is unfortunately a bit of a fragmented soft-standard.  It’s still young and becoming more prevalent daily, so the growing pains are frankly expected and worth it. Here’s a few of the sites that I found that I’m focused on:


Learning sites:

Once you’ve started learning markdown and are ready to deploy version 0.1 of ‘Hello’, you’ll need just a few more things to get yourself started (sound familiar?)

Get yourself a Github account, publish your files there, and start following some people. While you’re at it, go find an interesting project, fork it, and play around with the markdown.