Working as a Rancher Research Assistant

Research assistants are members of the Rancher Writers Network.

Research assistants help accelerate the process of producing high quality articles by conducting technical research on interesting topics like Kubernetes, CI/CD, cloud-native application development, and more. After agreeing on a subject, research assistants conduct research, compile notes, and create a detailed article outline. Afterwards, a Rancher writer will use the compiled information to create technical articles for the Rancher community.

If you prefer to write articles in addition to research, consider the writing role instead.

To apply to the Rancher Writers Network, follow the steps below:

To apply to the Rancher Writers Network, follow the steps below:

Join the Network

If this is your first time working on content with Rancher, your first step is to reach out to us.

Email with the subject line “Rancher Writers Network Research Assistant” and include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your background with containers, DevOps, Kubernetes, and related technology
  • Links to blog posts or other technical projects you have worked worked on in the past
  • A list of topics or subjects you're interested in

We will review your application as soon as possible and reach out to let you know if we think you’re a good fit.

Topic Discovery
and Project Scoping

Once you've joined Rancher Writers Network, the next step is to work with Rancher staff to come up with an appropriate topic and determine the project scope and deliverables.

This stage of the process involves:

  • Deciding on a topic to research
  • Determining project scope
  • Agreeing on deliverables and due date

If you have ideas for articles that you would like to research, let your Rancher contact know so they can verify that it is a good fit for the library and isn't currently being worked on by somebody else. Take a look at the Rancher content library and Rancher blog to get a sense of the topics that are already available. Your contact can also share a list of topic categories.

After agreeing on a topic, share a brief outline of what you think the article should cover to ensure that both sides agree on the appropriate scope for the project.

Independent Research and Asset Creation

Once you agree to the terms, you can begin conducting research. Keep the project scope and the following deliverables in mind as you work. Start with the article research template to build out a research document that covers the following areas:

  • Detailed article description: This should restart the project's goal, scope, etc. This should answer what the article will be about, who would be interested in reading it, what they will learn, and what they will end up with.
  • Article requirements: List the prerequisites that a user would need to fulfill to complete the article. This should outline technology requirements (three servers), accounts (Docker Hub account), configuration (a non-root user on each server), and any knowledge the user should be familiar with to successfully follow along.
  • Detailed outline / article scaffolding: Fill out the article outline you created earlier with detailed information about what will be covered in each section. Section should include the following information:
    • Bullets describing the process, any trade offs you made, and your rationale for choosing this over alternatives, etc: Include explanations for why as well as how. Do not copy explanations from other sources.
    • Complete command history and output: Your Rancher contact should be able to start with the provided "article requirements" and successfully complete the procedure using only your commands and instructions.
    • Screenshots, supporting images, or recommendations for internally created assets.
    • Links to sources you used: This helps us validate the accuracy of the information and ensure that we are following best practices.

Submit the written material as a single plain-text document formatted in Markdown and remember to attach any reference images or screenshots.


Once you've created the above research assets, submit them to your contact for review. We evaluate submissions by looking for the following qualities:

Faithfulness to the
project plan

Accuracy of

Clarity of
the notes

of the implementation

Your contact will let you know if your submission needs additional work any of the above areas. After satisfying the requirements, you can discuss additional projects with your contact.

Get started with Rancher