We had a chat with Jacqueline Lehr, one of our Technical Writers, to find out what makes her tick on the DCIM Support Community, at work, and in her spare time. This is your chance to get inside the mind of a tech writer.
Q: How long have you worked at Schneider Electric?
A: It will be 15 years in October, counting my years at APC. I started at APC in 2000 in technical support, and then moved to the QA team in software development. I started writing documentation in 2009 for what is now StruxureWare Data Center Expert. For the last several years, I've been writing for both NetBotz and DCE.
Q: What makes a good tech writer?
A: I think customer advocates make the best technical writers, then technical skill and familiarity with the product. Experience on the phones and in QA gave me great background for my current role. The tech writer sees the whole application. You have to understand it and exercise it to get a good feel for the user experience. Otherwise, you can't write useful descriptions or accurate instructions.
Q: Do you just write documentation, or do you do other things?
A: Lots of other things! Just gathering information to write a manual gets me involved in other things, like regulations and product specifications. The development team often invites me to participate in usability studies. Sometimes I write kBases for technical support. I'm a lifelong learner, so I'm always reading and seeking out training, especially since the technical documentation world is changing so much. And now we have the DCIM Support Community, so I'm active on there, mostly behind the scenes.
Q: How does the DCIM Support Community affect your work?
A: The community is great way to get to know customers better. Writers can learn a lot from reading questions from users.
If customers have questions about a certain topic, we can check the help to make sure it's adequately covered, and add to it right then if needed. Having documentation online makes it so easy to make changes. The very latest version of help is always available, instead of a stale printed manual. And typos! I can correct mistakes in a second. As much as I hate to admit it, it happens.
Q: What do you do when you're not at work? Any hobbies?
A: I started practicing yoga about a year ago, and am really enjoying it.
I make jewelry, and I'm an avid gardener, especially vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I grow almost everything from seed. I'll be starting some herbs and flowers indoors under fluorescent lights this week. Every year I bring tomato seedlings to work for the team. Soon I'll have a few kinds of basil and some cilantro growing under lights to use fresh. It makes winter just a little bit shorter.
Jacqueline Lehr is a Technical Writer - writing for both NetBotz and DCE. In her spare time she is an avid gardener.