Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Whew! It's Wednesday

I'm really happy it's Wednesday. Work has been exceptionally busy, but today the worst of it is over. I'm a technical writer for a software development company and we are shipping a preliminary release soon, so the documents have to be in order.

I don't think I've ever really written about my work, and I've enjoyed branching this blog from strictly knitting topics, so I've decided to describe what I do. It's rather complicated, so I'm going to try to keep it simple for starters. If people enjoy reading about this stuff, maybe I'll write some more about it.

Our company has adopted an Agile software development methodology which I really like, in part because of the different opportunities it provides. In the first place, part of working in an agile environment is that the technical writers work with the team to deliver the end product. We write our documents as the the code is being developed. We get a lot more input this way and a greater understanding of what we are writing about. I'm the documentation specialist for three different teams.

Since our company has switched, I find that I have a lot more to offer besides my writing and organizing skills. I received training to be a certified Scrum Master and I am a Feature Lead for one of the teams I also do documentation for. This is part of the reason that I'm feeling a crunch. While I'm extremely grateful for these opportunities, it does mean that I get a double time squeeze.

Yesterday seemed extra long because after work I attended the monthly meeting of the Forest City Knit Club where I gave a tutorial on toe-up socks. It went quite well. Well enough that next month I'll be doing a tutorial on heels for toe-up socks. I enjoyed giving the presentation, but I do find that sort of thing draining because I need to focus my attention in a lot of places and think on my feet.

One of the jobs of a Feature Lead is to facilitate a retrospective meeting in which the team examines the last month's work in order to improve and adapt in the future. I've done well in this role, so I sometimes facilitate retrospectives for other teams. This experience came in handy last night.

But now Wednesday is over, the weekend is two short days away, and we Canadians get a long weekend! It's the May two-four. Better bloggers than I have elaborated on this holiday. Our family shall be following the gardening tradition by planting vegetables and flowers. When I first started gardening, my next-door neighbour, a seasoned gentleman with years of experience, told me to never plant annuals until the May two-four weekend. I have found this to be wise advice.

So did you like hearing about my work? Do you want to hear more? I'm thinking that Wednesdays I'll do some tech-talk on whatever strikes my fancy (such as TS, or technical writing, or anything I like!) and save the knitting posts for the weekend. I do care what you think and what you're interested in reading about, so let me know.


  1. Anonymous11:04 am

    Sure. Go for it. You're certainly more pleasant than some other technical writers/knit bloggers that are currently blogging.

    I'm interested in the stuff on TS simply because it teaches how to deal with the quirky kids that belong to my friends without choking kids or friends.

    Liz in NoWhere PA

  2. I'll read and enjoy anything you write, of course. --Syl

  3. I don't know why, but I'm looking forward to the two-four weekend too.

    Um, gardening after this weekend is usually because there is typically less chance of frost. I think this year we all would have been safe to start much earlier!

    Are we meeting Monday night?

  4. snore, snore, uh yeah, I'm listening Gord, but didn't you tell me this yesterday!! ROTFL Just kidding, Laurie!! So, that's what you guys do over there all day. I wondered...

  5. Just to clarify, I was not snoring at Laurie, but at my husband who only tells me boring stuff about work. I like Laurie's post about work. I love you, Laurie!! :)

  6. Ps. Gord says Laurie is a really good Feature Lead.

  7. Sounds cool! I'm always fascinated by the interesting things knitters do outside of the knitting. I'd love to hear more!

  8. I love hearing about what people do "in real life". Speak on, speak up.

  9. Yes, do continue to talk about your work! I'm a coder who wishes there were better documentation. I try to document what I do within the code, but I also have to deal with other people's code which have next to no documentation. And especially when these folks are no longer around . . .

  10. Being Canadian I celebrate this long weekend but being raised by a woman who was born in Ireland and lived in England I stick to the original name for it. Queen Victorias birthday. I have come to be concerned that if we keep trivializing it as May 2-4 weekend the gov't will see fit to just cancel it as they do everything else they think we find fun or need, to keep our daily lives from choking the fun out of us. Queen Victioria day is still much nicer sounding than.. the weekend to celebrate a case of beer.