[sf-perl] Seeking new position on the game board of Work

Vicki Brown vlb at cfcl.com
Fri Dec 16 09:44:04 PST 2011

(It looks like this never made it to the list; trying again.)

Back in October, Rich Morin posted a note about his friend "Lee" who was looking for a new job. Lee is me.

At the time, I was hedging my bets. Unfortunately, just after Thanksgviving, I was told that my "position has been eliminated" (a fancy phrase for "you landed in our team and we don't know what to do with you so we're letting you go"). Now I am looking much more seriously.

My passion is to help others to be more productive. My focus is more on solving a problem, not writing a program (although I often write programs to solve problems). 

For the past 5 years, I've been providing high-end TWiki support -- answering questions, troubleshooting problems, developing TWiki apps -- for anyone at Yahoo! who needed my services. I wasn't a TWiki expert when I joined Yahoo! (although I was a TWIki users) but I became an expert to meet the need. 

One co-worker told me:
  "I really don't think TWiki is your thing -— it's something you're good at, 
   but not your most valuable quality.  Nor is programming.

   You solve problems in a way that meets peoples' needs, and work with them to 
   provide tools that enable them to do their work well."

Another said:
 "Vicki is THE go-to person ... for all things TWiki. But her most important 
  contribution is sometimes missed...she's an excellent information architect. 
  She always asks 'what are you trying to accomplish? Who is this for?' This 
  inquiry leads to data tailored to the purpose and audience."

My skills and interests lie in the areas of:

* Problem solving and troubleshooting.

* Information architecture and content management.

* Scripting languages (mostly Perl, but also Awk, Make, Shell, TWiki, etc.).
  I'm reading up on Ruby; it's not all that different from Perl.

* Technical writing and editing (eg, copy editing, formatting, organizing, 
  proofreading, word-smithing).

* Web weaving (eg, CSS, HTML, JavaScript).

* Scientific programming, data filters, knowledge management, and social media.

* Code review, code cleanup, and bug hunting.

* Writing how-tos and tutorials, organizing documentation, and training.

I prefer to work directly for the person or team who needs my services, i.e. developing internal tools vs marketed applications, creating internal documentation vs external publications, etc. I would rather be the sole (or one of a few) programmer supporting a non-programming team, than one of many people working on a large application.

If you know of a company that could use someone like me, please let me know!

Vicki Brown

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