[sf-perl] I'm looking for Work

Vicki Brown vlb at cfcl.com
Mon Apr 9 20:24:08 PDT 2012

As I think I mentioned last Fall, my job at Yahoo! started to fall apart in August after my manager resigned and the division underwent a reorg. My new VP didn't grok what I did (or why I was being paid "so much" to do it) and my position was eliminated at the end of November.

I've been looking for work since December. This is more difficult for me than for many people because the things I excel at don't fit tidily into typical job titles or search engines at job sites.

I've been a programmer. My preference is for internal tools and data filters. Historically, I've written in Perl, but my OO Perl skills are largely nonexistent and, while I used to be more than competent, I'm 7 years rusty.

I've been a tech writer / editor, with a preference for internal documentation. I love to write, but I like to be able to talk to my audience to assess their needs, etc. So, I prefer how-tos, tutorials, and the like to API documents and externally facing users' guides.

I enjoy doing technical support, but, again, internally focused, preferably level 2 or 3. I don't want to read the manual to people; I assume that they are competent to read the manual for themselves.

For the past 5+ years, I've worked primarily with TWiki -- answering questions, developing applications, writing how-tos, presenting training... I am very likely one of the most knowledgeable TWiki experts you are likely to meet. (I am outstanding in a very small field. ;-) 

The most common question I get in interviews is: "Your resume is... eclectic. You've done writing, coding, QA, support, project management... What do you _like_ to do?" 

My current answer is "I like to help. I want to feel needed. I want to help my co-workers, preferably internal engineers, to be more productive."  I'm a troubleshooter, a facilitator, and a problem solver. I love solving problems through improvements in internal communication. I like working with wikis and weblogs. I enjoy writing. I enjoy building tools to solve problems.

I loved my TWiki support role. I was very good at what I did, received excellent customer feedback, and enjoyed my job most of the time. When I read articles about "finding your passion" or "putting your strengths to work", I want to find another job like the one I had most recently.

Several co-workers have told me that I should call myself an information architect. (Unfortunately, I have never created a wire frame.) Some of the best feedback I've gotten includes:

  Vicki is the kind of person who "hears" what it is you are saying, and then gives you what you want, 
  which may not be exactly what you asked for -- but much better!

  Vicki is an exceptional technologist with a firm grasp of the combination of programming and process 
  management required to turn a disparate group of engineers into a streamlined machine.

  Vicki is a talented writer, a detailed editor, and a thorough tester. It is unusual to find someone who
  has the technical background as a programmer, who enjoys testing and documenting. 

Does your company have a position for me?

-- Vicki

-- Vicki

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