Reflecting on Two Years

Yesterday marked my two-year “Tamaversary,” as they call the start date anniversary at work. My boss celebrated by ordering chocolate-covered strawberries, which I did appreciate.

Two years doesn’t sound like much to me, but compared with the tenure of most developers, I’m practically ancient. And somehow this two years has gone both very quickly and very slowly. The real question, however, is whether I’ve grown or learned anything in this time.

Writing Growth

Over this time, I’ve certainly learned a great deal about technical writing for software, and I think my writing quality has substantially improved — albeit with room for continued improvement, of course. I’ve gotten much better at using fewer words, clearer descriptions, and more consistent terminology. I’ve also learned to think about how users will find and consume content, to make answers more readily available.

Before joining Tamarac, I’d never read, let alone written, release notes. Achieving the right tone, the perfect mix of marketing and technical communication, is something I keep working at. I’ve gotten much better, ah some stories I really nailed, which feels good. Now I get to work on hitting the sweet spot for every story.

Cultural Growth

My boss describes me as a leader. I find this odd and a little improbable; I’m a mere Tech Writer II, just doing my job. But I have made real connections over the last two years — nobody who’s going to be my best friend decades from now, probably, but definitely solid, even friendly, working relationships.

I naturally have reached out to the other people on my team and I get along with them well. But I also have formed good relationships with PMs, developers, QA, and marketing, all really valuable connections. This year I want to start getting to know the support folks upstairs, because they use Help Center at least as much as external clients. I want to find ways to make Help Center more useful for them.

It’s not all work, of course. I also run the Bike to Work team in May, and I organize fun little things for our team, like bringing in pies on Pi Day or Indian food for Diwali. It makes us all happier, and my boss doesn’t stop me, so why not?

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