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Toby, Documentation Specialist

Posted: December 06th, 2017 Posted In: Employee Spotlight

The Employee Spotlight is a monthly feature that highlights the great talent we have here at Angus Systems. This month we get to know Toby, a Documentation Specialist and skilled craftsman on his free time!

What is your education and background?

I’ve always been interested in both computers and writing. I took creative writing and computer science courses throughout high school. In university, I started by studying Computer Science. It was then that I realized that although I liked certain aspects of computer programming, debugging code wasn’t my thing. So I changed my studies to Computer Systems and Network Technology, which also included Computer Repair and Maintenance.

While I was in university, I held a part-time job working in tech support for an Internet Service Provider, where I exercised empathy towards customers having technical issues with the service, and learned that I truly like helping people. My past experience has helped me in the role I’m in now because a big part of my role involves understanding what information would be useful to customers.

Also during that time, a company that developed MP3 encoders approached me because they were interested in the skins I was creating for fun. So they asked me to try out their encoder to provide some feedback. The company later invited me to write a few sections of their manual, and I suggested some revisions to their manual in its entirety. They agreed to hire me as a technical writer, and this is how my career became focused on composing software-specific documents.

What is your role at Angus Systems and what are your main responsibilities?

In my role as Documentation Specialist, my main responsibilities include developing and maintaining the online help section on Angus AnyWhere and the Service Portal, reviewing PDF versions of the documentation for correct formatting and conversion, creating short video tutorials, and very occasionally working on proof of concept projects which involves some coding.

How have your responsibilities expanded since you started working with the company?

It’s more of a case that my responsibilities have increased in complexity and scope over the past 8 years that I have been working at Angus Systems. The best example would be the contextual help system we introduced in July 2016. The system is more complicated to update and maintain. This is also where I started occasionally doing some proof of concept work, to ensure that some of the proposed improvements were feasible.

What do you like most about working at Angus Systems?

Mostly it’s the people here, who have a generally friendly and helpful attitude. We’re all in this together, and we come together to make the best product that we can.

What are some of the things you’ve learned while working here?

I’ve learned more about HTML and JavaScript from working on the proof of concept projects. I’ve also honed my skills in general when it comes to creating Online Help and video tutorials. Those are gradual things that I don’t tend to notice unless I refer back to some of my earlier work. Sometimes that contrast can be a bit jarring.

Is there some contribution that you’re proud of?

It would definitely be the high functionality of the contextual help section.

Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?

I enjoy working with my hands, and at one time I really enjoyed making furniture for myself. I liked being able to customize the size and the structure of my furniture in order to make exactly what I wanted. I have made a couch and a couple of bed frames.

If you weren’t working at Angus Systems, what would you be doing?

I would probably still be doing technical writing. Or possibly, building and repairing computers.

What are some of your personal hobbies and interests?

I enjoy building my own computers, making them efficient enough for gaming, and I like reading up on new hardware. I also love music composition and reading science fiction and horror novels.

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