What it’s like to work as an Information Services Engineer at CA Technologies
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of one of our Information Services Engineers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Jeania “J” Burton has worked for CA for four years, working in our Boulder, CO office. Before that, she worked as a college-level academic and creative writing instructor at Colorado State University, where she earned her master’s degree in writing.
“I liked teaching, but I went into the master’s program with an eye toward being a working writer; so, when a friend of mine said they were hiring technical writers at his office, I jumped at the chance.”
J is a member of two or three development scrum teams at any given time, where she brings in the user’s experience, challenges and desires into what our products might do and how they might do them.
“Using the information that I gather from Project Managers, Product Owners, Architects, Developers, QA Engineers, and others about our products, I write how-to guides, and produce how-to videos that help our customers do what they need to do in order to take care of their customers.”
An average day
The first thing J typically does when she logs in for the day is read a passage from The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living, a book of stoic philosophy co-authored by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.
“I like starting the day with this book because the stoic philosophy jibes very well with the Agile methodology, where the only constant is change.”
Next, she checks documentation spaces for user comments and responds to them – even if it’s just to say that we’ll need to research their question or suggestion and get back to them. Then she checks her email and calendar and gets ready for whatever might come her way.
“No two days are alike and no day is predictable.”
J works on with a development team in Raleigh, North Carolina and with the Documentation team of other writers in Boulder, Colorado, so she attends daily stand-ups and Agile ceremonies with the other writers, and semi-regular WebEx synch ups with the team in Raleigh.
“In between regular meetings I’m often in one-on-one meetings with SMEs, working on text or video deliverables, and doing ad hoc work on initiatives in our information Engineering BU.”
J usually uses her lunch to read, research, or look at social media. She also looks for ways to be social in real life.
“Every quarter, our manager brings the writers together for a team lunch, and the development teams do semi-regular team-building stuff, too.”
She is also always on the lookout for opportunities to meet people outside of the office.
“Last spring, I entered a contest put on by the group Women at CA, the prize for which was the chance to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Orlando, Florida. There, I got a chance to meet many of the CA people with whom I work remotely, and women from all over the world.”
The best part of the job
J says her favorite part of the job is being a working writer.
“When I was a kid, I day dreamed about being a writer and I am one. I might not be writing best-sellers as part of my ‘day job’ – like I dreamed of back then – but the informational writing and video work that I do on a daily basis does flex the critical thinking muscles that I use in the creative writing and videos I do in my time off.”
J says that while the entire benefits package at CA is great, the most important thing to her has been the flexible time off and the support from her supervisors to take it.
“My manager and her managers always make me feel like I’m a human being first and an employee second, which is no small thing. My Dad passed away a year before I started at CA, and I really appreciated being able to take days here and there to help my mom in Utah sell the house to move.”
Many people who are new to the tech industry don’t know CA Technologies. We asked J what advice she would have for them about them about choosing to work for a lesser-known B2B technology company, rather than a better-known brand.
“At the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Orlando, Florida this past October, I worked the CA Technologies booth at the career exposition for a few hours. Talking to the recruits, I said that CA is one of the biggest technology companies that they maybe hadn’t heard about as a consumer because our clientele is mostly enterprise businesses.
“Because we are a big company, you get all that entails, such as great pay, benefits, corporate integrity, potential to move around and up through the company etc. But each site, even the HQ in Islandia, is small enough that you get to know and befriend your teammates like you would at a smaller company. It’s the best of both worlds.”