By: Jared Stone
When asked to picture the inner workings of a large software development organization, most people would probably imagine computer programmers and technology designers – the “code monkeys” in their secluded cubicles endlessly writing and repairing a never ending text file. Few would imagine an English major; a writer working among the
tech crowd, and the invaluable role played in software development success. Kristen Bates, a technical writer for JAMF Software, continues to show just how important communications language is to the tech field at large.
JAMF Software was established in 2002 and designs IT administration tools to be used with Apple products. Their two frameworks, titled the Casper Suite and Bushel, provide over 8,500 client companies, schools, and businesses with a user friendly interface allowing for and ensuring that their Apple devices are operating at top performance.
Bates started her career at JAMF after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 2015. Bates majored in English with an emphasis on technical writing while minoring in public relations. Throughout school, and prior to landing her current job, Bates was a writing intern at other businesses (Beaver Creek Reserve and Western Dairyland) before realizing that technical writing was what she wanted to do. Her job does not focus inherently on writing, she primarily works “with developers, U-Ex (user experience) designers, and product owners to design intuitive user interfaces and easy-to-follow workflows.”
Although JAMF allows for a lot of professional freedom (a trait advertised in a workplace which features a full kitchen, outdoor balconies, and game room equipped with full-sized table tennis table) Bates’ standard routine can be just that. She arrives in the morning around 8 or 9 am and promptly meets with her delivery team, who require a “stand-up” exposition of the projects she is working on. Afterward, and for the majority of the time, Bates’ has control over her schedule, so long as she continues to get all of her work done.
As someone perusing a prospective career in technical writing, Bates’ was able to relay some pertinent information regarding job acquisition, not only within her field, but for any undergrad soon to be looking for employment. She urged the importance of internships, explaining how she “learned more from internships” and actual job experience than she did in the classroom. She also spoke of the importance of finding a job you are passionate about, as she went through a few and is happy that she did.
To learn more about Kristen Bates’ job at JAMF, listen to the below audio file as she explains her position in her own words.