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Lauren Fosgett
Lauren Fosgett

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Breaking the ice...

Hello! My name is Lauren. I thought I'd make an intro post here, since I've already been posting a little bit over on DEV.

I'm a business analyst on a .NET team, which means I get to do a little bit of everything outside of actually coding on an app. Product management, project management, UI/UX, testing and UAT, technical writing, user training, app support, and more. If you have any questions about what it's like to be a BA, I'm happy to chat!

I really enjoy what I do, but I would love to also get more technical and grow my coding skills outside of work (and maybe eventually get into freelancing). My undergrad was in frontend web development, but I haven't built much beyond the basic beginner projects I did in school (which was about 4 years ago now). This year I'm starting from the beginning and getting a better handle on vanilla HTML/CSS/JavaScript and then exploring what catches my eye beyond that. Right now I'm really interested in static site generators.

I'm doing the #CNC2022 "Learn in Public" challenge to get more comfortable sharing what I'm learning on the internet, and also learn enough about something that I feel confident explaining it to someone else. We'll see how it goes!


Header by NOAA on Unsplash

Discussion (6)

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khloeabrown profile image
Khloe Brown

Hello, Hello! 👋

I'm doing the "Learn in Public" challenege as well! Could you explain project management more depth? I'm curious about the concept in a business / professional setting. 🤔

Maybe something about technical writing as well?

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lfosgett profile image
Lauren Fosgett Author

Hello! I'd love to! This got a bit long below, so if it would be helpful for me to write up some longer posts, please let me know!

My team runs a Kanban(ish) process, and I oversee the work as it moves from Request > Requirements > Dev > Testing > Release Prep > Release to Prod. I think my specific role overlaps with a "product owner" if you're familiar with Scrum - I'm the one on my team who captures the work items that have been prioritized/committed to, and I draft the user stories/tasks (sometimes called "tickets") and acceptance criteria for the work my team does. I work directly with the devs and QA engineers to communicate what needs to get done, and when, and I'm there to support the team as we all work on the stories that come through. I oversee the whole process, help unblock the team when they get stuck, answer questions/help with testing, and then help with the non-dev-related work to get something ready for release. All of this is project management to me - I support the team, communicate with stakeholders, and help keep everyone on track so we meet our deliverables relatively on time.

A lot of what I do is technical writing and communicating with so many different groups of people. I write out the user stories that my team works from, as well as user guides for our end users and internal support teams. Depending on the scale of what we're releasing (a feature for an existing app or a launch of an entirely new app), I'll either create a complete user guide with the end-to-end experience using the app or a smaller release update with notes on the new feature. Not to mention all the business emails to coordinate with various teams across the company.

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khloeabrown profile image
Khloe Brown

Thats genuinely interesting hearing about the details of project management as a job with a team (I've only worked solo on my own stuff). It's cool that you get to work with various people and departments to get the work flowing correctly. A very interesting job!

For the technical writing, how do you manage the time and work flow as it seems to be more of just a you job?

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lfosgett profile image
Lauren Fosgett Author

I tend to break it up by the day of the week, what stage the project is in, and what days I have the fewest meetings, ha!

At the beginning of a project I'll be more focused on writing user stories, and closer to the end of the project is when I dig into the user guides, once a lot of the actual implementation is closer to being prod-ready (which helps for screenshots, and in case anything has changed since we first started talking about the project). This balances out even when projects overlap at different stages.

Tuesdays and Fridays usually have the least amount of time spent in meetings, so I'll use those days to focus and blast through larger efforts like the user guides. Otherwise, if things are especially busy, then I block off 1-2 hour chunks of "focus" time on my calendar so I can work uninterrupted. I prefer to schedule these in the morning, but again with meetings that sometimes means I can only dedicate some time in the afternoons to focus.

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khloeabrown profile image
Khloe Brown

Gotcha! I find that day-themeing and time blocking help me for many things as well.

I'm thinking of "Learn in Public" topic to be along those lines or something else to help teach others about useful productivity "hacks" to help the work their best.

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lfosgett profile image
Lauren Fosgett Author

I look forward to seeing what you write up! I could definitely use advice in that area. As much as I time block at work, I have a hard time doing so for my personal projects.