Wiki Support, Information Architecture, and Software Development
Some of the Feedback I Have Received


I have always appreciated your TWiki knowledge. But that's not what I relied upon you for. I can read the documentation and find what I need, and while sometimes I needed a fast answer and asked you for it (thank you!) I usually needed your experience in long-term maintenance. ...

Just because it's possible to do something, doesn't mean it's a good idea. I was usually pretty sure what was possible. The "how" wasn't usually my question. It was usually "if I ask Vicki, can I embed a javascript-based virtual machine emulator in a twiki page, and have it control my toaster, she'll not only tell me if it's possible, she'll tell me if I want to do it."

And that last part is the hard part.

I remember several times when you said, "I built something using that feature, but it ended up not working because of X limitation / law of physics, so I had to redo it with this other feature, and that actually works in real life."

So I really don't think TWiki is your thing -- it's something you're good at, but not your most valuable quality. Nor is programming. You solve problems in a way that meets peoples' needs, and work with them to provide tools that enable them to do their work well.


I don't know of any software engineer who comes close to her skill level in understanding and applying TWiki machinery to unlock it's vast feature potential. Vicki was also a pleasure to work with in a customer consultant role -- she usually answered my queries within 24 hours, and often provided code, scripts, and other examples and artifacts that I could simply drop-in use in my applications. I'd estimate that she helped hundreds of people get very sophisticated web applications working through her emails, blog posts, and personal consultations.


...Vicki, although titled "technical writer" was more of a documentation technology expert. She managed a technology tool that is currently [our] primary technical documentation silo, "Twiki". Vicki's knowledge of both the tool and how best to apply it to daily common use, is exhaustive. I had numerous projects which I engaged Vicki, all of which required major customizations to do much more than typical documentation needs, and she was able to not only churn out solutions quickly, but extremely professional looking, completely functional as requested and in all cases better than I envisioned.


Vicki is the kind of person who "hears" what it is you are saying, and then gives you what you want, which may not be exactly what you asked for -- but much better! She is very talented and delivers on time with energy, enthusiasm and professionalism. This value add makes her a tremendous asset.


Vicki has always been accessible and eager to help. In addition, I have been extremely impressed with her ability to clearly and concisely explain how Twiki works, and the most efficient means of addressing the immediate problem at hand. Given that Twiki is our de-facto mode of documentation ..., it is difficult for me to understand how we could afford to continue effectively without Vicki.


Vicki is incredibly knowledgeable on all things TWiki, but on top of that, goes out of her way to be extremely consistently helpful. This is both via the twiki [email] list as well as ad-hoc IM-based questions. On top of that, she has plenty of working TWiki examples to steal from. You rock, Vicki!


Vicki's encyclopedic knowledge of Twiki and her clear and concise examples were instrumental in helping our team create the Twiki application we needed.


I just joined from Google (spent 7 years there) so I've been working with Google Sites for the longest time. I started out hating Twikis, but was forced to learn it since we have nothing else at [Company]. However, I'm starting to enjoy it immensely. Thanks for all your help articles - they are invaluable for a beginner like me. Been learning about ddcolortabs.css and stuff... very fun. Anyway, thanks for your contribution to making [Company] collaborative and fun.


When it comes to Twiki, people are often fast to point out the negatives, instead of pointing out the positives. One of the great 'positives' is Vicki's commitment to improving, helping, and enlightening others. She deserves kudos for an often thankless job.


Vicki helped me create a twiki application. She guided me through my initial attempts and then stepped in and did the more complicated programming work that would have taken me hours to figure out. I really appreciate her help and also her wonderful sense of humor.


I really appreciate your twiki-excellence. Teaching is a skill not everyone has.


In addition to making great things happen, Vicki always takes the time to help folks on twiki-users@ with random questions on how to do certain twiki-related items. Thank you so much for spending the time and energy helping us all !


Whenever I, or any co-worker has a Twiki question or issue, Vicki is certainly highly regarded as The Twiki Subject Matter Expert to deliver solutions.


Vicki created a[n]... application for our group to schedule the training room. It would have taken me a long time to make this application myself. Vicki asked me what I needed and implemented the application quickly and efficiently. I really appreciate her doing this for us. Thanks!


Vicki's willingness to take on both small and large projects, and hammer them out with great pace and precision kept both me and my team both on task and time. I very much enjoyed my time working with Vicki at [Company]... she was the one "Swiss Army Knife" that the company utilized every day. I miss her daily and look forward to working with her again. I would recommend Vicki with the highest regards."


It is great that Vicki has good MarCom skills in addition to web skills. I didn't get what I asked for exactly -- I got what I *really* wanted. There wasn't much notice given and some of the work was done by Vicki after hours. There were lots of rave reviews from internal ... and from customers.


Vicki knows a great deal about Perl and makes great tools that work properly, are easy to understand, and follow good programming style. She listens to the needs of the "customer" (the person who will be running the program). She explains difficult and complex ideas in a clear and concise way. Vicki was very helpful to me when I was first learning to program Perl and encountered tough problems.


Vicki has a substantial amount of knowledge about programming and system administration. This allows her to make suggestions based on her experience and also makes it possible for her to document existing systems by examining their implementation.


Vicki is proactive in gathering the information that she needs from the appropriate people and produces results quickly and in an organized manner. Vicki works best when given a bigger flow of work parceled out into smaller chunks and with lots of feedback on her results.


Vicki is THE go-to person ... for all things TWiki. But her most important contribution is sometimes missed...she's an excellent information architect. She always asks 'what are you trying to accomplish? Who is this for?' This inquiry leads to data tailored to the purpose and audience.


Content and Documentation feedback ...


If you like what you see...

If you think we could have a basis for discussion, please contact me. The best way to reach me is by email: vbrown@philtres.com.

Telephone calls accepted by pre-arrangement (email me for details).

My resume (PDF format).