Tell us about your life

Zammad Diary | Ralf Schmid: GitHub, Motorcycling and Technology of all Kinds

Many Zammad users are well acquainted with the system's documentation. But probably only a few know the creative mind behind the scenes who keeps it up to date. It's time we change that. In the interview, Ralf explains exactly what his role as a Technical Writer involves, what standards he holds for his own work, and how he manages to bring a breath of fresh air into his daily routine.

What is your name and position at Zammad?
My name is Ralf Schmid and my position is called "Technical Writer". Among other things, I am responsible for the documentation.

What are you known for?
That's a good question. That probably depends on who you ask. Most likely, that I'm the quiet type and reliable. And that I slip a few typos into the documentation.

What are you working on right now?
In addition to creating and translating administrator and user manuals, I support the migration of our entire documentation to a new system. With this, we aim to provide our users with enhanced search capabilities and improved navigation. Additionally, I regularly take the time to translate the Zammad software and test new features.

What new things have you learned on the job lately?
The last two major topics were certainly agile working and using Git. The documentation will be managed on GitHub.

For those who are not familiar with Git: It is a type of version management system where multiple people can make changes at the same time. These changes can then be merged together. Each modification is traceable and can be reversed if necessary.

What motivates you every morning?
It might sound cliché, but I really mean it: that I can work for a company as cool as Zammad. The work environment is great and I've never come across a company with so little bureaucracy - something I'm allergic to anyway. 😬

Also, I find it fantastic to be able to work in the open-source sphere, of which I am a big fan. The fact that my work is also technically oriented really leaves no wishes unfulfilled.

What do you love most about remote work? (And what not so much?)
Pro: Not having to waste time commuting!
Cons: Having to clean the office yourself 😉

Which industry or brand should urgently use Zammad?
In fact, I see great potential in small businesses that have so far managed a single inbox with several people. Zammad is a much more elegant solution for this scenario.

How do you manage to break out of your everyday routines?
On vacation

Do you have a passion that wouldn't be obvious from your CV?
Well, I would say I'm interested in all kinds of technology (whether it's hardware, software, vehicles, aircraft, energy production and storage, etc.) and have a halfway decent understanding of it (even if it often doesn't go that deep).

I also enjoy riding motorcycles, even though I don't get to do it very often at the moment. And when there's too much snow for riding, I enjoy playing video games.

What inspires you?
Working with people who are passionate about what they do and also tackle difficult topics with motivation and perseverance.

What do you think makes for really good teamwork?
For me, good teamwork is based on respectful and trusting interactions with each other. It is also important to have a factual discussion of issues and transparency in all processes. This works really well at Zammad!

What would you do if money didn't matter?
Defeat hunger, ensure peace, strengthen economically weak regions, accelerate the transformation to a zero-emission world, promote a fairer world ... That’s enough for starters, right?

You have 1,000 unread messages and only time to respond to 50. How do you decide?
I would probably not respond to any message and delete them all. 🔥 A 5% response rate is not much different from 0%.

Most likely, I would try to find the reason for the many messages and/or find a system to tame the flood of messages - maybe with Zammad?

How do you assess your personal success?
I mainly evaluate this based on the quality of my work and my own satisfaction with it. I am still working on improving the quality. And because I get annoyed with my own mistakes, my satisfaction sometimes suffers a bit. 😅

What two career tips do you have?
I only have one: don't follow any career tips!

How do you explain your job to your parents?
The easy part: I do documentation in a software company.
The more difficult part: The software helps organizations manage and respond to requests (e.g., from customers) in a timely and structured manner.

Which feature do you find the coolest in Zammad?
I'm a bit old-school: Triggers! You can do the wildest things with them.

What gets you up every morning instead of just working in bed?
Two monitors, laptop, keyboard, mouse, docking station, power adapter, and a coffee machine don't quite fit well in bed.

What's your favorite Zammad anecdote?
"We have to explain it in a way that EVERYONE understands."

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