Growing Arbortext craftsmen

Arbortext knowledge has traditionally been very tribal in nature. Like Oracle DBAs, what is not learned through trial by fire, is passed down user to user, developer to developer.

We’ve been thinking about how to change that. We’re helping found a formal user group — working through the PTC/User organization — that’s focused strictly on Arbortext. We’re thinking about how best to achieve that goal with members spread out all over the world.

We’ve been thinking about this for more than a year it took us about that long to figure out what we wanted to tell the world about what we do and how to provide real value and relevance to the Arbortext community.

We’ve had a lot of members looking for a way to share knowledge and benefit from what others are learning. For example, when Oracle merged with PeopleSoft, there were Arbortext implementation teams on both sides. When they got together, they found they’d fought the same battles and could have shortened their implementation time, could have made the lives of the Arbortext users in their own communities stronger, if they’d had a forum where they could share.

In addition to this blog, we’re about to start interviewing leading members of the Arbortext community. These interviews are our attempt to bring tribal knowledge to light. We’ll be talking with PTC customers — real users from the Arbortext community — because, at Single-Sourcing Solutions, we all started as customers. And we all learned from other people: other customers, other users, and internal PTC/Arbortext resources.

We have found that people who learn Arbortext are premium resources to their companies. Nearly no Arbortext specialists are out in the wild. Every new customer has to grow a specialist from scratch. And it’s not easy to do. The learning curve is high. You need to learn a new product and to learn how to implement it well. That takes time and resources.

Consultants play a part similar to that of the journeymen of the guild systems: they often travel a lot, work at many different companies and spread new practices and knowledge between companies and corporations.

To become a journeyman, an apprentice must first become a craftsman.

Our goal here is to is to expand the resources available to everyone in the community. If you’re working with the product — or just want to learn about it — please join us!

We’ll respond to feedback from our audience so we can all achieve what we all want to do: to be masters of our craft.

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethfraley/