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@Davin Studer holds many interests, including but not limited to health tech and Star Trek. Read on to discover more about Davin, from his favorite Confluence macros to his favorite literary series. Enjoy!
What are some of your day to day responsibilities as a Business Intelligence Engineer?
In our organization, I am the system owner for pretty much anything that deals with Business Intelligence. That would include things like SQL Server, Business Objects, Splunk, Tableau, and various and sundry products. We're a fairly lean shop so we all have to wear multiple hats. Thus, I have also become the system owner for Confluence and Jira even though they are not BI products per se. Over the years we have used Confluence I have become our expert at the Clinic on all things Atlassian, so I get a lot of questions for how best create documentation in Confluence. Frequently, I am able to show them easier and better ways to accomplish what they want and often times they will say things like,
"How awesome! I didn't know it could do that."
Which Atlassian tools do you use? Do nontechnical teams in your company use Atlassian products?
In my organization, we have been using Confluence for about six years and recently we have started using Jira. Prior to using Confluence, we had a fairly kludgy intranet that served as a place to store organizational documentation. It wasn't used by many as the documentation was pretty much impossible to find. It had no search functionality so you pretty much had to know exactly where the documentation you wanted lived. Confluence has changed that dramatically. It took a while, but over the years the clinic has come to adopt Confluence as the place to store clinic-wide and departmental documentation. This last year in the IT department we started using Jira to track IT assets and as an operations log. Even though we are not a software development shop we do have some processes that adhere to an Agile methodology. So, we have considered granting access outside of just IT and using Jira Software to manage these initiatives. I'm looking forward to seeing how others in our organization can get value out of Jira.
What is your top tip for someone who is just starting to use Confluence?
The thing that makes Confluence such an outstanding platform is the macros. If you've used a word processor such as Word or Open Office much of page editing should be fairly familiar. However, to truly create compelling documentation that is not only visually appealing but can even be dynamically updated, macros are the key to achieving that. Take a look at the Marketplace as well. There are some fabulous add-ons that extend the functionality of Confluence in truly amazing ways. Many of them are even free. I would also highly recommend looking into creating user macros. There are so many awesome ways that user macros can be used and there are a bunch of code snippets and even full user macros you can find right in this Community site. If you have any questions about user macros feel free to @ mention me in a question and I will attempt to help answer it.
What is your favorite macro?
I think we can all agree to the brilliance and usefulness of the cheese macro. It literally saves me 11 keystrokes every time I want to put "I like cheese!" on a page. But if I had to pick a close second I think the HTML macro would be my second favorite. Being a developer I like to ... well ... develop and the html macro lets me make a Confluence page do pretty much anything I want it to .... except the dishes.
What do you do outside of work for fun?
I have four kids and I think one the best parts of having kids is that I can play with Legos again and it's totally OK because I'm only playing with them because of my kids <wink>. I love playing with my kids and goofing around with them. I used to really enjoy playing video games too but ... well, I have four kids. I'm also a pretty avid Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader. Currently, my favorite author is Brandon Sanderson. Pretty much anything he writes is gold in my view. Some of my other favorite authors include Robert Jordan, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and Andrew Peterson. As for my favorite series, The Wheel of Time, The Stormlight Archive, Harry Potter, The Shannara Series, The Wingfeather Saga, and the Narnia series would all be at the top of the list. I'm also pretty much as big of a Trekkie as they come. I've seen every movie and every episode of every series multiple times over.
Can't wait to see what Davin cooks up next!