Meet Technical Author, Philip Couchman, as we continue our blog series, Inside IMS.
Philip has held his position as Technical Author at IMS for over three years now, and although new to the industry at the time, he endeavoured to learn about the business and has drawn upon his evolving understanding to effectively improve documentation methodology.
‘I am responsible for writing and proofreading several types of documentation including Online Help, user guides and functional specifications. I have learned a great deal about the business and have introduced the company to using a professional authoring tool and, therefore, a contemporary method of creating documentation.’
‘User documentation is an essential part of any application and enables customers to work with and understand the software, with the goal of making their working lives easier.’
Positioned within the Process and Quality team, Philip works closely with a range of other teams and roles to ensure consistently high standards and delivery of all required documentation.
‘My team includes Business Analysts, Testers and Technical Authors. I am often asked to proofread documents, web pages, marketing materials, and so on, from various teams within the company, as well as to give advice on the appropriate type of documentation for a project. I am supported greatly by Yusuf, my fellow Technical Author, whom I have mentored over the past 3 years; he is invaluable both to me and the team.’
Philip is continually striving to build upon his current knowledge of the English language, recognising that there will always be more to learn.
‘The English language is one of my passions and yet I still have much to learn about it. Working with words, and how to present them to the reader, enables me to improve my writing skills. Following the Plain English Campaign guidelines, I can be confident that the forms of communication I write will be understood.’
Outside of work, Philip is passionate about animal rights and the environment, and as a committed vegan, this passion feeds into his hobbies and interests.
‘I have 5 cats (bonkers, I know) who give me much happiness, and sometimes heartache; the joys of co-habiting with beloved pets!’
‘My favourite part of the world (that I have visited) is Wales, specifically Ceredigion and the Cambrian Mountains; I would like to live there in the future. I love walking in the countryside (and also in Milton Keynes because it is so green) and being a part of nature for a few hours every time I venture.’
‘I enjoy: listening to music (many genres but a big fan of rock, electronica and ambient); reading books, both fiction and non-fiction; and revelling in what is currently known as the glory years of television, especially dark, psychological dramas.’