What is your name and job title? Jane Lawrence, Information Technology Specialist with the Denver Service Center Information Technology Division.
What experience and education do you have? I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences from Denison University, Granville, Ohio, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. My first job out of college was as a COBOL programmer for General Electric. As technology changed, I began to learn new languages and applications. I’ve been lucky enough over my career to work for a number of companies that were forward-thinking and willing to consider new ways of supporting their businesses. I’ve had opportunities to join teams installing and implementing new computer applications, so I’ve learned a lot of technologies over the years. It’s amazing how fast applications come on the market, are taken over by other companies and either morphed into something totally different or dropped altogether in favor of the new company’s rival product. And the businesses and staff that support them have to constantly adapt and learn. It’s been a lot of fun, and often a great challenge.
What is a typical day like? Well, like most folks at DSC, very few days are the same. My main responsibility is the care and feeding of the Documentum Enterprise Content Management system where all our design and construction and other historical documents which are housed in electronic format at etic.nps.gov. The National Park Service designated the Technical Information Center (TIC) as the central repository for all NPS-generated planning, design, construction drawings, and related technical report documents. eTIC is the electronic document management system used to manage these documents and drawings. On a typical day, I may be responding to questions from our staff on application capabilities or improvements, applying and testing software patches, or implementing requested changes. If there are application or system issues, I work with the Technical Information Center users and our systems administrators to resolve those. I also help support the eTIC application, the Interagency Visitor Use Management system, water trails, and a number of the smaller internal applications used by DSC staff.
What career advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar path? Jump at opportunities. When your manager asks if anyone is interested in doing something, say yes, pretty much no matter what it is. I did a lot of volunteering early in my career. Once you get to be known as someone who will jump in and tackle a new task, people will feel comfortable offering you unique opportunities.
What is one of the bigger projects you are working on and what about that project might surprise people? Right now our team is focused on developing a new, modern version of eTIC. We’re working on a new external site first, and then we’ll focus on replacing the old internal eTIC site. What might surprise people is how all the pieces of this project tie together. My main focus is to write computer programs that identify the documents that can be delivered to the public (based on security parameters, document format, and other criteria), tie those documents to a directory, and then publish them out to the website. Of course, this also means new and modified documents have to be updated in the process so that all the content is fresh and up-to-date. We had to install and implement a new Documentum publishing component for this project.