Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Stratifyd’s Technical Writer, Kim Landis transformed her love of writing and foreign language into a technical skill set used to forge her own path into the tech industry.
Her childhood was spent moving back and forth between Virginia and Ohio due her father’s career. Growing up, she didn’t have much interest in school but was intrigued by foreign language.
“I was horrible at studying,” Landis said. “But learning another language forced me to study every day.”
An interest in linguistics motivated her to major in a language at Ohio State University, believing the skill set would help with a professional career. In the end, she decided on Japanese.
“If I learned French, I would just become a teacher,” Landis said. “Russian would push me towards government work, but Japanese could translate really well in the business world.”
After graduating with her B.A. in Japanese, Landis became an administrator for a Honda supplier. Along with payroll and currency conversion, she documented business correspondence and eventually created a website for the company, in which she discovered HTML and her interest in tech. In 2003, Landis decided to entirely change careers. She quickly returned to school to become a programmer.
“Discovering HTML was my Ah-Ha moment,” Landis said. “I realized that coding was just another language to learn, which obviously comes natural to me.”
She started in technology by accepting a role in tech support for a software company for programmers. As the point of contact for troubleshooting for programmers with more than 30 years of experience, she credits this position as the toughest role she’s ever had.
“Working in tech support taught me that you don’t have to know everything,” Landis said. “It’s okay to master a piece of something and then move on to the next.”
At the time, her colleagues noticed she spent a lot of time documenting technical processes and writing Knowledge Base articles and helped transition her into the role of a Technical Writer. Landis was overjoyed, as she always wanted to be a writer, but never thought of it as a viable career option.
“It was like wanting to be a Rockstar,” Landis said. “There’s not many people who can actually make a living from it.”
After more than 10 years of working in and around the Ohio area, Landis was tired of the cold weather and was ready for a change. So, she set sights for North Carolina, where she found Stratifyd.
“I enjoy everything the job entails,” Landis said. “I love the sense of community here, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for the company.”
As a Technical Writer for Stratifyd, she’s currently focused on expanding the Knowledge Base for our AI-powered platform. This tool provides everything our customers need to be successful in the platform, from helpful links, FAQs, and other outside resources.
Landis is still living in Ohio with plans to relocate in September. In the meantime, she travels to Charlotte to work out of the office every few weeks.
“I have two college aged daughters who aren’t ready for me to leave quite yet,” Landis said. “However, I’m excited to move to Charlotte to spend more time in the office.”
When she’s not working, she enjoys knitting and house hunting for her new home in the queen city.
Q&A with Kim Landis
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living (soon) in Charlotte?
A: The Uptown area is vibrant and full of things to do, and it’s a gorgeous place to walk in the spring. I love that the Mint Museum is free on Wednesday evenings. I can’t wait to bring my daughters and show them around, and I look forward to bringing our dog, Henry, to Max and Lola’s.
Q: What sparked your interest in Stratifyd?
A: The job description was exactly what I love to do. I love to document software and help users to understand all of the features. I also love to help developers to put the features they work so hard to provide into customer hands. (Without documentation, some features risk going unnoticed.) Also, artificial intelligence and machine learning were new to me, and I love learning new things, especially cutting-edge technology with the mega cool factor. Stratifyd is the most interesting software I’ve ever documented.
Q: What is your favorite brand to follow on social media and why?
A: I don’t follow any brands, but I do appreciate clever and funny ads. I might even share one if it makes me laugh.
Q: What is on your travel bucket list?
A: Thailand, Fiji, the Australian outback, and Finland. I want to visit Thailand for the food and culture; Fiji for, well, you’ve seen the pictures (if not, check it out); the Australian outback for the bizarre flora and fauna; and Finland for the happiness, the Northern Lights, and the hot springs.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: It’s not about how many times you fall. It’s about how many times you get back up.
Q: What's one thing you can't live without?
A: Air conditioning!
Q: What's the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
A: After more than a decade as an office adminstrator for a Honda supplier, I decided to go back to school to learn a programming language and change careers. I thought I wanted to be a developer, but it turns out that tech was my way to finally get paid to be a writer! Woot!
Q: What’s your spirit animal and why (this can also be a person/role model)?
A: My spirit animal is the otter, because of their playfulness. If you can’t have fun, what’s the point?
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: Teleportation. I love to travel, and although the journey can be cool, airports are not.
Q: One cause that you’re passionate about?
A: Feeding the hungry. There is no reason that anyone should go hungry in the modern world.
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