Why apply an applied linguist?

    “What is the deal? This is a many glorious path. ”
    N.A. Nekrasov


    My name is Karina, and I am a “part-time worker” - I combine studies in a magistracy and work of the technical writer in Veeam Software. About how I got it, I want to tell. At the same time, someone will find out how you can come into this profession, and what I see for myself the pros and cons of working while studying.

    I have been working at Veeam for half a year without a year with a little, and these were the most intense six months of my life. I am writing technical documentation (and learning how to write it) - now I am engaged in the Veeam ONE Reporter manual ( here it is ) and the Veeam Availability Console guides (there was an article about it on Habr) for end users and resellers. I am also one of those who find it difficult to answer the question “Where did you come from?” With a few words. The question “How do you spend your free time?” Is also not an easy one.


    The look of a working student when they complain about the lack of free time

    If necessary (and if you strain your brains), I can write some program or even a simple neural network on keras. If you really strain, then on tensorflow. Or conduct semantic analysis of the text. Maybe write a program for this. Or say that the design is no good, and justify it with heuristics according to Norman and funnels of user experience. Just kidding, I don’t remember heuristics by heart . I’ll also tell you about studies, but let's start with where I came from and why it is quite difficult to explain (especially at the university). And, as you already understood, the classic of Russian literature Nikolay Alekseevich Nekrasov will help me.

    “You will be at the university! A dream will come true! ”

    I was born in Dimitrovgrad. Few people know, but this is a town in the Ulyanovsk region, and the Ulyanovsk region (as shown by communication with people, very few people know about it either) is located in the Volga region, and it is around the Volga region, from the confluence of the Oka River and lower . We have a scientific institute of atomic reactors, but not every Dimitrovgrad student decides to devote himself to nuclear physics.


    Dimitrovgrad, Central District. Photo from the site kolov.info

    Therefore, when the question arose about higher education, it became clear that I would be sent away from home far and for a long time. And then I had to think thoroughly about who I want to become when I grow up to whom I want to study.

    I still have no answer to the question of who I want to become when I grow up, so I had to proceed from what I like to do. And I liked, one might say, the opposite things: on the one hand, literature and foreign languages, on the other, mathematics (and to some extent programming, that is, computer science).

    In search of a combination of incongruous, I came across a training program for linguists-programmers, implemented at the Higher School of Economics - Higher School of Economics (hereinafter referred to as the "HSE") in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. Since I have a severe allergy to Moscow, it was decided to apply to Nizhny, where I eventually successfully entered the bachelor's program “Fundamental and Applied Linguistics”.

    Having survived an avalanche of questions like “Higher School of Economics - will you be an economist?”, “Is there a tower everywhere, what kind of university?” And other associations on the topic of capital punishment and “who will you work with?”, I arrived in Nizhny, settled in the hostel and began to live cheerful student everyday life. The main fun was that we were supposed to make applied linguists, but what to apply to ...


    Jokes about linguists-programmers

    It was mainly programming that applied us, up to machine learning and writing neural networks in Python, but who was to blame and what to do after graduation was still not very clear.

    The salvation was an unclear phrase “technical writer”, which first appeared in the vocabulary of my mother, and then the teachers were taught like that 4. Although it was a beast and what it was eaten with, it was little understood. It seems like humanitarian work, and you need to understand the technique, and perhaps even be able to write code (well, or at least read it). But it is not exactly.


    The 3 most incredible hybrids on our planet: tigers, spoon-digger, technical writer.

    It was at the 4th year that I first came across this profession, that is, a vacancy for it, at Intel, where I was even called for an interview. Perhaps I would have stayed there if not for two circumstances:

    • The end of the bachelor's program was coming up, and the diploma was still not written, and in Nizhny I did not find the master's program I liked.
    • Suddenly, the 2018 World Cup raced, and all the students were politely asked from the hostel somewhere in the middle of May, because the hostel was given to the volunteers. Because of the same mundial, all studies ended early, but it was still insulting.

    These circumstances arose in the fact that I left Nizhny permanently, and therefore, Intel had to refuse an invitation to an interview. It was also somewhat offensive, but where to go. It was necessary to decide what to do next.

    “I see a book in my bag - well, you go to study ...”

    There was no question of entering a magistracy, or rather, there was, but the answer to it was accepted only positive. It remained to decide on the magistracy, and what I want to become when I grow up what I want to do, I still did not really understand. I took care of this business in the winter and at first I wanted to go to St. Petersburg State University for a near-linguistic specialty, but a couple of trips there quickly repelled this desire, and I had to quickly look for a new option.

    As we say, "after the HSE, you can only enter the HSE." Too different training systems, rules and traditions. Therefore, I turned my eyes to my native university, or rather, to its St. Petersburg branch (allergy to Moscow again sent greetings). The choice of master's programs was not very large, so I decided to start writing a motivation letter for one and urgently pump mathematics for another. It took about two weeks to write, all summer to mathematics ...

    Of course, I entered exactly where the motivation letter was needed. And here I am - at the program "Information Systems and Human-Computer Interaction" in the St. Petersburg HSE. Spoiler: only now I have more or less learned to answer the question "Who are you studying for?"

    And at first it was difficult to explain to classmates where I came from: few people can imagine that you can be born in one place, learn in another and come back to study in the third (and I fly to the fourth by plane home, yeah) .

    But further here we will focus not on this, but on work.

    Since I am now in St. Petersburg, the issue of job search has become a bit more acute than in Nizhny. For some reason, there were almost no studies in September, and all my strength was devoted to finding a job. Which, like everything in my life, was found almost by accident.

    “The case is also not new - do not be timid, you will not be lost!”

    The vacancies page of the HSE posted the vacancies of developers at Veeam, and I decided to see what kind of company it was and if there was anything else there. “Something” turned out to be the vacancy of a junior technical writer, to which, after some thought, I sent my small resume. A few days later, Nastya called me - a charming and very positive recruiter, and conducted a telephone interview phase. It was exciting, but interesting and very friendly.

    Several times we discussed whether I could combine everything. My studies are evening, from 18:20, and the office is relatively close to the educational building, and I was sure that I could combine (and, in fact, there was no other choice).

    Part of the interview took place in Russian, part in English, they asked me what I studied at the university, how I learned about the profession of a technical writer and what I think about her that I know about the company (at that time it was “nothing”, which I honestly admitted). Nastya told me about the company, all kinds of social goodies and that I needed to do a test task. This was the second big step.

    The test task consisted of two parts: translate the text and write the instruction. I did it for about a week without much rushing.

    -From a new one: I learned how to connect a computer to a domain (then it even came in handy).

    -From interesting: zadolbala all friends who have already got a job, so that they checked my translation and read the instructions. All the same, I was shaking terribly, sending the task, but everything went fine: Soon Nastya called and said that the guys from the technical documentation department liked my test task and they were waiting for me for a personal meeting. The meeting was scheduled somewhere in a week and I breathed out for a while, immersed in educational tasks.

    A week later, I arrived at the office on Kondratyevsky Avenue. I was in this part of Peter for the first time and, frankly, it was scary. And shy. It became even more shy when I did not recognize Nastya by her voice - in life he was thinner. Fortunately, her friendliness defeated my shyness, and by the time my interviewees came to a small, cozy meeting room, I more or less calmed down. Anton, the head of the department, talked with me, and Alena, as it turned out later, was my future mentor (somehow I hadn’t thought of this at the interview).

    It turned out that everyone really liked my test task - it was a relief. All questions were about him and in my very short summary. Once again, they discussed the possibility of combining work and study thanks to a floating schedule.

    As it turned out, the last stage was waiting for me - a test task in the office itself.

    Thinking and deciding that it is better to solve everything at once, I agreed to go through it immediately. If you think about it, this was my first visit to the office. Then a quiet, dark and a bit mysterious office.


    Some walls in the corridors and halls of the office building are decorated with reproductions

    . While I was doing my assignment, which took far less than the allotted 2 hours, no one talked - everyone went about their business, looking at the monitors, and no one turned on the big light.

    Colleagues from other teams are wondering why in the room of technical writers do not turn on a big light? Answer
    1) people are not visible (introverts are the same!)
    2) energy saving (ecology is the same!)

    It was somewhat strange, but it allowed to study what was happening. So, I noticed that one of the guys recently had a birthday, and that the place for testing is in the most interesting position - between Anton and Alena. It seemed that my arrival, short stay and care had little effect on the life of the small office, as if no one had noticed them, and the general atmosphere did not change at all. All I had to do was go home and wait for a decision.

    Which, as you might guess, was very positive, and at the end of September I again arrived at the office, already for official employment. After registration and a lecture-tour on safety measures, I was again brought to the office of technical writers already as a “rookie”.

    “There’s a wide field: know work and don’t be afraid ...”

    I still remember my first day: how surprised the silence of the department was (nobody talked to me except Anton and Alyona, and Anton mostly talked by mail), how I got used to the common kitchen, although Alyona wanted to show me the dining room (from those I rarely carried food with me, but on that first day ...), as I tried to formulate a request to leave early. But in the end, the request was formulated and approved, and October slowly came, and the real study began with it.

    The first time was easy enough. Then there was hell. Then it somehow stabilized, but the boiler beneath us sometimes flares up again.

    If you think about it, it is quite realistic to combine work and study. Sometimes it’s even easy. Not when the session and release are dangerously close to each other, the deadlines overlap one another or you have to hand over a lot of everything at once. But the rest of the days - very much so.


    A brief summary of my program and interesting things that they learn on it.

    Let's look at my regular week.

    I work from Monday to Friday, I study 2-5 days on weekdays in the evenings and on Saturday mornings (which makes me very sad, but nothing can be done). If I study, I get up at eight in the morning to come to work at nine, and a little before six I leave work to go to the educational building. There are couples from half-past seven to nine in the evening, and at eleven o'clock I return home. Of course, if you don’t study, then it’s easier to live, and you can get up later, and even at nine I was already quite at home (the first time there were tears from this fact), but let's look at another important point.

    I study for a master's program, and some of my classmates also work. Teachers understand this, but no one has canceled their homework, as well as term paper and compulsory project activities. So if you want to live - be able to spin, allocate your time and prioritize.

    Homework is usually done in the evenings of non-school days and one and a half remaining days off. Most of it is a group work, so you can quickly do your part and switch to other things. However, as you know, any plan is imperfect if there are people in it, therefore it is better to always monitor group projects so that they don’t mess up everything in the end. Plus, until recently, teachers were very fond of sending the assignment the day before the couple, so they had to do it urgently the same evening, and it does not matter that you come home at the eleventh. But the pros and cons are slightly lower.

    The peculiarities of the evening master's study (and its working students) are also related to the fact that they are late to absenteeism and absenteeism until they forget how you look. And some time after that. They also look at the late delivery of the final tasks through their fingers until the session is locked (but no one has checked the course yet). Due to the features of our beloved HSE, we have 4 sessions: autumn and spring for 1 week, winter and summer for 2 weeks. But since nobody wants to do anything in the session, the heat sets in a week before - you need to pass all the tasks and get grades in order not to go to exams. But in May (on which no one does anything, because the holidays), the writing of term papers fell out, and therefore everyone was pressed a little. The summer is near, and soon the deadlines of all projects will come up immediately, so everyone will squeeze even more. But that later.


    In general, the combination of work and study has its pros and cons. For me, it looks something like this:


    + Independence. In the sense of financial. In the end, having the opportunity to not ask parents for money every month is happiness for any student. And at the end of the month, you are responsible only for yourself for a lighter wallet.

    + Experience. Both in terms of “work experience” (which everyone needs and always), and in terms of “life experience”. This is facilitated by the hostel, about which there is always a bunch of drop dead stories, and such an existence itself - after it almost nothing is scary.


    The very moment when I read “it takes 10+ years of experience working on Go” in the hiring ad

    + Ability to prioritize. When you can skip a couple, when you can make it home, who you can shift it to, how to complete all the tasks in order to be in time. Such a lifestyle is good at etching the “inner perfectionist” and teaches us to distinguish what is really important and urgent.

    + Savings. Save time - study and gain experience at work. Saving money - living in a hostel is cheaper. Saving energy - well, that’s not here, of course.

    + You can take practice at work. Conveniently.

    + New people, new acquaintances. Everything is as always, only twice as much.


    And now for the cons:

    - Mode. I am a night owl, and early ups are a real punishment, like ups at the weekend.

    - Free time, or rather, its total absence. Rare week evenings go to homework, and one and a half remaining days off go to household chores and homework. Therefore, when they ask me what I managed to see in St. Petersburg, I laugh nervously and answer "the educational building, work office and the road between them."


    In fact, the sights can be seen even from the windows of the office

    - Stress. Caused by the previous two factors and generally the change of lifestyle to a more intense one. This is more of an initial situation (a person - he’s such a cattle, gets used to everything), well, at the moments of releases / sessions, when you want to lie down somewhere and die. But this time passes, my nerves are slowly recovering, and at work amazingly understanding people surround me. Sometimes it seems to me that I do not deserve it.

    - Loss of a sense of time. Something from the category of conversations of my grandmother that "you just yesterday just went to first grade." Six-day weeks closed in “work-study-sleep-food-affairs” fly by surprisingly quickly, sometimes quickly quickly to panic (deadlines are always close), the weekends are surprisingly short, and there is a lot to do. The end of May came somehow suddenly, and I caught myself thinking that I did not remember the rest of the month. Somehow they scrolled. I hope this will pass with the end of my studies.


    But I found such traces of Veeam's stay in one of the HSE computer classes. Probably, I was given to Bachelors for Career Day)) I also want this, but on the Career Day all the masters work

    There are several problems associated with the non-rolling program (the first set, after all), but in general the advantages outweigh or I'm just an optimist. And in general, it’s not so difficult, and it will last only 2 years (1 small left already). Moreover, such an experience tempers character well and teaches many new things - both professionally and personally. And it allows you to learn a lot about yourself (including “how much you can write a term paper”).

    Perhaps when my studies finally end, I will even miss her (in fact, no).

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