System Analyst Mart Mere: Always Know Your Target Audience
Mart is the latest and youngest addition to our growing system analysis team. I took the time to spend a few hours with Mart to find out why he chose this field.
Previously he worked in the public sector (Chancellery of the Riigikogu) where he handled everyday IT questions, while also doing various analysis projects.
Tell us, how did you end up in IT?
I have always worked with computers. In 1994 I connected to the World Wide Web and have been hooked ever since. I also got to know a wide array of operating systems. Windows, Linux, Unix, you name it.
At the moment I am studying IT development. What you might find interesting is that I have not signed up to any social networks and I am always trying to keep my digital footprint as invisible as possible.
Oh, why are you avoiding social networks?
Probably because I have seen how the data can be tracked and how easy it all is. Online security is a very important topic to me and it is also the reason why I am quite familiar with Tor and the world of crypto-currencies.
In the real world I have not had a need for them, but I do see a huge future in cryptography. Perhaps this is why I am working on a crypto-currency startup. But I would not want to talk about right now. It’s still in stealth mode.
How did you end up becoming a system analyst?
You might want to accuse Andrus, Trinidad’s senior analyst, with whom I have worked on some analysis projects. I have been doing various projects for 5 years already, but this is the first time I am doing it full-time.
What makes it so exciting?
Complex task solving. Some time ago I solved equations just for fun. System analysts are perfectionists by nature. Every graph must be drawn as correctly as humanly possible and every line must be straight.
With development it is important that system analysis is done correctly because if mistakes creep in at this stage then it is going to have dramatic effects on the end result.
In one of our recent projects we saw that the interfaces were highly detailed, but the previous documentation had giant holes in it. This meant the documentation was useless for the end users.
You always need to remember who the target audience is. If it is not read by technical people then you need to write in a style that everyone understands. Every document has a specific target group and style. Some like it more technical, some need it as simple as possible.
What would you say to students who are choosing between development and analysis?
This is a very complicated question. There are a lot more details in development, while analysis is more about the big picture. Personally I think that development suits people who have a lot of persistence. But they are both similar, the only difference lies in the level of details.
Deep down I feel that analysis is more fun because I get to talk a lot more to people and I have wider tasks. I like to talk a lot and I can quickly find common grounds with people.
How do you rate the experience and help of our senior analysts?
Trinidad’s analysts are great role models. Our analysts are all strong professionals and Alan and Andrus are the giants in the local analysis scene. It is great to work alongside such people.
Both me and Heldi come from a public sector background, while Alan and Andrus have done a loooot of projects in both the public and the private sector. One more impressive than the other.
How would you rate our office life?
At Trinidad it is both noisy and very fun, but that has not distracted me from working. It is a very eventful place to work at. If for some reason you need to get away for a while then you can always fire up the Xbox and play a couple of rounds.
You won’t see young guys writing code from the early hours to late in the night. It is much more common to see them gather around the console and share a few beers and kick some ass in Mortal Kombat. :)