In this series we’re spotlighting our team of Comalatechies, the developers, leaders and creatives who build our products and help our customers use our apps. We sat down to chat with Rob Marshall to learn all about what life is like as our customer trainer and technical documentation writer. Spoiler alert: Expect the unexpected while reading Rob’s interview.

You had an entirely different career for a long a time, tell us about your experience before Comalatech?

For 30 years, I was a teacher in primary, secondary, adult and then higher education. This background led me to work with Think&Do, a consulting company, where I developed and delivered training programs for clients, including Comalatech. 

Why did you think Comalatech would be the right fit for you?

I quite liked the idea of being integrated with the Bilbao office. The open, inclusive, and social culture of the office in Spain was very appealing to me. Comalatech encourages socializing and team work but stays focused on growing and moving forward. I enjoy being a part of the app development process and benefit from a great support network of people – even working remotely. 

Now that you’ve been here for a couple of years, what do you notice that is different about Comalatech from previous jobs? 

There is a strong commitment from all the staff, but still a sense of flexibility over your work day and an understanding that sometimes you need space to attend to personal matters. There is an ethos of personal ownership, rather than top down mandates, which is different than previous places I’ve worked, and is inspiring. 

Many people would think a job related to documentation and training would be quite straightforward, I think it’s fair to say you would disagree.  How do you describe your role as a Technical Writer at Comalatech?

I would describe my role as a bit like walking into a deep fog, finding all kinds of interesting things in that fog, then walking back and developing a map people can use to navigate the fog themselves. Through my work, I represent the customer and the developer trying to understand how the product is used in the field, including its foibles. I use insights from developers, customers, support and product to write documentation and develop structured training that can help bridge the gap between technical features and the customer’s needs. 

Tell us a bit about what a day in the life of Rob at work looks like?

To be quite honest, I can’t describe a typical day! It can be quite varied, and really depends on the needs of the team. I focus on anything from writing release notes (for non developers) to taking screenshots to editing. Any of these things can easily eat up my day and often take more time than one would expect. 

What is a recent work achievement that you’re proud of?

I’d say that I am most proud of completing a customized training program for Apple. It took much longer than expected, but the format and content can now be reused to help other customers down the road. 

How about outside of work, what are you passionate about? What are your interests?

I’m very passionate about cycling, it’s my escape. With the South of England being too busy to bike on the streets, I get my cycling fix through regular spin classes. I also enjoy relaxing with graphic novels, comics and mange. 

Let’s get a little more personal, what is a a fact about you that will surprise the team?

I think people would be surprised to learn that I used to help teach salsa dance. I’d go from club to club and dance from 6pm to 2am. It is a great workout, and I loved it! Shame I’ve lost that youth and energy whilst gaining a lot of grey hair! Might be the two wonderful kids have taken their loving toll?