I’m a software engineer in the Clients and Mobility Business Unit in Galway, Ireland. Currently, I’m a member of the Jabber for Windows sustaining team, and I also provide technical assistance on forums and to Cisco TAC. Previously, I provided support for Cisco Unified Personal Communicator (CUPC) and Cisco UC Integration for MOC and Lync.
Q: What brought you to the Cisco Support Community?
When we released Jabber, my managers encouraged the development team to visit the Jabber forum in the community to find out what customers were saying and what problems they were experiencing. After that, I continued to participate because sharing my in-depth knowledge of Jabber for Windows benefits customers. My participation also helps our product development efforts because I learn about the issues that customers are experiencing and the improvements they’d like to see.
Q: What’s an example of something you learned in the community that was useful for product development?
Jabber allows you to transfer files as part of instant messaging sessions. In the forums I saw people requesting an option to limit the size of file transfers during instant messaging, to not choke the network. That feature request is now in our backlog. I’ve also seen a few community posts with requests to pull in Active Directory contacts as well as users in the Jabber for Windows search results. That’s another good feature request that we’ve added to the backlog.
Q: At what point in your day do you participate in Cisco Support Community?
I check the forums throughout the day, whenever I have time. I also subscribe to the Jabber Client Support forum so that I receive notifications when something new is posted. A couple of participants are especially knowledgeable, and I make it a point to read their posts because I often learn something new.
Q: What are the different ways you participate?
I participated in an Ask the Expert session on Jabber Clients that attracted a lot of questions and comments from customers. I also write and post documents on Jabber configuration issues that are not in the official documentation. An example was a Microsoft bug that caused calls to drop. Community members who search for that topic find my document, and quite a few people have indicated it solved their problems. We’ve since added the content to the official documentation for Jabber for Windows.
Q: What would you say to other Cisco employees who are thinking about becoming more active in the community?
There are two main rewards to participating. One is that reading customer posts can help you become a better developer by showing you the different ways customers use a particular feature, helping you discover interesting test cases for a feature; and giving you ideas for new features.
Another benefit of participating is that answering customer questions can reduce TAC caseload. If a new Jabber user asks a simple configuration question, I can often answer it with a single post. Without an answer, the customer would probably open a TAC case that might take a day or two to resolve.
On a personal level, I learn at least as much as I contribute to Cisco Support Community.
Q: Any suggestions to make the community even more valuable?
One idea is to close a thread if the original poster marks it as answered.
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