The brains behind the books: Jana Jaeger
The content of this article has been contributed by Jana Jaeger, Project Manager at the SUSE Documentation Team.
Most of the SUSE doc folks ended up on the team by happy accident. That is exactly what happened to me. Not to bore you with my bio too much, here are some (random) facts about what makes me tick.
For as long as I remember, I have been utterly fascinated by science. My earliest dream job was becoming an astronaut flying around in space doing all sorts of cool experiments. That dream was shattered pretty quickly when I witnessed the Challenger disaster on live TV.
Much to the horror of my parents, my next career plan focused on becoming an archeologist after my secondary school history teacher got me hooked on anything (pre-)historic. The probability of ending in a giant fireball somewhere between Earth and outer space is next to zero for archeologists, but so is the probability of making a living as an archeologist.
Once I started having biology and chemistry lessons in school, I discovered a new passion. I had excellent teachers who encouraged us to go for the behind-the-scenes aspects of things, to really dig deeper, to come up with our own theories and then successfully prove or disprove them. That got me hooked then and still does that to this day. Maybe no more in the field of biochemistry, though.
So, when I got my A-levels, it was really a question of choosing between archeology and biochemistry, and after a serious chat with a career counsellor, I moved to Kaiserslautern and studied Botany, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. These years will forever be the best of my life, including a three-month internship at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar Research.
I loved the field work, building my own experiments—hell, even the endless hours spent on a remote terminal connected to a VAXstation aligning DNA sequences.
When writing my diploma thesis, I encountered my first S.u.S.E distro ever (probably 6.1 or 6.2). Fiddling with LaTeX, gnuplot and xfig still took less time than what my mates spent on wrangling their MS Office or FrameMaker into submission.
After that, I was pondering whether and where to begin a possible PhD when SUSE started looking for an editor for their fledging SUSE Linux Knowlegde Portal…
Early SUSE days
In October 2000, I joined the SUSE ranks as a portal editor for the SUSE Linux Knowledge Portal with no editorial experience at all. The following months are among the most stressful ones of my entire life. While my then boss, Frank Rennemann, worked furiously to get the software up and running, I had fun writing 3+ articles per week, translating some of them, and doing my own editing. For a few glorious months, we had great fun and enjoyed the overall enthusiastic reception of our work from the public and, after some initial skepticism, even from our SUSE colleagues. I loved researching topics, putting myself into our readers’ shoes, and tailoring our content to their needs. When the portal was discontinued in 2001, I had surely gained tons of writing and editing experience. Thanks to all folks at SUSE who put their faith in me then and really encouraged me to go for new challenges.
After a brief stint at Tanner AG where I met my friend and then and now colleague, Tanja Roth, I rejoined SUSE to spend the next 8 years writing for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM zSeries, and for what later became SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. The next years were fantastic—writing and fighting alongside as part of the best team of writers in the world ;).
When I left SUSE after my first maternity leave in 2009, I joined B1 Systems GmbH where I started out writing and editing training materials but ended up doing all sorts of things including (tech) writing and editing, marketing and graphics design, and project and event management. Not one day in all the twelve years at B1 Systems was boring, and I feel very proud to have been a part of their extraordinary team.
In Summer 21, I was offered to return to SUSE for the second time to serve as a Technical Project Manager for Documentation along with Tanja—and this is what I’ve been doing since November 1, 2021. It’s great to be back, it’s wonderful to catch up with all the things that have changed and developed into something far more complex than back in the old days.
Most of my time off is devoted to sports activity (tell that to my fifth-grade PE teacher and he’d die of laughter and wouldn’t believe a single word). When my kids started taking Taekwondo classes, I was surprised to notice that I became increasingly envious of them. So, I took up Taekwondo as well. The early days were pretty hard because my motor skills and coordination resembled those of a panda bear on speed (sorry, pandas), but almost five years later I am still having fun and just got my first black belt.
As a bonus, I get to spend quality time with my daughter who trains with me (and, of course, is wayyyyyy better at it than me). To top things off, we have recently taken up Kummooyeh (Korean sword fighting and archery).
The rest of my off-duty me is pretty boring. I love to spend time with my family, travel with them, go for loooooong hikes, and will happily spend an entire day reading or binge-watching things like Umbrella Academy…