Meet Community Support Engineering Lead – Paul Dowsett

Copy space. New arrows painted on asphalt. Direction future.

Editors Note: This is a post that’s part of a series on Developer Relations at Appcelerator and the people behind the team.

Tell us who you are?
My name is Paul Dowsett, from Southern England, former Management Accountant, IT Support Engineer, Network Analyst, Application Service Provider Consultant and Mobile Game Entrepreneur.

What is your title at Appcelerator and what does it mean exactly?
My role as Community Support Engineering Lead is to enable our newest users to get up and running with Titanium and its related third-party packages in the quickest time, and to help our more seasoned community members build on their remarkable achievements to date; producing increasingly-impressive cross-platform mobile applications that typically form the foundation for thriving and successful businesses. From a team perspective, I aim to resolve any issues that cause frustration or hindrance to my colleagues.

Tell us about your Appcelerator history, when you joined etc?
After hitting the Top Expert position in the Q&A in November 2010, I was fortunate-enough to be approached by Appcelerator with a proposal to join the company. After a skype call on a Friday, my first project was completed over the weekend, and I was at my desk and ready for work first thing Monday morning!

What does it mean to work for Appcelerator?
The experience when I joined set the precedent for what was to come. Working remotely, I love the company’s progressive, flexible approach to employment, its dynanism and the infectious positive energy from every single one of my co-workers. The inherent mission statement is to make our users successful, and I believe this is one of the attributing factors to the company’s increasing popularity and rapid expansion.

What are you working on for Appcelerator?
The Q&A, Twitter @appcelerator feed, Jira Titanium Community project ticket triage/clearing, Titanium Documentation Guides and other work, relating to the Appcelerator wiki and user-enablement.

What do you love about your work at Appcelerator?
I view my role as an interface between our developer community and our core teams. Thus, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of balancing those two sides; isolating bugs that emerge from the varied objectives described by our users in the Q&A, escalating them through our Jira bug ticketing system via the Titanium Community project and attempting to push for higher priorities for tickets that affect the most people.

One of my aims is to reduce the burden on our development teams so they may concentrate on what they and the rest of us would prefer; writing code. I strongly believe this is fundamental to making Titanium more stable and featureful as quickly as is possible. One approach that helps greatly is by reducing the considerable workload involved in them managing tickets, by guiding community members to create quality tickets first time, in line with the Jira Ticket Checklist.

What can we find in your laptop bag?
An Apple Mac Pro and my glasses (I’m blind as a bat at short distances, but fortunately my echolocation is exceptional!).

What was the last books you read?
Night by Elie Wiesel, The Diary of a Young Girl: Definitive Edition by Anne Frank, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

What is your favorite mobile device?
The latest HTC, currently the Sensation.

Any advice to new users of Titanium?
It’s human nature to be frustrated at times, but being diplomatic, humble and polite will typically more-quickly bring the results you desire.

From a technical point of view, always ensure that the code validates before attempting to launch your app. If it does not work as you’d expect, try to appreciate the value of stripping it down to its most basic elements, and then adding complexity back incrementally to determine the source of the problem.

Your contact information?