Summer Reading: What Airshippers Are Reading For Business and Pleasure

Summer is a great time to catch up on all that reading you wish you could be doing the rest of the year. Over the next few months, we’ll be highlighting team members from across Urban Airship, showcasing how they stay up-to-date on our rapidly changing industry and keep up role-specific professional development, as well as what they read for fun. Not everyone is going to admit their deep love of [insert embarrassing guilty pleasure here] unfortunately, but take a look — you may discover a new favorite “everyday” read!

This week we’re featuring technical support engineer Jonell Alvi’s summer reading list.

  1. Support Driven

The Support Driven site is a community for people who are committed to helping customers fix the problems they experience. I’ve found it takes a certain kind of person to do this work, and many of them are a part of this community. The Day in a Life feature on the blog, which profiles Support Professionals, provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of other Support Driven professional as they go through their days. The Support Driven Reads feature on this site highlights what other Support Professionals like to read (and watch), and gives me plenty of ideas on how to keep up with this industry.

Support Driven and the Support Driven Slack are a place to find solidarity with other folks dealing with the joys and stresses of supporting customers, and helps me feel a part of a larger community. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the great adventure that is support life.

2. Help Scout Blog

Help Scout is a ticketing system for managing support tickets, similar to Zendesk which is the ticketing tool we use. The Help Scout blog is amazing–somehow they seem to know what information I need to read about and serve it up right on time: from picking the right phrases when emailing at-risk customers, to salary surveys for support professionals, to interviewing candidates for support staff, to building great support teams, Help Scout’s blog helps me by providing timely information relevant to what’s going on in my job.

3. Ted Talks

Rather than watch TV, I watch and listen to Ted talks. I like that I can choose to listen to people talk about all sorts of things, depending on what mood I’m in.

My favorite talks include:

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

As an introvert, this talk is a good reminder that it’s okay not to be perfect; that connection is part of what brings joy and being vulnerable helps us find that connection.

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

As a former homeschooling parent, this issue is one close to my heart. The illustrations that unfold as he is speaking are helpful as a listening aid, (since I have ADHD), and the history of our education system points out a lot of interesting questions.

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes who You Are  

I’ve listened to this one many times; it’s a reminder that how we move (as in literally physically move our bodies) in the world can change how we experience it, and as a result bring good things into our lives.

Listening to Ted talks enables my knitting habit. Knitting helps me unwind and Ted gives me an excuse to work on my projects whilst listening to amazing people share their knowledge and experiences.

Continue to follow Summer Reading every Friday throughout the summer to learn more about how Airshippers both stay on the cutting edge and let loose.