In this interview series we will introduce IT Professionals selected for this year’s Dell TechCenter (DTC) Rockstar Program. This program recognizes independent experts, Dell customers and employees for their significant positive impact on Dell TechCenter, blogs and social media when discussing Dell. You can find a list of all our Rockstars here. Our seventh interviewee is Sarah Vela.


Dell TechCenter: Can you please explain to folks who are not experts in your area: What is your domain of expertise?

Sarah Vela: What is my domain of expertise? Good grief, I have no idea. I started out as a writer creating content for websites and just sort of fell into technical writing, as it tended to be more lucrative. I’ve always been interested in technology, although I have no formal training, and knew next to nothing about enterprise technology before joining Dell 3 years ago. I’m a fast learner, but not a deeply technical person. In addition to my technical writing side gig, I did social media consulting on my own for many years in Austin, working mostly with local brands (and musicians – that was the most fun!). I also briefly ran a “social media for social good” bootstrap startup start-up. I’ve also been a medical transcriptionist (and ran my own business for a while). I like words. Maybe my domain of expertise is “words.”

Q: What are the most exciting trends in your area?

A: Well I’m most excited now about finding ways to “do” social media in the enterprise technology sphere, and looking for opportunities to educate my peers at Dell about how this community and topic area are NOT THE SAME as consumer. Everything needs to be approached differently in social media in order to maintain credibility and interest in the brand.

Q: Can you point us to [resources you find particularly valuable for your work?

A: I lean really heavily on my peers doing community and social media work in enterprise tech companies, both here at Dell and elsewhere. Those of us on this side of the business are for the most part a friendly, close-knit community who put our competitive business interests aside to share ideas, celebrate accomplishments, and commiserate on the tough stuff. I’m grateful for them.

Q: How do you engage with the IT community?

A: Twitter, twitter, twitter. I also am cohost on the Speaking in Tech podcast which has led to a ton of connections in the IT community. It’s a lot of fun for me and has been really great for building out a network.

Q: What are the most cutting edge Dell products – and why?

A: Well I’m a super huge fan of PowerEdge VRTX. I think that’s an example of a product that came to market explicitly in response to a set of customer problems. I know that the engineers who worked on that project devoted many evenings and weekend hours on it, because they were excited about it and they believed in it. I think anything that gets built out of that kind of passion is pretty cool.

Q: Sarah, thank you so much!