Shortly after creating this blog several co-workers asked me the question(s):

Boffin? What’s a boffin?

bof·fin [ˈbɒfɪn]
noun.

  1. (brit. informal) a scientist, esp one carrying out military research
  2. a person who has extensive skill or knowledge in a particular field a Treasury boffin
  3. (informal) someone who is considered to be very clever, often to the exclusion of all non-academic interests

So there – now you know. ^_^

For further reading the ever-prescient Wikipedia has an article on the subject.

But… Why?

As for why I called this blog ‘Flow Boffin’… Well – we need some background context for that.

Flow Software maintains a FlowBlog for our customer-facing, company-related news.

We also maintain a Knowledge Base on our account management website.

The problem is that our KB articles are stored in MS CRM. MS CRM does not allow image embedding inside its KB Articles without purchasing and implementing commercial plugins. So if we want to include screenshots of a configuration process into a KB Article we can’t rely on MS CRM to get the job done for us.

The obvious solution is to publish KB Articles that need images to the FlowBlog. However, the FlowBlog is intended to be customer-facing toward a corporate audience. Bogging down the FlowBlog with technical articles could very probably spoil the tone.

I created this blog as a temporary compromise to get around the issue. When it came to the name I wanted something that indicated this was a technical resource for technical people. Anything like ‘Flow Technical Blog’ has a sterile feel to it, so that’s out. An additional problem is that there aren’t very many endearing terms in the market for technical people. The closest thing to an endearing term for ‘Technical Person’ that I could come up with at the time was ‘boffin’ – and so Flow Boffin (referring to myself) was born.

So long as this blog exists, KB Articles from our MS CRM system will be reposted here as needed so that images can be added. The intention is that the articles in this blog will all eventually migrate to a new location – either a technical issues section on FlowBlogs or some other KB solution that allows for fully-fledged web-publishing. At the time of writing I have my sights set on MadCap.

Since you’re reading this its safe to assume that I haven’t completed that process yet. So in the meantime I hope you find the articles here useful to your purposes.

– Daniel Schealler (Flow Boffin)

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