As a senior writer within the Content Production team in the Gartner Research organization, Ned Frey collaborates with analysts to help them create clear, concise, high-quality research. This includes helping them to plan, organize and write reports, and to revise them through peer reviews and approvals. He is currently focused on producing research for the Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) team.
From Ned’s manager, Charles Rafferty, Manager, Content Production: Ned embodies the “total ownership mindset.” This was apparent from when I first met Ned when we worked together on the Style Guide Task Force. His thorough but common-sense approach to problems of style and usage has been a beacon for editors and writers across Gartner. Ned is now part of the GTP Content Production team, and I regularly see him deliver high-quality research under tight deadlines. His attention to detail and persistence are assets for everyone he works with. We’re lucky to have him on the team!
What brought you to Gartner? I answered a “help wanted” ad in the New York Times. Gartner was hiring editors — and I had professional experience working as both an editor and reporter for a few news publications and trade magazines. When I first arrived at the headquarters to interview for the job and take a copy-editing test, I liked the environment immediately. Lots of friendly, smart people in a work environment that was casual, but also dynamic and energetic. When I was offered the job, I accepted right away.
Back then, Gartner’s annual revenue was under $100 million — compared to over $2 billion today. So the company has grown more than 20 times in size since I was hired!
What roles have you had at Gartner? I started my career at Gartner as an editor, and then worked in a couple of editing management roles before moving into Gartner’s writing team. As a writer, I supported several research teams over the years — including teams focused on data center servers, enterprise architecture and business process improvement — before moving over to the GTP group.
Tell us about an interesting experience you’ve had at Gartner: One of my more interesting experiences here was heading up a task force that created Gartner’s first publishing style guide — the guide we still use today (although it’s been through many revisions over the years). Before we created that unified guide, back in the early ’90s, we had to keep track of our many editing style points and guidelines in the form of what was basically a pile of memos and archived emails. It was fun taking that pile and building it into an organized style guide from the ground up!
When I first came to Gartner, we used to edit research notes by marking our edits on paper print-outs, and then handing those marked-up pages to analysts to approve the changes before entering them electronically. We didn’t have internet access back then, so we had to check company and product names by consulting vendor marketing brochures and printed press releases. So it’s fair to say things have changed a lot over the years!
What’s kept you at Gartner for so many years? I like the way this company encourages people to use their talents independently, and often gives them the flexibility to solve problems creatively rather than dictating rules for every little thing. It’s a casual work environment in many ways, but also an extremely energetic and productive one. In short, Gartner is a great place to work!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career at Gartner? Look around at what’s happening across the company, and try to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Gartner’s culture encourages people to step up and try new things. And this company is still growing and changing, which means that opportunities to try new things are cropping up all the time.
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