Technical Writer – Content Writer
Making the complex clear
Enthusiastically collaborative technical writer, specializing in untangling the gnarliest topics and making them easy to understand. Experienced with a variety of content authoring and delivery systems. Creates templates, macros, and processes that streamline the work throughout the writing and publishing process. Fast learner and fast worker with a strong work ethic. Brings a user-centric viewpoint to content and product development.
I can provide technical writing services through my own company, through a vendor or contracting agency, or as a full-time hire. My home office includes a secured high-speed internet connection, multiple monitors, the latest Microsoft software, and a door that I can close against distractions.
- Expert at planning and writing complex documentation sets.
- Expert in Microsoft Word; creates templates and macros to expedite workflow.
- Expert to proficient in all Microsoft Office programs.
- Proficient with DreamWeaver; experienced reviewing and debugging raw HTML.
- Proficient with SnagIt and Screenpresso screen capture systems.
- Experienced with SharePoint.
- Experienced with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Microsoft Surface Support (through Denny Mountain Media) 2013 –2015
As part of a small team of writers and editors:
- Created and updated support content for the Surface product line. Our work earned recognition as one of the “Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2014” by The Association of Support Professionals.
- Wrote Surface Hub user guides and installation guides.
- Wrote initial content for the Microsoft Band. Challenges included a constantly changing UI and feature set, virtually no specs, and a tight schedule. Our support documentation delighted reviewers, as in this comment from Pureinfotech:
“Microsoft did a fantastic job compiling all the basics of what you need to know using the new wearable. Then if you visit the Microsoft Band website you can go to the support section to get more information on discovering the device and learning how to use it.”
- Created and maintained templates and macros for the writing team.
- Wrote Knowledge Base articles for phone support staff.
Casey Family Programs (through AIM Consulting) 2012
Initially hired to document the processes for upgrading over 400 staff computers nationwide. The configurations varied by staff member.
- Devised a method to ensure that each work order reflected the most up-to-date system requirements for that staff member.
- Worked closely with engineering and support staff to create detailed update procedures.
- Devised spreadsheets, templates, and work processes to improve efficiency and accuracy for all team members.
Contract was extended to improve and promote the in-house Help system. The goal was to transition staff from Help Desk to self-help for basic computer tasks.
- Added over 80 new topics in 3 months, improved discoverability, and tailored the Help to a non-technical audience.
- Leveraged Halloween festivities to promote an online scavenger hunt for the new topics. This gave us search statistics for specific content.
- Met with a group of contestants to discuss what they needed from the Help system; incorporated suggestions.
- Implemented ongoing promotion of new content by using the in-house weekly news releases.
- Documented standards and processes for in-house Help.
Meteorcomm (through Summit Group) 2011
Updated and published software and hardware documentation for a nationwide railway safety system.
- Created a set of Word templates for companywide use, and Word macros for the Document Services group.
- Worked with subject matter experts to improve the organization, accuracy, and precision of their documents.
- Prepared documents for release, cataloged them, and took them through the release process in Apache Subversion (SVN) version control system.
Windows Mobile (through Volt) 2006
As part of a small team on an aggressive schedule, updated topics for five models of Windows Mobile to reflect new functionality and devices.
- Wrote hundreds of topics that passed every test for accuracy and conformance to style, and were completed before the deadline.
- Commended for cheerfully taking on extra tasks as needed and doing them well, enabling the team to meet its goals.
Primarily Microsoft (Windows Server, System Management Server, and others), and mostly for a network administrator audience.
- Wrote help topics for end-users. Wrote resource guides and administration guides for network administrators.
- Recognized for making the most difficult topics easy to understand. Favorite quote from a subject matter expert: “Now [that I’ve read your explanation] I understand this technology better.”
- Drove final development of a tool to manage a release-note process. The tool streamlined a cumbersome and error-prone process for creating last-minute updates to a 200-page text file. With the finished tool, all parties could see what notes had been reviewed and approved, what had been changed, and other crucial details. In addition, the output was more accurate and well-organized.
University of Washington: B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering, Business, and Technical Writing