Highlights of Qualifications
Ability to design, write and produce complex, high-quality software documentation from conception to publication, based on 15 years experience in the software industry.
- Documentation analysis and design, delivering multi-channel, highly maintainable information assets
- Able to out-pace tight deadlines in an Agile development environment
- Expert in XML standards (DITA, DocBook, ePUB) and dynamic publishing technologies
- Evangelist of best practices including: topic based authoring, minimalism and reuse
- Inventive, motivated, perfectionist--driven to create first-rate Help systems that empower users
Contract positions (2004 - current)
- CONFIDENTIAL (since July 2011) Senior Arbortext Consultant. Needham, MA/ Peoria, IL. Currently providing analysis and documentation for a "Next Generation" information delivery system for Caterpillar products; producing high level design specifications based on engineering requirements and documenting UI for the proposed new media tool. This is a fast-paced, agile environment involving daily collaboration with SMEs & developers.
- Confidential (1 yr) Information Developer. Waltham, MA/ San Francisco, CA. Collaborated with team of writers to develop documentation for the Confidential Brightmail Gateway product. Identified usability issues and spearheaded the reorganization of existing documentation, employing principles of reuse, minimalism and topic based document organization. Designed XML template for online Error Guide and online Help Center. Identified metadata/taxonomy requirements to optimize search and discovery of online content. Collaborated in a Wiki environment and led cross-project efforts to standardize documentation.
- Confidential (2 yrs) Technical Writer/ Architect. Cambridge, MA based software startup. Sole information architect and writer (DITA/XMetal) of online Help Center for a Web 2.0 (SaaS) based Content Management application integrated with voice recognition technology. Directed the strategy, design and implementation of all support documentation. The "Help Center"—aimed at media professionals and website producers such as Boston.com and Fox News—provided detailed FAQ's and How-to topics for managing and optimizing audio and video content on the web. Drove documentation objectives in product design and usability, bug and work item tracking, and collaborated with SMEs to integrate Help Center with product UI.
- Confidential (6 mos) Information Developer. Coordinated migration of legacy documentation from Framemaker to XML DITA. Reorganized documentation for sophisticated RFID software used by military personnel to meet multiple output needs. Tracked digital assets and organized workflow based on rolling release dates. Validated documentation against software interface and confidential training materials. Provided consultation on internal documentation processes and introduced more efficient strategies for managing internal communications, including use of wikis to create a more collaborative environment.
- Confidential (2 yrs) Technical Writer / Designer. Champaign, IL. Sole writer, designer and producer of online Help system for Eclipse-based version control / PLM (product lifecycle management) tool used by Java developers. Instructions included how to integrate Java code with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server. Collaborated with SMEs, product managers, engineers, and QA and contributed to product interface design. Improved customer satisfaction and significantly reduced calls to customer support.
Full Time positions (1995 - 2004)
2002-2004 Webmaster Confidential, Champaign, IL
- Responsible for all online content (organization, design and delivery) of education and training materials for NCSA's Education division, servicing a national consortium of K-12 pilot schools.
- Supervised division programmers and assigned projects ranging from the development of web-applications in support of NCSA partners to the integration of local technologies with the larger NCSA mission and coordinated all production schedules to meet mission-critical deadlines.
- Created and maintained all digital assets, including CSS stylesheets, Dreamweaver templates and PHP DBs.
- Documented all usage policies and created a "Guidelines for Best Practice" manual; wrote procedures and training materials for new hires, site status reports and recommendations for management.
- Created presentations for supercomputing conferences (SC2002, SC2003), representing the Education division, including Power Point slides, interactive schedules, discussion guides, brochures and posters; and arranged demos of new virtual community software.
- Identified more efficient technologies (CMS) for content delivery and worked with IT to implement these strategies.
- Ensured website compliance of required federal and state accessibility standards, including W3C and Section 508 for persons with disabilities.
1995-2001 Technical Writer Confidential, Providence, RI
- Wrote and designed user guides to accompany content management software for media enterprises. Produced embedded help, admin and install guides, architecture overviews, task-based help and product tutorials.
- Interviewed engineers and SMEs, wrote white papers and developed detailed information plans, including project schedule and effort based on engineering functional and design specifications.
- Collaborated with Marketing and Training and QA to prioritize materials for promoting and teaching new features and worked closely with product managers in strategic planning sessions to integrate documentation, support and training efforts.
- Managed workflow of authors, editors, translators and graphic designers, and assembled doc-sets for several products and platforms; also tracked versions in accordance with rolling releases and interdependent schedules.
- Interfaced with outside vendors, including localization companies providing translation services and traveled to vendor locations to ensure product quality.
- Developed in-house style and reference guides for team of writers, graphic artists and contractors.
- Evaluated new authoring tools and spearheaded XML-based production process, successfully transitioning the documentation team from FrameMaker to Arbortext for structured authoring.
BA Comparative Literature Graduate Courses: English Literature Visiting Researcher Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, Dreamweaver)
Non-Technical Writing Samples
Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts (USA Today) Runaway, by Alice Munro (USA Today) Rising from the Rails, by Larry Tye (The San Francisco Chronicle) Born Losers: A History of Failure in America, by Scott Sandage (The San Francisco Chronicle) Feature on new novels about women (USA Today and The Chicago Sun-Times) Henry Ford, The People's Tycoon, by Steven Watts (The San Francisco Chronicle)