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April 2021 – June 2021 Western Governors University
Technical Writer, Subject Matter Expert, and Instructional Designer
This was a short contract where I developed 4 of 5 sections for their virtual professional/technical writing course. I performed as an SME and technical writer, which was new to me, and I enjoyed that part immensely. The schedule was very aggressive and I had no say in it, which was different from how I usually manage projects.
The University of Washington – Seattle June 2020 – Current
Part-Time Adjunct Instructor
Created the 10-week curriculum for the Production Tools and Technology course. This was the last course of a 3-quarter certificate program for technical writers. Tools taught included Word, PowerPoint, Online Help, Video Creation, FrameMaker, and other tools needed for new technical writers to become familiar with before going onto the job market.
2018-2019 Worked as a technical writer and information architect for a PaaS software company that sold software for churches and non-profits. It was one of the happiest and grateful companies I’ve ever worked for and I loved the entire experience.
- Understanding the PaaS software and writing new topics to help users onboard to the tool
- Writing using Google Suites, and perfecting the process as Google docs didn’t convert easily to HTML. This was an overwhelming issue but they wouldn’t let me do it using Windows.
- Making all help topics appear to be written in on voice. This was a challenge because topics were initially written by help desk personel with various writing skills, plus they were written in both US and Australian English.
- Converting Knowledgebase topics from ZenDesk to SalesForce.
One example I am sharing here is related to API work done in Pushpay. Part of it is documented in the PDF, and part of it is linked directly to the code on the Pushpay site. I wasn’t able to take that documentation off the website because of how we implemented various languages in tab format.
STC – Puget Sound Chapter President
While serving as President of our local society for technical writing professional development, I would often identify the need for blog topics. I submitted two topics over the last year on our local STC site. You can click to review them below. I wrote them, there was minimal editing, and then they were posted on the site. The audience is made up of over 1000 technical writers, with a vast array of knowledge, skills, and experience.
- Top Takeaways from the January 2018 LinkedIn Workshop – This piece took just a few minutes to write this up from I took notes during the class. I listed the highlights of the class in this article. This was one of the two most highly attended workshops I brought to STC last year and we will be having it again in 2018.
Amazon Technical Recruiter Academy
I worked as a Program Manager and Instructional Designer for Amazon’s Recruiter Academy Program. The Recruiter Academy was a 26-week program that taught 18 students the Event Recruiting Process Model as used at Amazon. I was able to meet the needs of the current program and to “productive” the entire program for Global release. Now any recruiting team in the world can take the “productized” version on the sandbox and install it for any Amazon Technical Recruiting Team worldwide and ramp up to teach recruiters event model recruiting.
- Developed a syllabus for a 26-week technical Recruiter Training Program’s event-recruiting process.
- Created over 20 courses (Word, PPTs, Job Aids, and supporting materials) in under 4 mos.
- Created Wiki and SharePoint infrastructure to deliver courses, and to also create separate published from review and student sandbox courses.
Here are links to several items I developed for Amazon:
- Introduction to SharePoint training – The documentation set included a ReadMe.doc, PPT, and Word document but only the document is included.
- Job Aides: I created these Core Requirement job aides for three roles. They are on 4×6″ laminated cards and helped recruiters who unfamiliar with specific skill sets of desired candidates to quickly look them up and find the right skillsets for the right roles. They turned out to be very popular and recruiters who didn’t graduate from the program were requesting them.
US Navy – San Diego
Introduction to Technical Writing Facilitator’s Guide
I created a custom course for the Navy with a budget of 40 hours. Because of the small budget, the original course was a hybrid document created in PowerPoint. It resembled a regular document in that it contained more information than a traditional PPT presentation so it would be usable as a stand-alone document. I didn’t want students focused on taking notes, but on having material to refer back to later.
After delivering the course, I decided to create a Facilitator’s Guide so I could package and sell the course to other facilitators. I’ve uploaded part of the course here as a sample. It contains the first two sections of PowerPoint slides broken down by objective. The PPT slides are embedded in the document so they are not included here.
Intuit – IT, Service Delivery, Infrastructure, and Program Manager for Learning and Development
I’ve worked at Intuit five times over a 10-year period in permanent and contract positions in the following senior-level roles:
- Technical Writer/Instructional Designer for Product Infrastructure;(most recently)
- Program Manager for Technical Learning Services
- Instructional Designer for IT
All of my examples are for internal use and all except when noted were done between 2014-16.
- Isolation Project – Nightly Build Document The project goal was to isolate TurboTax servers and any dependant software from other Intuit products to keep sensitive data as secure as possible by eliminating any non-required software from running in the same data center as TurboTax. I worked for several months in a war room environment with developers who continually automated the provisioning and application implementation processes of 1500 servers on a daily basis and publishing revised automation instructions nightly so work could continue 24/7 in India.
- ServiceNow Forecasting Requester Training We created a new hosting demand management system from infrastructure request, to budget, approval, installation, through decommissioning and I created the training for how to do all of it using customized Service Now.
- ServiceNow HDM Documentation Hosting Demand Management documentation on how to use ServiceNow software to request new infrastructure through decommissioning.
- ServiceNow Hardware Asset Record Entry Additional documentation showing how to enter Asset data for hardware into ServiceNow. I created the templates and style for documentation in our department.
- ServiceNow Missing Asset Record Documentation on how to enter missing assets into the ServiceNow Asset Management application.
- Web Architecture Application Training (WAP) PDF This material is more technical than earlier samples and was platform training for developers who needed to build web-based applications at Intuit. WAP was a component model and framework that would automate and improve the development speed of new offerings.
- DevCentral was a SharePoint site where developers could converse and follow threads, share building block technologies such as software, architecture, and other components used in assembling Intuit applications, and provide ad hoc training or other opportunities to increase developer productivity.
- PIBO SharePoint Site – This a screenshot of the Team SharePoint site created I designed for our Platform Infrastructure and Data Services team.
Genoptix Oncology Diagnostic Testing Services
Genoptix pioneered precision medicine in oncology using next-generation sequencing. They are one of the largest hematopathology centers in the U.S. They provide personalized and comprehensive diagnostic services to hematologists, oncologists, and pathologists, with a specialization in diagnosing cancers and disorders in bone marrow, blood, and lymph nodes, as well as in molecular testing of solid tumors.
While at Genoptix, I developed an online help system using RoboHelp as the delivery system for five software systems that together comprised their billing (hospital, insurance, and patient private pay), coding, accounts receivable, Medicare, and collections systems. This was my main responsibility and they expected that I would take approximately 5 years to develop the documentation to the point that it would be acceptable to Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, that began the process of acquiring Genoptix in early 2011.
I completed the work and passed a rigorous post-acquisition audit after a little over two years and then worked on special projects like developing coding training and creating call center documentation.
Genoptix also liked my Visio diagram work so much that I became responsible for leading several process improvement initiatives outside the Revenue department. I reported directly to their VP of Revenue and performed in the following roles:
- Technical Writer
- Instructional Designer
- Business Process Improvement Analyst
I was also personally acknowledged for my work by Tina Nova, the founder of Genoptix, and whose acquisition completion payments were made to her 2 years earlier than expected because of the speed with which I completed my work. You can imagine her pleasure at the speed with which I completed this goal so much sooner than expected.
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
I worked as both a senior instructional designer and project manager at Qualcomm. I designed several courses as well as the entire concept of QChat University (named for QChat, our push-to-talk technology) and the curriculum being taught.
I used Dream Weaver for the QChat University website, RoboHelp for an Acronyms and Terminology search tool, and Captivate to design the courses. I also led a team of 3 technical writers and two instructional designers to help develop the content.
QChat University contained online courses, FAQs, and other supporting documentation for software engineers to learn and become certified on push-to-talk technology. The certifications were used for outside companies licensed by Sprint, to obtain and use in troubleshooting issues and call center escalation. This is a sample of the early prototype I did of the University. The final version was much more corporate looking but this was the only version I had permission to show.
I selected a DreamWeaver template as a starting point and built it out from there.
Microsoft Services Delivery Methodology Library
I was the online help developer and backup technical writer for this project. It was a library containing templates, frameworks, reference material, and more to help any external vendor propose solutions using the same materials from start to finish.
Microsoft’s objective was to make it easier to review external vendors if they were looking at similar material and organization when receiving proposals, and the site accomplished this by operating as both a delivery system for the resources they needed as well as a knowledge base to assist them in completing material using the same language, procedures, processes, etc.
I’ve worked for Microsoft over a number of years as a permanent employee and for approximately 15 contracts in roles ranging from the project manager, technical writing manager, to online help developer. During that time, I worked on a lot of deliverables for audiences ranging from Office product end users to developers for the Windows SDK and for MSDN. One of the projects I really enjoyed was an early version of what became the Microsoft Manual of Style. I worked on the internal version 2.0 prior to its release as a product sold through Microsoft Press. I still use this tool today on projects that don’t have their own Manual of Style.
One of my first projects was to work on the Microsoft Software Developer’s Kit (SDK). My main responsibility was the 587-page Application Programmer Interface (API). This happened right at the time that Microsoft discovered the true power of Windows. It was an exciting time and a great time to work with that particular team.
Prior to 2003
Prior to working for Microsoft, I ran my own free desktop publishing magazine that was advertiser-supported. Prior to that, I spend ten years working as a software developer specializing in creating custom financial applications for companies like SF Chronicle, Goodwill Industries, Apple Computers, Coca Cola, Monterey Vineyards, and many others.