(PDF Version)

Professional Summary

  • Experience writing for technical audiences, including system administrators and programmers.
  • Able to learn new technologies quickly.
  • Able to read code and write simple examples in all leading programming languages.
  • Passion for clear, simple explanations.
  • Publications:
    • Co-Author, Java Tutorial, 4th Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2007)
    • Author, Inside AppFog (Packt 2013)

Technical Skill Highlights

Authoring Tools: Wiki (primarily TWiki and Confluence), Google Docs, Arbortext Epic, FrameMaker, Webworks, MS Word, TROFF, JavaDoc, Doxygen.

Markup: XML, XSLT, HTML, XHTML, CSS, MarkDown.

Operating Systems: UNIX (including Solaris, IRIX, and UnixWare), Linux (Primarily Ubuntu and CentOS), Windows, Macintosh.

Programming Languages: Ruby, Java, Perl, JavaScript, C++, many others.

Cloud Technology: Microsoft Azure, AppFog, Heroku.

IDE: NetBeans, Eclipse, Delphi, Kylix, C++Builder, Visual Studio


September 2011 through Present

Freelance Technical Writer
Self-Employed, based in Portland, OR.

Short-term assignments, both in Portland and telecommuting. Wrote Web API documentation, Ruby library API tutorials, installation and user guides.

May 2010 through November 2010

Contract Technical Writer
California Digital Library

  • Technical writer for JHOVE2, a Java framework and application for characterizing digital content
    • Wrote documentation for users, system administrators, and programmers.
    • Managed content in Word and Confluence Wiki.
    • Created Word and Excel templates and macros for use by self and programmer/writers.
    • Collaborated with product architect on nomenclature issues. Helped simplify and standardize product terminology.
    • Extensive research including SME interviews and source code analysis.
    • Designed and coded product utility and demonstration add-ins.
  • Assisted Merritt archiving project with workflow, developing Excel macros for ingest workflow.

January 2007 through July 2009

Senior Technical Writer
Sun Microsystems Inc.

My one major stint as a hardware writer.

  • Documentation lead for Sun Fire X4600 server line.
  • Interim documentation lead for Sun Fire X4100/X4200 server line.
  • In charge of documentation for “lights out” remote management technology as implemented on x64 server products.
  • Managed documentation issues for various OEM products.
  • Worked with localization vendor to resolve translation issues.
  • Provided editorial assistance to engineers (including Shanghai team) writing release notes.
  • Created departmental wiki. Consulted with various other departments on internal web site issues. Managed content in TWiki and Confluence Wiki
  • Designed wiki-based database for managing cross-platform bug documentation.
  • Help plan and execute new documentation architecture. Trained other writers in use of Structured FrameMaker and Arbortext Epic. Planned and supervised conversion of X4600 documentation to topic-based format.

December 2005 through December 2006

Contract Technical Writer
Sun Microsystems Inc.

  • Contributed to major update of Sun's Java Tutorial. Worked with core developers and architects for Sun's Java Standard Edition. Did major revisions on the chapters on Exceptions and Basic I/O. Wrote completely new chapter on Concurrency (Multithreading). Redesigned HTML presentation of content. Revised and maintained Perl scripts for HTML macros.
  • Represented Technical Publications on product team for Java SE maintenance Releases.
  • Documented various Java SE security-related issues.

October 2002 through November 2005


With time out for various contracts and one stint as a support engineer, I handled on brief assignments as a computer consultant and administrative assistant. I helped people resolve their word processor and spreadsheet problem, solved various small technical problems, and done some publication production work. I filled in my extra time with volunteer and academic work, some of which I still continue. My volunteer activities include tutoring work for the Marin Literacy Project, database design for various nonprofit agencies, and editorial/production work for Project Gutenberg.

April 2004 through November 2004

Technical Support Engineer
Hurricane Electric

Handled first-level technical and customer support via phone and email. Responded to technical and billing queries. Assisted hosting customers with web design, configuration, and scripting problems. Performed various tasks for remote collocation customers, including rebooting, running diagnostics, and changing cabling. Escorted and assisted collocation customers working onsite.

February 2004 through April 2004

Adobe Systems
Contract Technical Writer

Documented C++ user interface framework. Interviewed framework designer, read source code, analyzed previous online discussion. Helped design Doxygen work flow for ongoing document maintenance.

February 2000 through October 2002

Borland Software
Technical Writer

  • Documented APIs of application frameworks used with Borland's Windows and Linux Integrated Development Environments. Analyzed changes to source code in Object Pascal and C++. Interviewed development engineers, researched source code, collaborated on specifications.
  • Wrote release notes for early versions of Kylix (Linux IDE). Required collaboration with Integration and I20N engineers.
  • Developed macros, scripts, and other software tools used in authoring and production processes. Programming languages used: Perl, Object Pascal, Visual Basic, SQL, and XSLT.
  • Participated in team that planned and partially implemented re-engineering of document base using XML technology.
  • Tracked source code changes and routed change reports to the appropriate writer.

January 1999 through January 2000

Supportfolio Technical Editor
Silicon Graphics

  • Researched and summarized over 3000 bug reports for SGI customer support web site.
  • As member of Y2K readiness team, documented millennium preparedness issues and procedures.
  • Collaborated with web development team on redesign of customer support web site.

December 1998

Contract Technical Writer

Wrote user manual for Fieldsight, diagnostic product embedded in telephone switches.

October 1997 through October 1998

JavaSoft/Sun Microsystems
Contract Technical Writer

  • Maintained release notes for two Java Development Kit release streams (Java 1 maintenance releases and Java 2 beta releases).
  • Represented technical publications on release teams as well as Localization team and general product team.
  • Received new Java 2 content from writers and engineers, and merged it into existing document base.
  • Managed production of source-code-based API documentation using JavaDoc. Managed production of FrameMaker-based documentation using Webworks. Managed release of document bundle via compressed TAR, Zip archive, and web push.
  • Rewrote basic development tool documentation, including compiler reference.
  • Restructured release notes and documentation bundle to make content more accessible

Prior Work Experience

Prior to 1998, I did end-user consulting, system development, and system integration as an employee of UC Santa Cruz and as an independent consultant. In the same period I completed various technical writing jobs, including work at Convergent Technologies and Zilog. In 1998 I decided to discontinue my other ventures and pursue technical writing full time.


Two years at U.C. Riverside and UC Santa Cruz, studying programming and philosophy. Various courses since then in content management, programming, database design, and web design.