Employer: job overview


Company Name: Enfold Systems, Houston, TX
Job: Technical Writer
Dates:  November 2007 to February 2009

Samples: Troubleshooting Checklist; Installation Guide/Tutorial

Enfold Systems is a well-known consulting company that specializes in an open-source content management system called Plone.  Over the years, it has released several important tools for customers wishing to deploy Plone in a Windows enterprise environment.  Because of the inherent complexity of Windows enterprise deployments, the number of support tickets increased even though the software itself worked fine.  I was hired to provide better documentation (both local and online) and specifically better troubleshooting documents so sysadmins who used the products on a daily basis could solve basic problems themselves.

I worked with talented python developers from three different continents and participated actively in weekly product teleconferences (often serving as a kind of user advocate).  In addition, I filed bugs, fixed documentation bugs assigned to me and offered  feedback to developers about how to make things more user-friendly. Because I was documenting products under development, a fair part of my job involved setting up test situations to see the software in action.

An important part of my job was quality control: checking grammar and grammar, making sure URLs worked correctly and checking things in different browsers and operating systems.


Company Name: Texas Instruments, Houston, TX
Job: Technical Writer
Dates: August 2002-February 2006

LinkedIn Testimonial: Project Manager Dana Smith

Introduction: Digital signal processors (DSPs) are the little chips in cellphones, wifi card, HDTVs and digital cameras that convert analog signal to digital signals (and vice versa). Texas Instruments is the #1 seller of DSPs worldwide, and one reason customers prefer a TI solution is that TI’s software development kit includes a number of powerful software tools.

During the years I worked at Texas Instruments, the most important development tool was a mature full-featured GUI software tool named Code Composer Studio Integrated Development Environment (which was included in every development kit). Code Composer Studio IDE was a Windows-based tool with a major release generally every two years and minor releases every six months. In fact, new features were being added continuously to Code Composer Studio and often introduced for individual hardware platforms. Writing documentation for CCS was a team-effort; although I probably “owned the project” more than anyone in my group, other writers in our group provided key components to it.

My task/challenge was to manage this chaos! I managed the main project, which consisted of about a dozen smaller subprojects. When I started at TI, the help project (if you combined everything) already consisted of several thousand help topics. I had to maintain the documentation and add new help topics when needed.

See also: more detail about my TI work projects and writing samples from TI and other companies.