Technical Writing

Technical Writing

While I’ve been writing professionally since 2007, I’ve written software documentation since 2016. I’ve done a range of contracting and in-house technical writing. Each role has been more developer-focused, culminating in my current role in Developer Education at MongoDB.

MongoDB Realm

I joined the MongoDB Developer Education team working on the Realm documentation in January 2021. This role has enabled me to massively grow my development skills.

My task upon joining was to document the Realm Swift SDK. Since joining, I’ve transformed the information architecture of the docs set. I’ve become a tech lead on the Realm SDK documentation, directing and mentoring a squad of writers. And I’ve expanded to C++, Kotlin, Flutter/Dart, and the occasional TypeScript/JavaScript. This role involves creating documentation, tested code examples, and sample applications for developers.

For the past year, I’ve been a technical lead for a squad of writers on this product. I provide direction and mentorship, conduct PR reviews, and set vision for our squad.

I’ve leveraged my writing background to lead cross-team initiatives, such as:

  • Leading a Docs Maintenance Working Group to identify and create processes for handling maintenance tasks. These processes have become part of our content strategy.
  • Undertaking quarterly readability audits to identify complex or poorly-written pages. Scope and perform rewrites to improve readability. I created a GitHub workflow to provide readability scoring on docs pull requests.
  • Transforming the information architecture of the docs set to make it easier for developers to find the docs they need. This entailed:
    • Understanding developer mental models and creating a framework for common tasks.
    • Removing product-specific terminology and adopting common industry terms for page and section names.
    • Moving away from the Diátaxis framework. Identifying content types and docs structure optimized for our users.
    • Performing regular gap analysis of each SDK to identify missing and outdated content. Scope adding and updating content as part of quarterly planning.

Writing Examples


During my time at Tugboat (June 2019 - December 2020), I was responsible for a range of technical writing tasks, including:

  • Leveraging a docs-as-code workflow, creating documentation locally in Markdown and HTML/CSS, and syncing it to a remote git repository for review and deployment to production.
  • Reorganizing and adding task-based content to a legacy GitBook documentation portal.
  • Creating a modern documentation portal in Hugo. Migrating the documentation to the new portal
  • Learning Docker and Tugboat to separate “Docker-isms” from Tugboat-specific documentation. Adding explainer text for developers unfamiliar with Docker.
  • Setting up local development instances for popular frameworks, such as Hugo, MkDocs, Jekyll, Ruby on Rails. Creating starter configuration files to build deploy previews for these frameworks.
  • Researching user personas. Writing benefit-focused, tech-heavy marketing articles for those personas.
  • Learning the app and providing basic support when developers are unavailable.

Writing Examples

One Door

My time with One Door (July 2016 - July 2018) included:

  • Researching documentation tooling to create online help portals. Assess product and customer success requirements. Select a CMS that non-technical users could maintain after my departure.
  • Updating the ~2y/o and obsolete Microsoft Word user manual. Transforming it into a series of topic-based help portal articles.
  • Identifying different user personas. Creating individual help portals with content tailored to respective personas.
  • Working with engineering and product to write API documents to support professional services. Create documentation that both business users and technical users understand.
  • Acting as a “detective” in understanding and documenting application functionality for internal users. I spent approximately 15% - 20% of my time doing this on an ongoing basis.
  • Creating release notes and updating the online help portals for each new release cycle.

Other Technical Writing

In addition to documentation-focused technical writing, I’ve done a lot of marketing content writing. These roles have included things like:

  • Writing case studies and editing technical content.
  • Developing the content strategy for the upcoming year and working to create original content.
  • Shifting the organization’s strategy to focus more on enterprise decision makers in service to reaching sales goals. Adding analytics and SEO optimizations to better gauge reach and measure leads.
  • Working with the client’s SMEs to develop an eBook, a couple of white papers, some blog posts and articles, and a couple of case studies. This project was in support of a marketing campaign, but the content varied in technical complexity. Some of it was more general, while some dived deeper into technical details.

Writing Examples