After doing technical writing off-and-on throughout my writing career, I accepted my first full-time technical writing contract in 2016. I worked with One Door from mid-2016 through mid-2018; working a year in their office in Boston, and continuing to work remotely for them for another year after moving to Vermont.
In mid-2018, I went back to freelancing, and took on a handful of interesting projects, including documenting a REST API for a developer-focused open-source project, before joining Tugboat in mid-2019. I started as a technical writer there in June 2019, and in July 2020, I transitioned to a Technical Content Strategist for Tugboat.
During my time at Tugboat (June 2019 – present), I’ve been responsible for a range of technical writing tasks, including:
- Leverage 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
- Reorganize and add task-based content to a legacy GitBook documentation portal
- Create proof-of-concept documentation portal in Hugo, and migrate the documentation to the new portal
- Learn Docker and Tugboat to separate “Docker-isms” from Tugboat-specific documentation, and add explainer text for developers unfamiliar with Docker
- Set up local development instances and create starter configuration files to build deploy previews for popular frameworks, such as Hugo, MkDocs, Jekyll, Ruby on Rails
- Research user personas, and write benefit-focused, tech-heavy marketing articles for those personas
- Learn the app and provide basic support when developers are unavailable
My time with One Door (July 2016 – July 2018) included:
- Researching documentation tooling and creating Online Help Portals based on the requirements of the Product team
- Updating the ~2y/o and obsolete user manual that had been created in Microsoft Word, and transforming it into a series of topic-based Help Portal articles
- Identifying different user personas, and creating individual Help Portals with content tailored to respective personas
- Working with Engineering and Product to write API documents to support Professional Services, with a focus on documentation that both business users and technical users understand
- Acting as a “detective” in understanding and documenting application functionality for internal users when questions arose (approximately 15% – 20% of my time was spent 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, while also 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.