My journey into tech writing started in 2013.
Reynolds and Reynolds
I started out my journey into the world of talking and writing about technology and software as a customer trainer at Reynolds and Reynolds. A provider of software and other services for car dealerships, I taught dealership personnel and new ReyRey hires how to use the accounting and payroll portions of the software.
I taught mostly online, interactive webinars over Webex, making use of their Hands-on Lab feature. I also taught in-person, intensive classes for dealership controllers and office managers and as a deep-dive into my specialty for recent Reynolds and Reynolds hires.
When not teaching classes, I also had the responsibility of maintaining and creating the course materials used in class. This was my intro to technical writing.
During my time at Reynolds, we transitioned all of our 160+ course guides from Interleaf (a long-sunset platform) to MadCap Flare. I was the lead project coordinator for evaluating and implementing this change for our department of nearly 30 other trainers and supervisors.
With strong MadCap and training skills in hand, I next transitioned into a combo role.
Kerridge Commercial Systems
Technical Writer and Education Specialist
Kerridge Commercial Systems is a software provider that targets large warehouse distribution centers. My job was to train new customers on how to use the system and also to maintain all of the manuals for our office’s primary product.
(Note: I worked in an office that had been acquired by Kerridge just prior to my starting. That office was home to Mincron and the Mincron warehouse management system suite. I focused solely on that software. Kerridge has a number of other products I did not write for.)
I did training classes, which were mostly in-person classes. We did offer occasional update webinars via GoToMeeting, which I also wrote and led.
The documents for the software were composed in Adobe Framemaker. I started the process of converting them to MadCap Flare.
I then transitioned from Kerridge to LiquidFrameworks, the third software company of my career. LiquidFrameworks writes software built on the Salesforce platform to manage the ticketing and invoicing of field service personnel in the oil and oil services industries.
My responsibilities are to maintain the existing documentation and compose release notes for the monthly and bi-weekly sprints in an Agile environment.
When I started, the documentation had been created and maintained in MadCap Flare with videos created in Techsmith’s Camtasia editor. I am working to convert the Flare documents into Asciidoc format for building with the Antora static site generator platform.