Background

John is very experienced. His background includes roles as Technical Writer, Process Developer, Lecturer, Trainer, Web Designer, Editor, and Proofreader.

John trained originally as a librarian but became interested in computers in the early 1980s.

His first computer was an Apple IIe in 1984, which he used to learn AppleSoft BASIC and AppleWorks. He remembers using acoustic couplers, a 300 baud modem, and marvelling at the speed of 2400 baud.

His first IT job in 1987 was Manager, Computerised Braille Production, producing braille books using a VAX/VMS 11/750 minicomputer.

In 1990, he began his technical writing career, writing a suite of manuals for NonStop NET/MASTER, a system and network management application used by Tandem Computers. This is still used extensively worldwide in many large organisations that run mission-critical operations.

He has worked in industries such as Software Development, Networking, Telecommunications, Education, Defence, Construction and Mining, Banking, and Manufacturing. He has worked in the public, private, and government sectors.

He has written paper, online, and web documentation. Some documents to lengthy development and review cycles, some to incredibly tight deadlines with strict budgets. All high-quality, no matter how rapidly produced.

He has written quality documents, including proces maps, templates, and forms, for a Business Process Management System preparing for ISO 9001:2001 certification. He is familiar with Configuration Management, Change Management, and Problem Management systems and processes.

Audiences have included system managers, system administrators, system operators, hardware and software engineers (programmers), managers, engineers, general office staff, VET students, and university students.

Types of documents have included guides, reference manuals, online help, web-based help, quick reference cards, training courses, tutorials, project plans, publication plans, policy statements, procedural instructions (to the key-stroke level), and various types of specifications.

John has worked in cross-functional teams with members from legal, regulatory, HSE, product engineering, and process development. He has worked independently as the lead writer on numerous projects and as a free-lance documentation consultant.

He has extensive experience working with many IT professionals including program managers, project managers, product managers, business analysts, software developers, testers, editors, proofreaders, and graphic designers.

He is skilled using industry-standard applications such as Microsoft Office (especially Word and Excel), FrameMaker, Captivate, InDesign, AuthorIT, RoboHelp, XHTML, XML, XSL, DocBook, and Visio. He has written a lot of XML and VBA macros to customise Microsoft Word for structured writing.

John enjoys his work because he loves learning. He especially enjoys the challenge of understanding complex concepts and explaining them to different audiences.