A note to potential clients ...
Hello and thank for visiting my site. This site is a work in progress and I have many ideas for its future use. However, for now it's an online resume. I created it because I don't believe that you can learn all you need to know about someone from a page and a half of text. I also maintain it so you know a bit more about me.
I've been a technical writer since 1983. I was one of the first graduates of the first ever courses that specialized in technical writing.
Prior to technical writing, I was a process writer. I worked in a process engineering group and supported the process engineers with high-quality documentation, specifically, assembly instructions. Before Process Engineering, I spent four years as an incoming quality control inspector. Prior to that, I served in the United States Navy as a jet engine mechanic servicing E2C airborne early warning aircraft.
So back to technical writing. I rose up the ranks quickly and worked for companies such as Wang Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corp, Lucent Technology, Prisa Networks, Concurrent Computer Corp, Dun and Bradstreet Software, ERS International, EMC2, Compaq, Apprion, and many contract gigs mainly dealing with Managed Service Providers (MSPs). I went in this direction after creating service delivery libraries for ARRC Technology and CharTec LLC. I also jumped into regulatory compliance after working with HIPAA-related clients and from there moved into federal regulations such as NIST and ISO security standards. I have a heavy background in IT Operations and Security.
I've made it a point to change as the career itself is forced to change. In the early days, it used to be enough to know how to use email and if you knew how to use Word. Today is a bit different. Its not uncommon to have to know more than one or two document creation platforms. You must know how to write with an editor such as Word, and know how to write without a WYSIWYG editor. For example, you must format text files using DITA, HTML, Markdown, and more. You must know about APIs, development tools such as JAVA, Python, C, C++, and more. You must know how to create your own API examples.
All filters are gone. There is noone that shields your from the CEO or CTO, you must be able to speak developer jargon (and understand it). There is so much more that I don't want to bore you with. I think we all know it. In a nutshell, its a decent career because you never stop learning and the job never stays still. This career changes daily, if not even hourly. I enjoy learning new things and I've been trained on how to learn quickly or lose. I learn quickly. I won't pass up a job posting simply because there was something in it that I hadn't done. So what? Lets face it, regardless of what you or anyone else does, there is always a learning curve. If that were not true, I would still be working on a Wang Word Processor and my email system. Nothing more!
Lastly, I want to give you my take on how I contract. When you hire me as a contractor, I become one of your staff members. I stop saying "me" and you'll always hear me say "us". It's my product as much as it is yours and I will always provide 100% effort to the success of each goal. And like all of the others before you, I will be learning something new about you, your company, your products, your people, and more. My motto has always been "Nothing can stop me". But I had it wrong all this time. It should say "Nothing can stop us!"
David R. Cote