In May 2018, I became self-employed as a contract technical author. I needed to set up a company quickly as I was starting a short-term contract in Media City, Manchester.
Experience / Knowledge / Skills
Working remotely, based in/near Manchester area, or further afield. (please note, I don’t drive!)
. Documentation: Creation, Proofreading and Fixing. Single files or in bulk on CVS/SVN repositories.
. Office 365 support.
. Main Office apps of Word, Excel, PowerPoint – all three to macro level if required.
. Basic SharePoint (mostly web front end creation)
. Confluence (handling multiple spaces and bulk conversion of OneNote notebooks)
. Running a TWiki / MediaWiki based Knowledge base, but then converting it to SharePoint.
. General upkeep of Knowledge bases using multiple tools.
. RoboHelp HTML helptext
. DOS, all flavours of Windows and basic Linux command-line.
. Documented / worked with SaaS, IaaS and PaaS systems.
. UX design via Axure for internet sites.
. WordPress – basic site admin etc. I use WP to power three of my own websites.
. See one, do one, teach one (I can’t escape my old helpdesk mantra, even if that was 20+ years ago)
If you want a ‘technical’ technical author, then get in touch.
I would prefer Outside of IR35 contracts, and will only consider Inside IR35 if the contract is long enough (1 year+).
Contract Work Done (& Doing)
This page, and any sub-pages that follow, will follow my career progress as best as I can. Due to some of the work I do, I won’t be able (sometimes) to go into any detail other than a basic location / job role.
|Position / Date||Overview|
|Technical Author / Auden / May 2018||A 3.5 week contract to help bring a range of documents up to date. They were mostly Word-based documents, along with a few Visio diagrams along with page updates on Confluence.|
|Technical Author / June 2018 - March 2021||Sole technical author for a government institution. Contract wasn't renewed due to COVID-19 rules and lack of work that I could do from home. (Took 2 months off work.)
This role involved a wide-range of skills including: updating/creating Word documents, updating/programming macros for Excel (inc. development of a Code Library for others to use) and updating a large selection of Confluence spaces and pages. This was using the non-cloud variant of Confluence.
During the COVID period I was working from home and helped to convert a series of OneNote notebooks into Confluence pages using the cloud version of Confluence.
The last task I was asked to do was to help extract content from the main SharePoint site and place it into a new sub-site then expand the content. I was also asked to write a guide on how to add / edit new pages and their content. The guide was placed on a Teams Wiki as well as made available in PDF form.
|Technical Author / June 2021 - June 2022||Working for Iron Mountain as a technical author supporting a government project. Involved getting documents from SMEs and tidying them up, issuing them to clients etc. Created a Google Sites page to help me track the progress of the updates.
Initially a 3 month contract that was extended multiple times.
Pro-Bono work undertaken
Pro Bono work undertakenI've been helping out others for years (and years), but since I launched Mee Docs Ltd, I've decided to keep a record going.
|Who for||Description of work undertaken|
|"Fish & Chip" website in Plymouth|
(Can't remember name!)
|Suggested a few changes to the creator of the website and ended up reviewing every single page and suggesting fixes.|
|Atari Legend||Reviewing all of the interviews / reviews on the website as and when asked.|
|Appvertise||Reviewing all of the text within the app and accompanying website.|
|ISTC website||Converting articles from older issues of The Communicator magazine from PDF into WordPress pages.|
|Breakin' The Borders (All three volumes)||Proofreading of the translated text (originally written in German, machine translated via DeepL) for the English versions of all three books.
|Woad Farm||I was staying here as part of my long-term contract, so I ended up being their unofficial Android app support as well as helping them with their own website queries - initially through the now defunct Web Eden-hosted site and then moving their site into a WordPress one using SiteGrounds.|
|TCUK Metro 2020 website||Helping more with the tech support for WordPress than actual text editing etc.|
|Crackers - The Gold Rush (Volumes 1 & 2)||Working on the English translated text (the initial pass was via DeepL) for Marco Breddin's latest opus.
|Atari Legend||A seemingly never-ending flow of work. From editing interviews done in French, then part-translated and reviewing the English versions, through to filling in details about the thousands of games that are hosted on the website's database backend.
A side project is extracting all scrolltexts (where possible) from the CD (compacted disks) aka "menus" that the various cracking / packing groups did back in the late 80s to the early 90s. My old but basic 68000 skills are in use once more - along with WinHex (hex editor) to extract the text.
|Shaun McClure's A Guide to ZX Spectrum Adventure Games - 1982 - 1985||Working with the author reviewing the whole book. Using Word as the main editing tool to review the 180+ reviews and fixing any errors found. Enjoyable project. Possibly leading to more work as he republishes some of his older books in 2022.