Robert Lauriston


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Robert Lauriston

Work Experience

You can find many of the docs mentioned below on my samples page.

2013-present: technical documentation manager for Striim, Inc. (formerly WebAction), Palo Alto, CA

As the first and still only technical writer, selected tools, set up a Confluence wiki, developed templates for generating PDFs and online help from the wiki content, created documentation for the company's platform, proprietary programming language, APIs, and applications, and migrated from Confluence to Paligo.

2011-2013: lead technical writer for Sendmail, Inc., Emeryville, CA

Originally hired to plan and execute migration of all documentation from FrameMaker to a wiki. Met with all stakeholders to define detailed requirements, identified the best-suited tools, worked with tool vendors and consultants to identify ways to meet all requirements, presented multiple options (Confluence, MindTouch, MediaWiki) with detailed estimates, developed procedures to migrate existing documentation to Confluence 4 and MindTouch XHTML. Meeting all requirements proved impractical with available resources and the project was put on hold.

After that, as the sole technical writer for the company, maintained, rewrote, and reorganized all documentation for Sentrion, an enterprise email appliance; automated single-source builds; modified source code to use standard help calls; migrated from RoboHelp to WebWorks ePublisher. Sendmail is an agile shop: one team used Jira, the other used Rally integrated with Bugzilla.

2010-2011: contract technical writer for HP Software, Cupertino, CA

Documented e-discovery tools in an agile environment using MadCap Flare and FrameMaker. Created user guide, context-sensitive help, glossary, administrator's guide, installation guide, readme, and API programmer's guide; edited application message strings; developed Flare and FrameMaker templates.

2009: contract technical writer for Gracenote, Inc., Emeryville, CA

Working in the IT department, researched existing procedures and used that information to write formal policies; wrote knowledge base articles on common software and hardware issues; created an in-house user guide for a custom version of Oracle iProcurement; created forms in InfoPath and deployed to SharePoint form libraries; designed a knowledge base system including custom HTML forms to serve as a custom front end for the internal support ticket system (ServiceDesk).

2009: contract technical writer for Cornerstone Transportation Consulting, San Francisco, CA

Wrote a report for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on a "secret shopper" study of the TransLink (since renamed Clipper) regional transit pass.

2004-2008: lead technical writer for Embarcadero Technologies, Inc., San Francisco, CA

2003: senior technical writer for Zapatec, Inc., Berkeley, CA

2002: contract technical writer for EPCjobs Ltd., San Francisco, CA

Created and executed documentation plan on short deadline for product rollout with minimal assistance from development staff.

2001-2002: senior technical writer for Fresher Information Corp., San Francisco, CA

2000-2001: senior technical writer for Portera Systems, Berkeley, CA

1999-2000: contract technical writer for BeatWare, Redwood City, CA

1999-2000: contract technical writer for Telamon, Oakland, CA

1999: contract technical writer for Netopia, Alameda, CA

1998: contract technical writer for Software Documentation Systems, Chapel Hill, NC.

Wrote documentation for Report2Web 2.0, an IS-oriented reporting tool for distributing large mainframe database reports using e-mail or Web servers.

1998: editor, The PC Bible (Peach pit Press, 3rd ed. 1999).

1996-1997: consulting editor, CNET,San Francisco, CA

1994-1997: contributing editor, Windows Magazine CD-ROM.

1991-1999: freelance writer and editor (see publications list)

1991: consulting editor, MPC World.

One of a team of three editors that produced the premiere issue of this early multimedia magazine.

1989-1990: associate editor, PC World.

Wrote and edited reviews, features, tutorials, news items, and columns.


Technical writing:

Editing and production:

 (last updated 2/25/2017)

©2019 Robert Lauriston. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without explicit written permission.