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SUMMARY Technical writer with 10+ years of experience creating technical documentation (both internal and client-facing). I write for many different audiences, but my specialty is highly technical content for IT professionals, like developers, sysadmins, and database experts.

I have planned, created, and managed documentation projects from scratch to completion, as well as developed further legacy documentation created by others. My experience also includes supervision of small teams of techwriters and working in international settings with remote team members (both subject matter experts and content contributors).

 

PROFILEIT Documentation Specialist
Extensive technical writing experience related to both software and hardware products
8 years of writing for specialized IT audiences (developers, admins)
6 years documenting APIs and SDKs
10+ years of experience as a member of international development teams
Project management skills acquired as both team leader and freelancer
Master of documentation development tools (RoboHELP, Help & Manual, and others)
A good set of supporting skills:
proposal, style guide, marketing, and correspondence writing
basic HTML, XML, CMS, and Semantic Web knowledge
some graphical and web design skills
web management and administration skills
network administration skills        

 

Click to show/hide detailsSKILLS

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Professional use of the main job-specific (for compiled/browser-based online help, PDF, HTML) and the most common general business software.

Help development packages:                     RoboHELP, WebWorks Publisher, DocumentX, Doc-to-Help, Help & Manual, MS HTML Workshop, ProProfs
Text Editors                                                   MS Word, FrameMaker
Software development environments:      MS Visual Studio, Java NetBean, VisiLab
Web development languages:                    HTML, XML, CSS, Markdown
Web 2.0 CMSs:                                             Confluence, Contentful, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
Static web site generators:                         Jekyll, DocPad
Source control software                             SVN, TFS, GitHub
Process management platforms:               JIRA, Office 365, SharePoint

writing skills

Writing skills fundamentally based on an MD in Linguistics and extensive experience.

20+ year background of using English as primary work language
Expert in structured writing from formal training and practice
Ability, gained from experience, to read and understand programming code
Have written documentation for both US and EU markets, as well as for global audiences
Job-specific interpersonal skills
Appreciative of the managerial and commercial objectives through the perspective of an MD in Marketing and Management

Project Management skills

Skills in managing documentation projects from concept to completion in both corporate and freelance environment including:

Audience research and user needs analysis
Analysis and organization of existing documentation
Content planning
Project scheduling and implementation control
Allocation of project resources for optimal teamwork
Management and supervision of writing teams
Content updates planning and implementation

TRaining Skills

Three years of experience conducting in-house training for writing staff.

Introductory technical writing trainings
Structured writing trainings
One-on-one technical writing coachings
Click to show/hide detailsEXPERIENCE

2006 to present
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KORVUE for Dummies by Petko Mikhailov

FREELANCE DOCUMENTATION SPECIALIST

Representative clients:

Wiley Publishing, www.wiley.com

IRM, www.i-r-m.com

Verasoft, www.verasoft.com

MINA Inc., www.batm.com

Ontotext, www.ontotext.com

Authored a book of the "For Dummies" seriesKORVUE for Dummies.

The main challenge was explaining the complex features and procedures of a business software in a colloquial, down-to-earth language. Wiley’s strict requirements for their authors were met successfully.

Participated in a team localizing a German CAD system (C.A.T.S. - www.cats-software.com) to International English as English language editor of the user documentation. (Through IRM.)

Gained experience with localization issues

Developed the online help system for a complex business suite, KORVUE (a client-server system) (www.korvue.com) and several print manuals (for Verasoft).

Became familiar with POS and CRM software concepts
Documented a client-server application on both end-user’s (client) and administrator’s (server) ends.

Migrated existing documentation to a single-source system (Doc-To-Help) (for MINA Inc). This reduced the amount of work needed to maintain and edit documentation by more than half.

Worked on the user documentation for OWLIM – the fastest large-scale semantic repository to date – and made a complete documentation overhaul.

Put my linguistics education to good use in the related area of the Semantic Web and semantic technologies

2016 to present

Senior Technical Writer

Vayant

US software solution provider for airlines

www.vayant.com

Bringing existing legacy content up to date.

Complete overhaul of the existing customer documentation.

Transitioning to topic-based authoring and controlled vocabulary.

Migrating user documentation to the web.

Scrum development environment, tribe structure.

2014 to 2015

Senior Technical Author

Miracl

UK software developer, formerly known as CertiVox

www.miracl.com

Writing technical content and managing the user documentation for the company’s products (secure authentication and cryptographic engineering products). Created a coherent and maintainable documentation library out of the internal developer documentation. Worked within team-based Scrum development environment.

Responsibilities:

Closely monitoring the development, release, and support activities and identifying documentation needs
Defining and prioritizing documentation tasks
Worked closely with QA and Development on identifying bugs, deficiencies, and UX issues
Edited and integrated content created by occasional contributors

Achievements:

Migrated user documentation from Confluence to ProProfs
Established the documentation production process
Introduced topic-based content structure
Certification in Cryptography (see COURSES AND CERTIFICATES)

2011 to 2014

Senior Technical Writer

Infragistics

American software developer

www.infragistics.com

Directed the Product Guidance (writing staff to produce clear, effective, and professional product documentation (mainly API documentation for .NET, XAML, and iOS platforms). Worked within team-based Scrum development environment.

Responsibilities:

Overseeing and participating in the planning of the help content
Overseeing the API documentation process and the interaction with the Engineering department
Upholding the writing style and content formatting standards
Mentoring a largely ESL writing staff on writing and establishing best practices for documentation
Copyediting and ensuring quality of written documents
Helping crafting and instituting documentation creation and review process
Recruiting, interviewing, and assessing applicants for the Product Guidance department
Training the Product Guidance staff and the Technical Editors

Achievements (The following has been introduced by me and adopted by company.):

An advanced methodology for structured writing
Structured content templates
Documentation planning process
Content plans
Editing process specific to the subject matter
Periodical technical writing trainings for the PG developers

2004 to 2006

TECHNICAL WRITER AND HELP SYSTEMS DEVELOPER

FrontLine Systems

American software developer

www.solver.com

Developed online help for APIs for mathematical optimization/simulation for the following languages: Visual Basic, VB.NET, C/C++, C#, Java, and MATLAB

Used and vastly improved my ability to obtain information from online communication as the project being documented had been developed entirely overseas
Honed my skills for reading and understanding programming code
Acquired knowledge about optimization programming and optimization of business processes

2003 to 2004

SENIOR TECHNICAL WRITER

MINA Inc., BG office of BATM and Telco Systems

Israeli manufacturer of network devices

www.batm.com

Wrote end-user manuals, installation guides, and application notes targeted at system administrators. Co-planned documentation projects and supervised the local technical writing team (me and two subordinates) and coordinated work with the overseas team (located in Israel). (See also the recommendation from Itzik Ashkenazi.)

Gained project management experience in corporate environment
Created a system for single-sourcing the company's huge documentation output using MS Word and WebWorks Publisher. This reduced the amount of work needed to maintain and edit documentation by more than 1/3.
Acquired knowledge of network technologies

2002 to 2003

CONTRACT TECHNICAL WRITER

Applicata Inc.

Bulgarian company, ISO9001 certified, specializing in computer telephony

www.applicata.bg

Developed online help for a custom programming environment in Tcl and for a commercial procurement system. (See also the recommendations from Daniele Indaco and Ivan Bakardzhiev.)

Gained project management experience
Developed skills for quickly understanding new and complex technical subject matter

2000 to 2001

TECHNICAL WRITER AND HELP SYSTEMS DEVELOPER

SoftFactory Belgium-Bulgaria Inc.

Joint-stock software developer,
now out of business

Developed end-user online documentation for several web-based projects targeted at the EU market, including one knowledge management system.

Gained hands-on experience with using English as the means of communication in an international environment of non-native English speakers – potentially beneficial for documenting international versions of a product and for writing in a “simple” manner with high readability scores
Got expertise and functional knowledge of knowledge management concepts

1998 to 1999

TECHNICAL WRITER AND HELP SYSTEMS DEVELOPER

Brolin Software

American corporate software developer with Sofia-based development team,
www.brolin.net

Developed end-user documentation for several software products targeted at the US corporate market.

The clients were mainly in the area of commercial real-estate management including some of the industry “top dogs” like CB – Richard Ellis, the world’s biggest real estate company. The documentation comprised both written manuals and online help systems.

Developed and mastered the interpersonal and interviewing skills necessary to retrieve the needed technical/end-user information from the programmers/managers in an efficient and time-saving manner
Acquired skills for understanding the needs of highly specialized markets
Got experience with the specific teamwork and communication aspects of outsourced teams
Became accustomed to fitting the documenting process into urgent project schedules with tight deadlines
Self-studied and mastered the main job-specific software tools (MS HTML Workshop, RoboHELP and a bunch of others) and some HTML
Click to show/hide detailsCOURSES AND CERTIFICATES

2015

CRYPTOGRAPHY I

Stanford University

Six-week online course delivered by Coursera.org. Certificate…

2014

Model Thinking

University of Michigan

Ten-week online course delivered by Coursera.org. Certificate…

2013

Information Mapping Foundation

Information Mapping International

An online course in the IM structured writing methodology. Certificate…

Click to show/hide detailsEDUCATION

1994-1995

MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING (Post-Graduate Degree)

Technical University - Sofia

Empowered me to consider every product and interaction from both business (management) and end-user (marketing) perspectives

1983-1989

PHILOLOGY (Master Degree)

St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia

Majors in linguistics and English language. Specialization in computational linguistics. Graduation paper: “The PE-2 Text Editor and Its Programming Language. An Assessment From a Linguistic Viewpoint.”

Taught me efficient and effective use of language
Gave me an early perspective on the problem of usability and effectiveness of computer software

 

Click to show/hide detailskeywords

technical writing, technical writer, documentation specialist, end-user documentation, online help, technical support, documentation management, information management, information design, information developer, information architect, technical communicator, technical communications, business analyst, user assistance, technical publications

Click to show/hide detailsTRIVIA

Other Languages

Itallian (Livello B1), Russian, Bulgarian

My LinkedIn Profile

http://bg.linkedin.com/in/petkom/

Interests

philosophy, economics, political science

Hobbies

book editing, humanitarian studies:

editor of the Bulgarian language edition of For the New Intellectual and The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
co-founder and member of the Ayn Rand Society – Bulgaria (circle for philosophical discussions)
co-founder and member of the Atlas Laissez-Faire Institute (non-profit social research organization)

Favorite Quote

“When I am king, anyone using the word ‘overqualified’ will be executed.”