Professional bio

Right now

In 2017, I wrote, edited and managed the documentation for Realm, a popular mobile database platform. Before that, I did the same thing for RethinkDB, an open-source database now under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. I was laid off from Realm in late 2017, and I’ll be looking for more work starting in January 2018. I plan to stay in the technical writing field, and may be trying to start a consulting service, although I’ll definitely be open to full-time work. (Call me!)

In addition to documentation work, I’ve published non-fiction work, including a review with About This Particular Macintosh and an article in Marco Arment & Glenn Fleishman’s The Magazine. The earlier incarnation of my tech blog, Coyote Tracks, got a lot of attention for a while (in fact, it led to my job with RethinkDB). I’ve also published and self-published fiction with some degree of success.

As a web developer, I usually worked with PHP on the server side and jQuery on the front end. While I enjoy keeping up with web technologies, I’m happy to not be doing it professionally anymore. My terrible secret is that I don’t particularly like JavaScript. Come on, you don’t, either.

Previous lives

I started when the dotcom era did, at a long-gone telecom company where I became the webmaster for the company’s first intranet site. Back then, “webmaster” meant designer, developer and sysadmin. Since then I’ve worked for a variety of companies, first around Tampa Bay, Florida, and then around Silicon Valley. Most of that work was web development, but I moved into technical writing full-time when I joined RethinkDB. (I’d done some contracting work as a technical writer before, but RethinkDB found me because of my blogging!)

You can read more details on my résumé if you’re really curious, although it’s not an exhaustive history. If you would like the exhaustive history, you will need to buy me a drink, or at least a coffee.

A few bullet points

  • I’m more interested in writing work than programming. “Writing work where a programming background is helpful”: I’m there.
  • I don’t have a computer science degree or formal algorithmic training. I can find (and usually understand) algorithms when I need them, but I’m bad at interviews that focus on them.
  • While I have no family obligations, I am middle-aged and will not live, breathe and eat your startup. If you think that makes me a poor culture fit with your group, you’re probably right.
  • I am open to remote work within ±3 time zones of California. I’m very unlikely to relocate for an on-site job, or to take a job that requires a long daily commute.
  • Agile development is simultaneously great and overrated.