Work Bio

I started in the tech field 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, and most of that was contract work. I moved into technical writing full-time when I joined RethinkDB, an open-source database company.

Unfortunately, RethinkDB folded in 2016, as they never found a good way to monetize the product (a common refrain among startups). The database itself lives on, now under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. In 2017, I joined Realm, a popular mobile database platform, as their first technical writer. That position lasted all of nine months, as it turned out they didn’t have a good monetization strategy, either. They laid off about 90% of the company before selling themselves to MongoDB.

In 2018, I started working as a senior technical writer at Viv Labs, a voice assistant startup founded by the folks who created Apple’s Siri. Viv became Bixby Labs, a group within Samsung Research America working on their voice assistant, Bixby. In mid-2022, I moved back to Tampa Bay for family reasons, continuing as the full-time remote worker I’d been since the pandemic started in March 2020. Unfortunately, Samsung mandated a return-to-office order in late 2023 that they refused to grant me an exception for (moving myself and my mother back to the SF Bay Area wasn’t practical, either financially or logistically), so we parted ways as of December 2023. As of this writing, I’m taking a break and figuring out my next steps. I expect to stay in the technical writing field, but the job market is fraught and I am not as enthusiastic about generative AI as the rest of the industry seems to be.

In addition to documentation work, I’ve published non-fiction, 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, also called Coyote Tracks, got a lot of attention for a while; in fact, it led to my job with RethinkDB and my career switch to technical writing. So even though I can’t say I made a living as a blogger, being a blogger helped me make a living!

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. (Yes, it’s gotten better. Still not my favorite.)

If you are truly curious (or hiring), you can download my current résumé.