PORTFOLIO: Technical or Corporate Writing
CAE Mining Inc.
Technical Writer, Editor, Training and proposal support, 2012–current client
Division of CAE Inc. producing software and hardware (mining vehicle simulation training solutions) to mining companies worldwide. Simply4 began with a full-time, three-month contract and continues to work on call focusing on the documentation needs for the Simulation group.
CAE Electronics Inc.
Technical Writer, Documentation Manager, 1997–2000
I began working at CAE’s Energy Control Systems division on a four month contract, obtained upon my experience at M3i Systems Inc. working on similar systems to write user and technical documentation. The state of ECS division of labour at this point was to have engineers rather than professional writers produce documentation. This was problematic in getting those involved in planning, coding, and implementation free to also write the documentation. As well, the boilerplate content for these documents was seriously outdated and not as usable as could be.
After my four months were up, I was asked to stay on as a permanent writer. In January of 1998, I proposed the development of a team of writers that would bring the ECS Documentation into line with competing standards of the time. This suggestion was readily accepted and the team grew exponentially, encompassing the ECS Tech Pubs division and modernizing working models: programmers program; writers write.
Courseware project (3-month contract, 2014)
Creating rough content obtained from SME’s to be delivered to courseware developers for aviation training. Accelerated time frame with immoveable deadline. Simply4 provided three writers to this project.
Documentation Manager, 2000–2004
In June of 2000, SNC Lavalin acquired the Energy Control Systems (ECS) Division of CAE Inc. as a going concern. I retained my position with the firm with additional responsibilities resulting from our detachment from CAE.
The department wrote user manuals for complicated energy control systems as well as published engineering documents. Our group was responsible for maintaining document control, producing large-scale technical proposals, creating marketing copy, brochures, and sales support material, creating hardware documentation, graphics, and illustration, as well as Web-site creation, and printing and photocopying services.
I acted as Editor-in-Chief setting writing policy and standards. I worked extensively on project documentation requirements and document design. I set in place a process-oriented system of document production.
I reported directly to the Vice-president of Finance and Services. It was my responsibility to estimate documentation costs for existing projects and proposals, schedule documentation projects and deliveries, and perform employee performance appraisals and salary reviews, hiring, and training.
The following is a brief description of the work I’ve produced or contributed to:
- Hardware Documentation
User Manual for a mobile PC for PC Mobile, Installation Guide for Gage Systems Inc., Hardware Maintenance Manual for ECS, Database Catalogue of all third-party and original equipment manufacturer.
- Software Documentation
End user manuals for M3i product line, End user manuals for CAE/SNC-Lavalin ECS product line, On-line documentation.
- System Documentation
System administration documentation for CAE/SNC-Lavalin ECS, Test documentation, Design documentation, Statement of work.
Within a short span of time from the department creation, Proposals became an essential component of the Documentation Group. We worked closely with the Sales and Proposal teams to coordinate, edit, produce, publish, and release proposals. Our mandate then included a revamp of the existing boilerplate material copied from one proposal to the next to a systematic creation of new proposals from a single-source generic document, continuously maintained to ensure all new development was integrated into the Master document. This process allowed proposals to be created more efficiently and effectively, and, as all the content had been professionally edited by the Documentation Group, the literacy level was sufficient to ensure the client clearly understood our product and services as well as the strength of our offerings.
- Training Material
Presentations and manuals, tutorial material, training packages; I produced class material for both technical writing and English grammar and composition courses given by me.
- Corporate Documentation
System Descriptions; Company Profiles; Customer Reference List, In-house templates and administration documents; Website, brochures, posters for tradeshows.
Documentation Process CAE/SNC-Lavalin ECS; In-house Stylebook CAE/SNC-Lavalin ECS as well as Jaykin and for M3i contracts, ISO Quality Procedures SNC-Lavalin ECS.
- Documentation Programs
Analysing the requirements for and overseeing the production and delivery of documentation for large-scale international projects.
- Document Design
Requirements, Layout and Format, templates and boilerplates, researching IEEE, CSA standards, or other international standards.
Marketing copy, corporate branding, graphic design, writing, editing, translation.
An Electrician company with over 20 years’ experience specializing in the home electrician industry. Simply4 has a long-standing relationship with this company to service all their print and marketing needs.
Quatric Solutions Inc.
Technical Writer/Proposal Writer and coordinator since 2013
An engineering outsourcing firm providing consultants primarily in the utility sector. Simply4 works to provide proposal support wherever and whenever the need arises.
Quatric Solution came out of the early companies Interpro Consultants and Utilicase. These companies were rebranded but functioned as both a supplier of engineering consultants and for the development of an Asset Management software package. Simply4 worked as a technical writer, setting up the documentation team with standards and templates and then applying this structure to produce the software documentation.
M3i Systems Inc.
Editor, Technical writer
I worked at M3i Systems Inc., a software development firm, for three years in the capacity of a copy editor, technical editor, and technical writer simultaneously. Like ECS, M3i creates energy control system software. I began at M3i when the company was just starting out and that gave me the opportunity to design documentation in terms of content, format and layout, templates, and process.