Online resume – Bob Watson

Empathy. Data. Enthusiasm. Success.

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What I can do

API documentation, Content strategy, Project management, SDKs, Agile development, Content analysis, Content inventory, Information architecture, REST APIs, User stories, Web analytics, Localization, Taxonomy, SDLC, GitHub, Python, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XML, PHP, MySql, User research, Experiment design, Prototyping, Remote UX, A/B testing, Usability studies

What I can do for you

Instruct and explain complex subjects to a range of audiences

Collaborate with business, product development, and software development teams

Analyze audiences and markets to improve product and documentation usability

Nurture effective developer documentation from specs, source code, or just sketches

Develop API docs and sample code in JavaScript, HTML, Python, PHP, XML, JavaScript, C#, C++, and others

Organize people to develop, implement, deliver, and support new products

What I’ve done for others

Taught and assisted the teaching of graduate, undergraduate, and technical school students in courses on human-centered design & engineering, technical communication, and electronic circuit design.

As a writer

Planned and implemented content strategy and information architectures for API and SDK documentation sets. Written overviews, conceptual walk-throughs, sample code, reference topics, tutorials, and user guides for web services, REST APIs and software used by app developers, system administrators, and device-driver developers.

As a teacher

Taught graduate, undergraduate, and technical-school students in face-to-face and online courses about user-centered design, qualitative and quantitative research methods, project management, technical communication, and electronic circuit design.

As an engineer

Designed, implemented, and supported through multiple major releases performance-monitoring software and real-time data-collection applications for interactive and embedded operating systems used in consumer and industrial applications.

As a manager

Directed software development teams to design, implement, deliver, and support software products through multiple product development and release cycles. Improved software reliability by improving engineering design and delivery processes.

Where I’ve done this

Amazon Web Services
(January 2020 to present)
As a Senior Programming Writer, I:

  • Write tutorials, reference, and conceptual overviews for the AWS IoT Core features in the 300+ topic Developer Guide
  • Improved customer satisfaction of Developer Guide by almost 20%
  • Plan documentation priorities based on user research, customer feedback review and planned engineering activities
  • Developed the product terminology usage and style guide to improve consistency across UI and documentation contents
  • Support the AWS IoT Console through design and review of UI text and writing and updating the console help panel text
  • Interview technical writing candidates
  • Develop productivity tools to improve writing efficiency

(September 2018 to December 2019)
As a Technical Writing Consultant, I:

  • Supported documentation for a Communications Platform as a Service company (part time)
  • Wrote and edited REST API documentation
  • Engaged with the developer documentation community through publications, social media, and public speaking.
  • Was a Twilio Champion and speaker at Write the Docs and API the Docs events.

Mercer University
(August 2016 to December 2019)
As an Assistant Professor, I:

  • Taught undergraduate and graduate courses in technical communication:
    • Introduction to Professional Communication
    • Technical Communication for Engineers
    • Usability Research
    • Communication in High-Tech Environments
    • Instructional Design
  • Developed the piClinic Console to provide service-learning experiences in technical communication by supporting limited-resource clinics
  • Provided university service supporting GoBabyGo project
  • Served as faculty representative for the STC student chapter
  • Conducted research on:
  • Published research papers listed in my publications.
(March 2013 to June 2016)
As a senior programmer writer, I:

  • Wrote conceptual and REST API reference documentation for software developers about mpx, the company’s SOA-based video management system
  • Reduced the time to produce reference documentation by over 30% by automating routine tasks and improving the authoring-workflow efficiency
  • Improved customer experience by shortening information paths after researching customer tasks and documentation site traffic
  • Redesigned the site’s home page and information architecture to accommodate the company’s growing and evolving customer base
  • Migrated help content from Confluence CMS to Knowledge Owl knowledge base
University of Washington
(September 2012 to June 2015)
As a pre-doctoral teaching assistant, I:

  • Taught courses in experimental methods and project management
  • Assisted teaching courses in user-centered design, qualitative, and quantitative research methods
(May 2006 to March 2013)
As a senior programmer writer, I:

  • Wrote user guides, overviews, code examples, and API documentation for web services and system components of Microsoft Windows
  • Developed web interfaces and technical content by working closely with the product teams. Researched customer experience to improve help content
  • Reduced documentation costs by $18,000/year using Six-Sigma methods.
Volt Technical Resources
(March 2004 to May 2006)

As a contract technical writer to Microsoft, I created, edited, and published technical white papers and online help topics to introduce new technologies to software developers and system administrators.

Steyer Associates, Inc.
(January 2004 to March 2004)

As a technical writer, I authored technical white papers about developing and debugging Windows device drivers as a contractor to Microsoft.

Evergreen Pictures, Inc.
(March 2002 to January 2004)

As an independent producer/director, I produced video and film programs for independent, academic, and municipal clients.

(April 2001 to March 2002)

As a programmer writer, I wrote technical reference material for the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.

(1992 to 2001)

Starting as a contract software developer and advancing to a lead software developer, I developed several major releases of the Windows Performance Monitor for Windows NT: versions 3.1 through Windows 2000. My team added features that improved the reliability and the utility of Windows performance monitoring. We designed and implemented v1.0 of the Performance Data Helper (PDH) library and API for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000.

Edmonds Community College
(1991 to 1993)

As an adjunct instructor, I taught evening courses in electronic circuit theory, design, and troubleshooting. Designed curriculum, courses, and labs for a two-year degree in electronic circuit design.

Intermec, Corp
(1990 to 1992)

As a software development team leader, I led five software developers to develop Windows application software for bar-code printers. As a team, we improved application reliability and efficiency through design, coding, and process improvements.

What else I’ve done

Researched the usability of web interfaces and API documentation. Published peer-reviewed research on API documentation and usability and presented at international conferences

Provided on-site customer service as a field-service technician

Designed, built, and serviced medical electronics

Managed communication equipment installation teams as a Communications and Logistics officer in the Washington Air National Guard (highest rank held: O-4/Major)

What else I can do

Fly airplanes  Commercial Pilot, Certificated Multi-Engine Flight Instructor
Operate radios  Extra class amateur radio operator
Hablar español  He estado hablando español desde 2005

Where I went to school

UWlogoSmallUniversity of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Once, twice, four times a Husky

PhD in Human-Centered Design & Engineering – Global Technology and Communication Management (2015)

MS in Human-Centered Design & Engineering – User-Centered Design, Received Award of Excellence (2009)

Certificate in Documentary Production (2000)

BA in Business Administration – Information Systems (1985)

Request a copy

Drop me a note and I’ll send you a copy of my resume or my academic CV. They contain my contact information and are suitable for printing.

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