MIKE RILEY Career History
Professional Editor, Writer, and Graphic Designer
A Documentation Specialist integrates the experience of a broad spectrum of Writing talents. I’m seeking either a full-time or contract position with an advanced-technology firm, preferably in a leadership role.
I specialize in management and leadership of technical writing/editing departments/teams, Quality Assurance, and writing/editing for large publication and communications projects. Expert in writing to, and creating,
technical standards. High-tech user publications are my main area of interest, along with online applications of same; strong interest in document layout and graphic design, and use of the Web as a delivery tool for
e-commerce and support.
Current Status: ContractSenior Technical Writer, Training, Third Party Firm. Windows XP
Security Clearance: Enhanced
Career skills in the following areas:
Project management: publications, design, marketing; documentation standards; document control
Communications writing: technical, creative, RFPs, specifications, web delivery
Editorial management: English, technical and creative copy; French, comparative
Product management: product strategy and direction, Quality Assurance, GUI development, training
Graphics design/Electronic publishing: concepts, design, production, pre-press; websites, intranets
Marketing: corporate image, national publications, businesses
Training instruction: instructional and workshop design, lesson plans, self-paced materials
Radio and Television: production, direction, camera, audio, recording, lighting
Computers: hardware/software installation/troubleshooting
Software: MS Office, Frame, CorelDRAW, Quark, PhotoShop, Fusion, Acrobat tools, Notes, RoboHelp
Career experience in the following roles:
- Many years progressive experience in a variety of communications team management
positions, including budget planning, short- and long-term development planning, scheduling, interdepartmental and crossover-team development, liaising with CEOs, project co-ordination, technical documentation standards creation/maintenance, and quality assurance.
- The provision of technical, creative and general writing and editing
services, especially in evolving technological and software industries, e-commerce, industry, and military; communications, interactive cable & telephony, heavy equipment and vehicles, and media-relations environments.
- User manual design and production, graphic design, page layout, magazine and newsletter design, and marketing, including brochures, media kits, posters, etc.;
- Marketing-related activities, in the public and private sector, including marketing strategies; career experience in client consultation for a diverse range of projects,
including training, business development, marketing, problem analysis, etc.;
- Expert-level in the use of PCs, including Windows XP and 2000, and Mac OS.
2002: DOCUMENTATION MANAGER, Touchlink Inc., Hull
Contracted to redefine legacy
documents and create a standard for future publications for the combined hardware/software products. TouchLink specializes in secure financial pinpad and web-transaction tools, like the ATMs and keypads you use at
the store to pay with debit cards. Produced a suite of documents in record time, while beta-testing new software and working hand-in-hand with key customers, management, developers, and tech support.
1. 2001 – 2002: SENIOR TECHNICAL WRITER, Catena Networks, Ottawa.
Contracted to write/update several hardware/software documentation suites. Catena’s product involves DSL upgrades
for Competitive/Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (phone companies). Very large American-based customers take advantage of this technology that allows existing copper/fiber telephone network systems to quickly
upgrade their services to provide high-speed Internet access without installing new equipment. Writing activities include typical research and preparation of highly-detailed technical documentation and training,
working with a cross-departmental range of Development groups, and managing my own projects.
2. 2000 – 2001: SENIOR MANAGER, PUBLICATIONS, Zinilin Inc.
Hired five weeks into this start-up’s history, reporting to COO.Created Publications Group and standards for
User Documentation, Engineering specifications, and interim marketing planning. Researched and wrote software product documentation. This product is a software-development environment, incorporating Java with
XML-document translation to query and present data between disparate data sources and end users. Marketing focus is aimed at the information provider in the wireless industry. The software provides server
applications and client browser downloads via Java and other methods, cross-platform functional.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDED: documenting PC-based Application and cross-platform (Unix, Mac, etc.) specifications/processes/procedures within a development/maintenance environment. Also, all User Guides,
engineering specifications and templates, marketing collateral, white papers, etc. Worked directly with engineers, developers, senior management.
SPECIFIC TOOLS INCLUDED: Microsoft Office 2000 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, PhotoShop, PhotoImpact, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES
: Java, C++, Visual Basic, J2EE OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 98, ME, NT, Sun, UNIX, QNX. Assumed marketing role in a “bridge” position, to design and develop external website and network Intranet.
3. 1999 – 2000: SENIOR WRITER, NORTEL. Contract
Provided writing and editing services on User Documentation for Norstar networks and equipment, for Global operations including
Australia and Britain. Tasks included researching from specs with SMEs, writing and editing new and legacy documentation for Installers, System Administrators and End
Users, testing procedures, publishing to PDF from Frame, and related senior-level team duties. Hardware operation is based on a client/server structure.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDED: documenting PC-based Application specifications/processes/procedures within a development/maintenance environment. User Guides for hardware and software for Australia,Great Britain,
North America. Worked directly with engineers, developers, senior management, writers and trainers.
SPECIFIC TOOLS INCLUDED: Microsoft Office 98 & 2000 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, PhotoShop, PhotoImpact, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES: Java, C++
OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows NT, Windows 98. It became apparent to the group’s managers that their team could make more effective use of my background and experience; offered the position of Group Manager
three months after start date.
4. April 1996 –Feb 1999: MANAGER, DOCUMENTATION & TRAINING, Manugistics/ProMIRA, FastMAN
Through three company name-changes and acquisitions, created the Documentation department,
managed a technical staff, and helped to plan and develop the future of the company with senior management. Rewrote legacy documentation to higher standards, wrote and edited enhancement information, incorporated
training technology, moved to online Help venues, introduced support web pages, and brought the firm to the leading edge in User documentation. Managed the daily business of the department, and planned budgets,
staffing, product requirements, specifications, UI and software enhancements. Manugistics software is client/server based and multi-platform, using webserver technology also for E2E and B2B.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDED: documenting PC-based Application specifications/processes/procedures within a development/maintenance environment. All software User Guides, all Training manuals for customers and
employees, specification templates for Development team, GUI testing. Worked directly with engineers, developers, senior management, worked with and led a team of writers and editors throughout North America; also
as a team member of the development/engineering group, test group, GUI group, marketing team, etc.
SPECIFIC TOOLS INCLUDED: Microsoft Office 98 & 2000 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, PhotoShop, PhotoImpact, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES: Java, C++,
Visual Basic, J2EE OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 95, Windows 98, NT Hired as Documentation Specialist.Promoted to Manager after four months. Cut publishing production costs in half. Maintained lowest overhead
budget of all departments in company.Received a “100% satisfaction” rating in the last (independently-conducted) Customer Satisfaction Survey.
5. Sept 1994 –April 1996: DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS, ISOTEC Corporation & SETH Corporation (US)
ISOTEC and SETH are hi-tech firms specializing in the design, production,
installation and maintenance of TEMPEST computers and peripherals, and sophisticated EMC/RF test equipment. My chief function was as corporate head of business management. Coordinate all business for senior
partners. Liaise with all government and corporate clients. Technical writing of all company documents, including equipment manuals, contracts, and RFPs. Design and produce all corporate visuals (logos, documents,
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDED: documenting PC-based Application specifications/processes/procedures within a development/maintenance environment for software tools for computer security; for hardware test equipment
for Tempest equipment and other IEEE-related emissions standards hardware requirements. This included maintaining development documentation for the Developers and Engineers, schematics, etc. Worked directly with
engineers, developers, senior management.
SPECIFIC TOOLS INCLUDED: Microsoft Office 7 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, PhotoShop, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 95, Windows NT Enabled superior
business-cost and time savings through my professional contacts; achieved successful contract negotiations and award under competitive duress: for example, NATO's Network Control System based in Europe.
6. Feb 1993 –Sept 1994: SENIOR TECHNICAL EDITOR, Digital Equipment of Canada Ltd. I ANDERSEN Consulting
Provided technical editing and documentation guidance to the Security
Engineering Team, for the Funded Development Phase of the Canadian Forces Supply System Upgrade (CFSSU). With Andersen Consulting, a team of 150 people designed a complete functional architecture and database
management system for DND world-wide. The design covered all aspects of acquisition, purchasing and distribution for Canada'slargest supply system network. My role was to validate the technical content and
compliance of all Security documentation including Security Architecture, TEMPEST planning and QA, Communications Hardware, System Software, etc.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDED: documenting PC-based Application specifications/processes/procedures within a development/maintenance environment for security architecture for DND inventory system. Worked closely
with engineers and software/hardware developers to design a new methodology for architecture, to be incorporated in a new network system globally. This included development software, and end user software. Worked
directly with engineers, developers, senior management.
SPECIFIC TOOLS INCLUDED: Microsoft Office 98 & 2000 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, PhotoShop, PhotoImpact, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 95, Windows
NT Company was unfamiliar with military documentation standards. I headed up a complete re-write of the MilSpec AG-003 Series of the submission. Based on my professional input, I was asked by both the Senior Project
Manager and Security Manager to remain with the Team upon contract award.
7. March 1992 – Jan 1993: SENIOR EDITOR, Martin Marietta Canada Limited. Contract
Contracted to provide editorial services for major Transport Canada Projects (CAATS, CAS, RAMP).
Provided research and QA for various bids and proposals. Master edit of all Transport Canada management specs. Instigated and produced company's first major internal report aimed at maximizing computer and
design capabilities in Publications department; my recommendations were implemented.
8. 1990 -1991: SENIOR COMMUNICATION OFFICER, PSCS Project, Supply & Services Canada.
Contracted for 18 months to provide communications, design and writing services for implementation of all communications requirements of this SSC Project. This involved management, writing, editing, marketing, etc.
Created and designed all internal marketing visuals (e.g. information kits, posters, HotLine ads); created a branded graphic style and image for documents and presentations, adopted by several other Departments.
9. 1988 -1990: PROJECT MANAGER/WRITER/EDITOR, MILITARY PUBLICATIONS, Wackid Radio, Ottawa.
Contracted through Wackid Radio as Project Manager, to write, translate, format, and publish bilingual manuals for a DND gunnery training school in Nova Scotia with state-of-the-art communications matrix gear.
Assumed role of Project/Client Liaison at Wackid's request, to familiarize contracting staff with the requirements and details of producing technical documentation packages for DND.
10. 1988 -1989: PUBLICATIONS QUALITY ASSURANCE, MILITARY STANDARDS, Valcom Ltd., Ottawa.
Wrote several manuals for DND equipt's: Land Mine Rollers, Communication installations, satellites, etc.
11. 1987 - 1988: EXECUTIVE EDITOR & MARKETING DIRECTOR, RESET Magazine, Khalil Publishing.
Management, marketing, advertising sales, and writing articles for this international computer magazine.
12. 1985 -1987: SENIOR EDITOR, MILITARY PUBLICATIONS, AG Series, ADGA Group, Ottawa.
Wrote/edited manuals/handbooks for military equipment: Leopard Tanks, BV-206 OverSnow, 5-ton Trucks.
13. 1975 -1985: TRAINER & WRITER, BUSINESS & MILITARY, Friesen, Kaye & Associates, Ottawa.
Wrote lesson plans, self-paced instructional material, and manuals for Shell Canada, Air Canada,
BCTel, ROLM Corp.,
Armed Forces ILTIS, 21/2 ton, Manac fire vehicles, etc. Managed projects, liaised with clients, prepared resource quotes.
14. 1974 -1987: OWNER/OPERATOR, Studio F of Ottawa. Audio-visual production (sound tracks, radio).
Wrote, narrated, produced sound tracks for cartoons (eg.Sesame Street), PSAs, training films and slide
- Project management Writing
- Editorial management Training
- Graphics design/Electronic publishing Marketing, web design
- 1972–1974 Algonquin College, Woodroffe Campus, Ottawa, ON
- Honours, Radio-Television Arts
- Course representative on Industry Student Advisory Council.
- 1996-1997 APICS Master Planner (two certified completions)
- 1995 ATM Theory/Application; Wireless.
- 1980s Various Instructional Techniques courses
- FrameMaker, MS Office , Acrobat Distiller et al, Quark Xpress, , NetObjects Fusion MX, DreamWeaver, numerous publishing tools
- Photo-imaging software, Corel, PhotoShop, etc.
- NT & ME operating systems; Lotus Notes