Fred Lifton Wordsmith

I've organized my portfolio into the categories on the left. I've tried to choose a variety of documents representing diverse topics and audiences. Feel free to contact me if you wish to see more of a particular kind of sample.


Technical Writing

Docker, Inc.: I have been a Technical Writer at Docker since June 2014. Initially, I was responsible for all aspects of Docker's documentation, including community contributions and Open Source documentation. Today, I am responsible for all of Docker's commercial product documentation, including Docker Trusted Registry and Docker Hub. I've also helped out Marketing with white papers and blog posts.

Puppet Labs: I was a Technical Writer at Puppet 2012-2014. During that time, my primary responsibility was the Puppet Enterprise User's Guide. Some of what is there now was written by others and edited by me when changes were needed. Other parts I wrote myself, for example, the documentation for the Event Inspector.

If you want to know more about my philosophy for producing effective documentation, I wrote a blog post for Puppet on the topic.

Hewlett-Packard: I was a Senior Technical Writer contracted to HP 2007-2012. Non-Disclosure Agreements prevent me from posting any samples of my work for them. However, I can describe some selected titles.

Mac ERS's For my first two years at HP I was the lead writer for the global Mac software development team. During that time, I wrote and maintained a number of Engineering Requirement Specifications (ERS) that described the functions and UI of HP's Mac applications such as installers, utilities, image processers, and others. I also worked with the lead architect to design UI and write in-line help strings. ERS's were used by in-house and third-party developers, testers and localizers to develop the software.

CNX ARS In 2009 I was moved to the Connectivity Firmware team. My first major responsibility there was to write a master Architectural Reference Specification. This specification documented the functions and interactions of the firmware components and technologies used to enable web and local connectivity of HP devices. The spec is used as a reference for managers and engineers and as a training tool for third-party and new in-house developers.

GIT Survival Guide In 2011 my responsibilities broadened to serve as lead writer for the Inkjet Product Group lab. I was asked to provide training tools to help the lab transition to the Git software versioning control system. Based on extensive discussions with developers, I created a Survival Guide that helped provide a smooth transition to the new system.

Reed College: Portfolio Help Pages Online resource for Reed faculty using the campus digital asset management system I set up.

Reed College: Web Tips One of the hand-outs I used when teaching web development to Reed Faculty.

TRA360: I was a contract writer for TRA360 2005-07. TRA360 provides technical communications to companies in biotechnology, high technology and healthcare fields. Confidentiality policies again prevent me from posting samples. However, I can say that I wrote and edited technical documents for TRA clients such as Aquent, RSA, RIM, and Abbott Labs.

Specifically, I wrote and edited employee training scripts, B2B white papers, marketing collateral, and end-user manuals. I was responsible for ensuring the accuracy, clarity and completeness of all documents produced by TRA writers. In addition, I served as the copy-editor for TRA's regular customer newsletter, Focus Forward.

BuilderNews Magazine: Articles A selection of the feature articles and columns I wrote for this trade magazine in 2005-06.

Coldwell-Banker: User Manual An excerpt from a user manual written for listing software used by the agents of a regional real-estate company.

Power Mac Pac: Technical/Marketing Communications A page from one of the customer newsletters I wrote, edited and produced for a local computer retailer.

Eno Traders: Technical/Marketing Communications An educational article from a customer newsletter.

Duke University: Doctoral Dissertation I've included a copy of my thesis because in many ways it is an extended piece of technical writing. It presents large quantities of complex, highly abstracted information. It is the end result of a long development process that synthesizes many conceptual approaches.

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Copy & Feature Writing

Reed College: Catalog/Brochure Layouts of the course catalog I created for my faculty professional development curriculum.

Key Laser Institute: Print Ad I wrote the copy for this ad which appeared in Portland Monthly and elsewhere.

Eno Traders: Customer Newsletter Scan of a full issue of a newsletter I wrote, edited and produced for an outdoor retailer.

Grand Central Bakery: Newsletter A scan of an article I wrote for a local retail bakery's customer newsletter.

An abandoned personal blog about being an un-gifted cyclist and growing up in the Seventies. Possibly NSFW due to language.

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TRA360 I served as copy editor of their customer newsletter, Focus Forward, 2005-07.

BuilderNews Magazine I served as the pre-press copy editor and proofer of this trade journal, 2004-05.

Reed College NSF-AIRE Grant. I was a project leader and writer/editor for this major grant project at Reed.

Power Mac Pac I was the managing editor of the customer newsletter for this large computer retailer, 1998-2000.

Journal of Physiological Zoology I revised and proofed this article for a University of California professor. It was accepted for publication.

Eno Traders I was managing editor of The Trading Post, a customer newsletter for a Durham, NC outdoor store, 1989-91. The quality of this publication earned it space in the archives of the University of North Carolina.

Western Winds Magazine I served as associate editor and pre-press copy editor and proofer of this customer magazine for outdoor retailer/manufacturer Western Mountaineering, 1984-88.

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