It is difficult to trace the history of my near three decades of wandering since I earned my first hours of college credit. I certainly did not expect to major in English, as I received my first credits while in the United States Air Force. I picked up a few in physical education, and many in computers, including operation, troubleshooting, networking, and security. Over the years, I took classes that interested me, and occasional Spanish classes to maintain fluency in the language.
I managed to accidentally earn an Associates degree, and I was then courted by several universities, including Missouri Western State University (MWSU). While speaking with a representative from this university I learned about Technical Communication. I came to MWSU to learn how to translate from “geek” to “human”, but I now understand that it is so much more. Technical Communication is a two way street. One must communicate from the highly technical, or highly specialized to the general population, but also be able to be an advocate for the end users when helping shape a document, user interface, or other design features. The works I have selected here show this journey as well as highlight some of the projects and papers I have worked on in the last two years of my long journey.
I have selected a poster project, as it demonstrates an ability to concentrate a vast amount of specialized research into a limited space. This one poster had to convey enough information to elicit interest, and I had prepared myself to answer any probing questions asked of me. This project was one of my first for an English / Technical Communication class, and the research behind it prepared me for many other projects.
I then selected a research paper, that highlights my ability to create a research paper, and the topic itself describes much of the information that formulated my current opinion on what it is to be a technical communicator. It has the additional benefit of being concise. At only three pages of content, it should not require a long time to peruse.
One of my favorite projects I was able to undertake involved working with a group of graduate students from Italy. It was treated as a real-world scenario for both groups, leveraging their ability to translate languages, and our abilities to localize and globalize English as native users of the language. It also required collaboration via technical tools, as the two groups were separated by great distances, which naturally came with time issues to overcome. This type of project would have taken months and many hard copies transiting the ocean just 30 years ago, but we were able to complete the entire project online in only a few short weeks.
Next I wanted to highlight a project that is a real-world project for a client. We were tasked with creating a step by each help guide for ifixit.com, complete with accompanying photographs to be hosted on their site. We had to create a proposal for the guide, which was then reviewed by ifixit, and if approved, we then created the actual guide. This guide was approved by the ifixit team, and it is still live, and helping people today.
Last, I have included a help page created with the Madcap Flare tool. Using this tool, we were to create a multi-format index or help file. This involved creating definitions for terms, and then grouping these terms into logical categories. We used Madcap Flare to create a table of contents, index, and then output the content as HTML, PDF and Microsoft CHM help files. I have included the HTML as well as an updated page, where this basic file was enhanced for even more interactivity and the resulting HTML code has been optimized.
I hope that I have demonstrated my knowledge of the skills and concepts of Technical Communication to your satisfaction. As always, if you have questions, requests or desire a demonstration of my abilities, I welcome any and all enquiries directed toward firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe that I have matured as a Technical Communicator, and I look forward to utilizing the new skills I have gained during my studies at Missouri Western State University.
Again, I thank you for your time. Please feel free to return home, or use the Table of Contents links to the left to visit any of the projects mentioned and to view my current resume.
Jay R. Fude