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 also offer a research paper, one that highlights my ability to research a topic deeply, then present my findings in several different media. The topic itself describes much of the information that helped to formulate my current opinion on how to be an effective technical communicator.
One of my favorite projects I was tasked with involved working with a group of graduate students in Italy. It was a real-world scenario for both groups, leveraging their ability to translate languages, and my ability to both localize and globalize translated English for native users of the language. It required collaboration via technical tools, as the two groups were separated by great distances and the concurrent time zone issues inherent in cross-continent communication that we naturally had to overcome. This type of project would have taken months just 30 years ago, but we were able to complete the entire project online in only a few short weeks.
I also want to highlight another project that was 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, helping people today.
I hope that I have demonstrated my knowledge of the skills, concepts and methods for user-centered Technical Communication. As always, if you have questions, requests or desire more demonstrations of my abilities, I welcome any and all inquiries directed toward firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to utilizing the new skills I have gained during my studies at Missouri Western State University as well as the technical skills I have gained over the last 30 years of living inside the Matrix.
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 or to view my current resume.
Jay R. Fude