Kay, Staff Technical Writer

Name

Kay

Title

Senior Technical Writer

Group

Product Documentation Strategy

Date Joined NI

September 13, 2010

Degree

B.S. in Statistics

School

University of Florida


How did you join NI?

I discovered the job opening on indeed.com. To be honest, I had never heard of “technical writing” until I saw the job posting, but I immediately knew I was right for the role: I love writing, I love technology, and I’ve spent most of my life teaching my parents how to use computers.

What are the typical activities you do each week as a Technical Writer at NI?

I write and edit content in XML and HTML, talk to developers to clarify what’s needed in the documentation, and test the product I’m writing for, which includes programming in LabVIEW and reporting bugs and issues. I work in an agile environment where there’s constant churn in the product, so I go to a lot of meetings with other writers to plan and prioritize research and documentation tasks.

Can you tell me a little more about one of the tasks you listed above?

Being able to talk to the developers who create the product you write for is a vital skill needed in the technical writing world. Whenever there’s a new feature that I have a question about, I ask a ton of questions (sometimes multiple times) to get what I need to write good content. There are also times where I don’t even talk about work, but building a relationship with your development team helps them to be more conscious of the documentation.

What do you like best about NI?

The people and the culture. Employees at NI are active, fun, and easy to work with. There’s a very positive culture about NI: the company leaders are open with their intentions with the company, NI tries to be as green and locally conscious as possible, and people are always bringing in food. Remember the Freshman 15? Yeah, my first year at NI was kind of like that.

How has your career grown since you started at NI?

I started with a larger group of writers where the documentation was more of a team effort. I then moved to the LabVIEW K-12 group where I worked on a smaller team and had more leeway with the content and types of content I got to create. Now I’m learning how to write and edit in DITA and helping other writers who are starting to adapt to DITA. I’ve also widened my particular set of skills to extracurricular groups in Tech Comm, which includes recruiting and helping resolve issues with HTML templates used by the whole department.

Finally, the most important question of all: Ninjas or Pirates?

Pirate. Because pirate = rum.