Technical Skills

Document types: Have worked on instruction/user/operator manuals, maintenance manuals, hardware and software functional and detailed descriptions, procedural documentation, software user interface guides, software interface specifications, and on-line help.

Technologies: Have worked with digital TV compression systems and set-top box decoders, satellite transmission equipment and receivers, radar, general electronics hardware, and computers and networking (including TCP/IP).

Applications: Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP, Microsoft Office Professional (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access), Adobe Acrobat, Corel Draw and Photo-Paint, Microsoft FrontPage, Aldus Pagemaker, and RoboHelp/RoboHTML. Various shareware packages (AbsoluteFTP, Macro Express, UltraEdit, etc.) evaluated and used for small tasks.

Programming: Experience with Visual Basic (Version 5), Visual Basic for Applications, C (reading code rather than writing), PDF, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, and some assembler.

Career History (including Responsibilities and Achievements)

NDS Ltd, Southampton
TV Platforms Division
(Apr 1996 - Present)
Technical Author. Joined the company writing system manuals to support the digital TV compression systems manufactured by NDS. Developed 'master' manual containing boilerplate text for the main variations of systems; this reduced the time taken to write the individual system manuals and improved consistency.

Progressed to support the Consumer Receivers group, documenting the interfaces between the set-top box (STB) software written by the group, the hardware drivers written by STB manufacturers, and the electronic programme guide applications (user interface) written by broadcasters. (Software mostly written in C, with interactive application components using HTML and JavaScript.)

Moved on to writing instruction manuals and maintenance manuals for compression encoders and related broadcast equipment. Instruction manuals provided detailed installation, operation and fault-finding information, and technical descriptions and specifications (including safety and EMC compliance information). Imported CAD drawings for use as the basis for illustrations. Wrote user interface guides and introduced on-line help (including context sensitive 'What's This?' help) for the software control systems. Set up stylesheet and standards for on-line help, and assisted in integrating the help files with the software.

Acted on opportunities for streamlining processes: wrote Microsoft Access database application for recording details of the manuals produced and maintained by the Technical Publications group (as an alternative to the Excel spreadsheet then in use). Wrote Visual Basic utilities for creating Adobe Acrobat files into which were imported equipment schematic diagrams, and for converting web links in Acrobat files (for publishing on the Intranet) to file links (for publishing on CD). Produced local work instructions for the areas of work for which I was responsible.

In September 1999 the manufacturing side of the company was sold off, and I returned to supporting the Consumer Receivers group. Day-to-day work involves writing and maintaining generic and broadcaster-specific software functional descriptions, and broadcaster configuration documents (which are set up as Word forms). In addition, I re-wrote the document templates to comply with a new corporate style, added automated features through the use of Word forms and macros, and rolled the templates out across the Division. Wrote macros to assist with using requirements documents (managed through Requisite Pro) and the monthly Divisional board reports (which were automatically assembled and converted to PDF for publication on the Intranet using another VB utility). Developed VB utilities for assembling multi-chapter Word documents into a single file PDF publication.

Set up and maintained the Division's first Intranet site, and the Tech Pubs Intranet site linked from this.

Received Outstanding Contribution Award in 2001 for work on accessing documentation stored in the new document management system through the Intranet. CEO award winner July 2004 and News Corporation 2004 Global Excellence Award nominee for further development of document templates and supporting macros.
Matra Marconi Space Ltd, Titchfield, near Portsmouth
Ground Systems Directorate
Marketing Department
(Feb 1994 - Mar 1996)
Technical Author. Responsible for editing, formatting and presenting technical and commercial information included in bids produced by the Marketing Department. Work involved liaising with design and project engineers, editing and formatting source material, and producing supporting material such as scanned/drawn colour illustrations and front covers.

Set up bid documentation style guide and templates (Microsoft Word and PowerPoint). Advised on choices of software and hardware for use within the Department, and set up PCs and documentation to make full use of the facilities available (such as colour scanning and printing).

Also responsible for obtaining other author work during periods of low bid activity. Produced documentation such as equipment system descriptions for other departments, and wrote a Microsoft Access database application for storing and retrieving connectivity information between satellite terminals, modems, multiplexers and cryptos.
Howard Engineers Ltd, Southampton
(May 1985 - Jan 1994)
Technical Author. Responsible for writing documentation for a wide range of hardware and software systems and products.

Types of documentation produced includes system and circuit descriptions, operating procedures, maintenance procedures (including removal/replacement, testing and calibration), and functional and detailed software descriptions.

Equipment documented includes a broadcast TV camera, aircraft infra-red scanner, interference measuring receiver, mobile radar control/display unit, ship-borne radar, satellite baseband subsystem, computer-assisted target acquisition system, and a radioactive material processing complex.

Documentation was produced under a BS-accredited Quality Assurance system, and to a variety of military and commercial specifications.

Also undertook the installation of the local area networks (Novell) in the five regional offices, and provided follow-on hardware and software support.

Professional Training

Sep 1996 Programming in ANSI C Sun Microsystems
May 1997 TV Technology for Engineers James Brice Associates
Jun 1997 Digital TV
Sep 1997 RoboHelp Peterborough Technical Communications
Apr 1998 Advanced Word 97
Visual Basic for Word
Working With People
Aug 1999 Practical Guide to Understanding TCP/IP Zentrics
Nov 1999 Recruitment and Selection NDS internal
Apr 2000 Law for Technical Communications Peterborough Technical Communications
Jun 2000 Performance Management Workshop 1 NDS internal and ASK Europe
Jun 2000 Introduction to Conditional Access NDS internal
Oct 2000 Managing People - Core Skills Parity Training
Nov 2000 Performance Management Workshop 2 NDS internal and ASK Europe
Jul 2003 Fundamentals of Software Testing NDS internal


1982 - 1984 Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, Southampton
1978 - 1982 Bitterne Park Comprehensive School, Southampton
A-Levels Physics
Pure Mathematics and Theoretical Mechanics
Computer Studies
AO-Level Electronics


Computers: investigating problems experienced at work, investigating software packages and shareware tools for use at work, ad-hoc jobs such as Word macros, and general tinkering with hardware and software.

Steam engines, history and archaeology, cycling, walking, and reading.