John Darrow Sunnyvale, California
Technical Writer and Technologist
Areas of Expertise
Technical Skills and Core Competencies
AJAX | Audacity | C++ | CAD | codecs | ClearCase | CSS | customer service | drawing | Eclipse | editing | Excel | FrameMaker | ffmpeg | Git | HTML | instructional design | integration testing | interface design | Java | JavaScript | JIRA | jQuery | Node.js | OOP | Perl | photography | Photoshop | PowerPoint | process automation | project management | REST APIs | SketchUp | SOAP APIs | software deployment | SVN | technical writing | test driven development | training delivery | training development | unit testing | UNIX | video production | Visio | WDSL | web programming | Word | XML | XPATH | YouTube
Professional Experience
Software Engineer | eBay, Inc. [8/2016-7/2017] | San Jose, CA
  • Helped code and test Node.js web development for the next-gen generator of API Reference documentation for REST APIs, revealed at the "eBay Connect" developers conference in June 2017.
  • Migrated 100-200 Perl/Java files to switch dependencies from identical ClearCase paths to writer-specific GIT paths.
Software Engineer | eBay, Inc. [7/2015-7/2016] | San Jose, CA
  • Proposed, developed and delivered in two weeks a Java utility which significantly shortened a regular tech writer task of reconciling two JSON schemas, reducing each task from over half a day to a couple of hours.
  • Contributed to the testing and deployment of a new public REST API.
Staff Software Technical Writer | Course Developer/Presenter | Engineer | eBay, Inc. [1/2015-6/2015] | San Jose, CA
  • Was appointed lead for an engineering course created by developers when my revisions improved survey scores.
  • Distilled ~100 high-quality English assertion statements from 20+ verbose standards documents for use in my team's development of governance software.
Staff Software Technical Writer and Technologist | eBay, Inc. [6/2011-12/2014] | San Jose, CA
  • Developed "schema to HTML" code for WADL and JSON schemas in continued evolution.
Staff Software Technical Writer and Technologist | eBay, Inc. [12/2007-6/2011] | San Jose, CA
Senior Software Technical Writer and Technologist | eBay, Inc. [2/2005-11/2007] | San Jose, CA
  • Tackled my share of documentation for new features and amendments to features.
  • Automated much of the doc generation and schema reconciliation processes, reducing what had been a task spread over two days and requiring much monitoring to a half day task requiring little monitoring, freeing the writer.
Software Technical Writer, contract | eBay, Inc. [7/2004-02/2005] | San Jose, CA
  • Recommended complete rewrite of a chapter on a complex subject to bring clarity and structure. Over time became a domain expert for this complex topic, helping advise cross-functional teams.
  • Developed Perl scripts which helped reduce documentation tasks (content creation, process automation).
Technologist and Technical Writer, contract | Informatica [3/2004-6/2004] | Foster City, CA
  • Migrated writer descriptions from FrameMaker back to Product Development's C++ code (imposing consistency where needed) so PD could generate API Reference documentation via doxygen.
Technical Writer, contract | Veritas [12/2003-1/2004] | Mountain View, CA
  • Migrated engineer-written documentation to FrameMaker, adopting Veritas writer standards.
Instructor, contract | many companies [1998-2003] | United States
Technical Writer, contract | Savi [10/2001-12/2001] | Sunnyvale, CA
  • Created an API Reference for a Java API Created a custom javadoc program to generate FrameMaker docs from their Java source code ("let writers focus on content, not formatting!").
  • Was brought back in 2003 to teach the tech writers how to document a Java API and my contract was extended to include an introduction to Java programming.
Web Developer and Brand Developer | [1999-2008] | San Jose, CA
  • Created and successfully branded a web site, starting in 1999 with 10 "travel photos" of mine, and growing to over 5000 photos from strangers around the world. Provided a "postcard" feature aiding the word-of-mouth viral nature of the site. The 6,000+ localized pages are generated from database facts via Java programs I developed.
Technical Writer, contract | Sun Labs (Sun Microsystems) [9/1997-10/1999] | Mountain View, CA
Software Technical Writer | Oracle [7/1996-8/1997] | Redwood Shores, CA
  • Led in team development of doc set for a Java API. Created a Perl script to help a teammate bulk-convert database facts from Engineering into 88 pages he could then import into FrameMaker.
Engineering Course Developer | Trainer | Internal Customer Support | IBM [8/1988-1/1996] | San Jose, CA
  • Overhauled a CAD training course for hardware engineers to be clearer, and added the necessary details from another course, eliminating a prerequisite to complete that other week-long course.
  • Distilled the course materials of three competing internal week-long courses into a single version, and on schedule, when I was originally tasked with reviewing and advising which to pick for us throughout the company. Converted from SGML to web pages via a transformation program I wrote (1994--early days of web pages!).
Education, Certifications and Publication
Bachelor of Science (BS), Mechanical Engineering | California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Certificate in Object Oriented Programming in Java and C++ | UCSC Extension | Santa Clara, CA
    With: Perl/CGI | Java Servlets | EJB with WebLogic | J2ME/Wireless | JavaBeans | Macromedia Director/Lingo
  • Certificate in Technical Writing | De Anza College | Cupertino, CA
PUBLICATION: "Documenting C++ and Java for a Developer Audience" (Self-Published)