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Patanjali Sokaris

Tech writing in the fast lane

Technical writing and more

I have been providing high-quality tech writing services for over 20 years. And now putting all that experience into Smallsite Design.

However, while I have pulled a few rabbits out of my hat to get some seemingly impossible projects done, my body cannot keep up. Therefore, I am only able to do work that I can do from home, occasionally able to be onsite for meetings.

If you have some mentoring/facilitation/writing/programming work that fits that bill, don't hesitate to contact me.

Technical mentor ^

Through three decades of dealing with the practicalities of implementing technical ideas, through technical writing and printed circuit board design, I have developed skills in analysis and deconstruction of technical ideas and processes, and what makes them work out in business.

I can help with the thinking around what I call the 3 gates of making changes, being:

  1. 1.Is it desirable?
  2. 2.Is it technically feasable?
  3. 3.Will it fly?

Thinking and discussion about each of these can be clouded by one's hopes, preferences, biases or past thinking. I can help with being clear about the realities of what it takes to pass these three gates.

I have often come up with novel or left-field ways to solve problems, which have either:

  1. a.Saved building time.
  2. b.Saved operational time.
  3. c.Enabled substantial value-added.
  4. d.All of the above.

Sometimes one can just hit a roadblock in one's thinking, and rather than banging your head against a wall to try to nut it out, I can be a sounding board, or help whiteboard ideas, so that the path ahead can be clearer and more grounded.

My services are available by:

  1. a. Phone, for when you want to sound out ideas or discuss issues.
  2. b. On-site, to facilitate whiteboarding, discussions, or mentor staff.

Phone sessions are AU$195 for a 45 minute session, including GST.

On-site services will normally be by quotation. Please indicate in your initial enquiry:

  1. a.The nature of the engagement.
  2. b.The likely time I would be required to be on your work site.
  3. c.Your work site location (suburb/city).

If you want my technical mentoring services, use my contact page to leave your contact details, and preferred contact time, and I will get back to you then.

Currently, my mentoring services are only available in Australia.

Technical writing ^

I can produce all levels of documentation, including installation, configuration, operator, system administrator and reference manuals, and design docs for software and systems for a variety of industries, including telecommunications, transport, computer, building, utilities, investment, superannuation and insurance.

I can also provide custom automated and one-off solutions that can substantially speed up documentation production.

For those who want to manage their documentation better, I can:

  1. a.Create, or optimise existing, Word templates for best workflow.
  2. b.Mentor staff on how to write procedures, reports and create templates.
  3. c.Create Excel spreadsheets to track progress, including heatmaps to show bottlesnecks.
  4. d.Create file naming conventions that allow people to determine the contents of files without opening them, as well as facilitate automation.
  5. e.Create utilities to process document files and their contents.
  6. f.Use MS Office apps, regular expressions, XML and XSL to do all sorts of automation wizardry on information.
  7. g.Program PHP and javascript to do similar stuff on the internet.

I have a realistic ‘can do’ attitude, with the:

  1. 1. Vision to see what needs to be done.
  2. 2. Insight to devise an appropriate solution.
  3. 3. Clarity to divide the implementation into discrete and self-contained modules.
  4. 4. Flexibility to use the available tools to get the job done.

If you want my services, most agents in Australia will likely have me on their candidates list already, so you can just check in with the agency you usually use. Otherwise, get them to contact me.

Smallsite Design ^

During 20 years of tech writing, I found that certain document layouts suited a wide variety of document content, but would still look very professional and consistent.

I decided a couple of years ago that it would be worth making a product that incorporated those design elements, as well as benefitting from my approach to documentation management and infrastructure.

That product is Smallsite Design, and while not for sale as yet, it is running several websites, including this site and its own, while it is progressed towards completion. That is called 'eating your own produce'.

Go to the Smallsite Design site for background on the product.

Of course, on the way to completion, these sites serve to demonstrate my grasp of web technology and using it practically.

Related articles ^

Related sites ^

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