Mailing address: 2261 Market St. #500, San Francisco, CA 94114
JX Bell is a technical writer with decades of experience in technical communication. He has written software virtually his entire life. He is passionate about learning complex topics, understanding people, and communicating clearly. Clients appreciate that he learns fast and explains well. JX has a sharp eye for usable APIs and good system architecture. Available for contract positions or permanent roles in the San Francisco area. Read the top-notch recommendations for JX from previous clients at the end of this resume.
JX does consulting work as an employee of JX Consulting, INC, a California Subchapter S Corporation. All JX Consulting, INC contracts are corp-to-corp, so clients avoid 1099 independent consultant tax and benefits issues. JX Consulting, INC handles general liability insurance, W-2 paperwork, W-2 payroll, and benefits. Contracts with clients are straightforward hourly consulting contract agreements.
Operating Systems: Unix, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, VMS, Newton OS, Palm OS.
Software: Adobe FrameMaker, Quadralay WebWorks, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Dreamweaver, FreeHand, Fireworks, Photoshop, FileMaker Pro, ColdFusion, Perforce, BBEdit, RoboHelp, Eclipse, IntelliJ, and more.
Bachelors degree, 1993. Full double major in Computer Science and Religion, Hanover, NH, with additional study at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Awarded the Dartmouth Kemeny Computing Prize for coding style and design.
Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), 2006
*** Senior API Technical Writer Consultant and API Design Consultant @ Paxata Inc
Wrote API documentation for RESTful web service APIs that control data manipulation and data preparation at a massive distributed scale. The project involved Apache Hadoop, HDFS connection configuration, REST/RESTful APIs, Cloud deployment with multi-tenant configuration, MongoDB, Git, and Paxata Server. Wrote new content for the separate Installation Guide, including documenting new features related to Kerberos authentication, which provides mutual authentication using symmetric key cryptography. Wrote significant amounts of contextual online help text that appears in the user interface. Provided product feedback and consulted on API design.
Redwood City, CA, 12/2014-present
*** Senior API Technical Writing Consultant @ Guidewire Software
Wrote documentation that describes the leading software suite for the insurance industry. As part of this role, became a subject matter expert on many subsystems and APIs, and advised on API design. The Integration Guide includes detailed programmer-oriented API (SDK) documentation as well as extremely technical conceptual information. Topics include Java integration, web services (SOAP, WS-I, RPCE, and RESTful servlets), messaging, document management, Windows .NET, Apache Axis, database queries, data extraction, authentication, and inter-application integration. The Gosu Language Reference Guide is the authoritative book on the Gosu programming language. Gosu is an object-oriented statically-typed language based on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and used by multi-billion dollar companies around the world. JX also was a contributor for five additional books. Note JX's separate role as Documentation Tools Architect.
Foster City, CA, 7/2005-present
*** Senior Documentation Tools Architect & Engineer @ Guidewire Software
Foster City, CA, 7/2005-present
*** Technical Writing and Graphic Design Consultant @ Cisco Systems
Designed and implemented twelve diagrams that document the Cisco Digital Media System (DMS) architecture. Cisco DMS is a highly-distributed video streaming and VOD (Video-on-demand) system consisting of various Cisco networking products that encode, publish, and distribute video over the Internet to a platform-independent consumer video portal. Cisco used the diagrams for internal engineers, sales team, marketing team, and white papers.
San Jose, CA, 7/2006-8/2006
*** Senior Technical Writer Consultant and Project Lead @ Openwave Systems
Designed and wrote user interface flow documentation for an customizable mobile Web/WAP browser software used in a half billion phones worldwide. Wrote content for a customizable e-mail/SMS/MMS/SMIL messaging system based on OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) standards. Other topics included phone-desktop synchronization, multimedia content management, and memory management. Created a custom visual design language (including style guide) to support extremely varied audiences. Wrote code for Microsoft Visio using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA code) to support translation and show dynamic intra-document hyperlinks. Wrote PERL scripts to parse proprietary XML source code files to extract icon data. Delivered five documents in large format (17"x11") color printed documentation, as interactive PDFs, and as an interactive Web/HTML format. Supervised two external consultants on the project. Wrote custom scripts that searched strings from the Openwave source code and overrode diagram text with licensee-specific text changes and translated the documentation into supported foreign languages.
Redwood City, CA, 8/2004-6/2005
*** Technical Writer @ Inquisant Solutions
Prototyped a QuickStart manual for a consumer software product. Used Macromedia (eHelp) RoboHelp and Adobe Acrobat. Wrote a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for consumer-oriented image organization and photo publishing software.
Fremont, CA, 8/2004-9/2004
*** Senior Technical Writer @ MapQuest (an AOL Company)
Wrote documentation for developer tools (APIs and SDKs) for Enterprise versions of MapQuest mapping, geocoding, driving directions, and proximity searching. Content included Installation, Configuration, API Programming Guide, and API Reference. Languages included Java, C++, Visual Basic (VB/VB.NET), ASP, ASP.NET (ASPX), COM, and ADP. Platforms included Solaris (UNIX), Linux, and Microsoft Windows. One of the API programming manuals was a REST/RESTful web service implemented with XML and XSLT. Each manual produced in separate versions for each language interface, for a total of 16 total variants of the books including related API Developer Guide.
Mountville, PA, 4/2003-8/2004
*** Web Designer, Marketing Communications Writer @ Surplus Mobility
Designed new web sites and marketing materials. Tasks included technical writing, marketing communications, graphic design, and web production.
Philadelphia, PA, 3/2003-4/2003
*** Asset Specification Writer / External Art Contributor @ Electronic Arts, Maxis division
Designed new buildings, power plants, heavy industrial, and skyscrapers for implementation by external 3D CAD artists. Researched, designed, and wrote 2-to-24 page specifications using architectural technical writing. In the official credits of the highly-acclaimed award-winning game SimCity 4 as External Art Contributor.
Walnut Creek, CA, 5/2002-8/2002
*** Sex Educator, Database Consultant, Web Designer @ San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI)
Wrote detailed, accurate, non-judgmental information about human sexuality, based on extensive training about medical and psychological research. Managed web site. Edited content from others for e-mail and web. Designed and implemented databases, including a call reporting database and a web content management system. Co-supervised a public phone switchboard, spending many hundreds of hours answering questions about safe healthy human sexuality from people with diverse age, education levels, and communication skills. As a supervisor, helped train new switchboard staff.
San Francisco, CA, 2000-2006
*** Platform Communications Consultant @ 3Com and Palm
Wrote and edited programmer-level (API/SDK) information and business development copy for Palm OS mobile (PDA) platform developers.
Santa Clara, CA, 3/1999-8/2001
*** Senior Web Engineering Consultant @ 3Com and Palm
Santa Clara, CA, 3/1999-8/2001
*** Senior Developer Technical Support (DTS) Engineer @ Apple Computer
Wrote programmer-level (API/SDK) documents, researched programmer API/SDK problems, performed code reviews for external API programmers, wrote API-level technical presentations, gave presentations to audiences of thousands of people, wrote interim documentation, and edited the team's 150-page API-level technical Q&A documentation. Used C++, NewtonScript, Windows, Mac OS, Newton OS, MPW, Metrowerks CodeWarrior, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Was a world expert in the NewtonScript language. Designed content management database and publishing system for output as web site, PDF files, and CD-ROM. Publishing system used FileMaker Pro, AppleScript, and C++. Also was an expert in the Apple Media Tool Programming Language, and wrote example code that shipped with the Apple Media Kit product. Related to Newton work, wrote 4 articles published in the Newton Technology Journal, a professional journal for Newton OS developers. Became a Technical Peer Review Board member for the journal.
Cupertino, CA, 6/1993-9/1998
*** Software Development Engineer @ Apple Computer
On "loan" from the Developer Support Engineer group, wrote Macintosh (Mac OS) and Windows code to exchange information between handheld (PDA) and desktop Windows and Macintosh computers via serial and network communications protocols. Assisted in code related to communications, scripting, and user interface. Used C++, Windows, Mac OS, Newton OS, AppleScript, MPW, Metrowerks CodeWarrior.
Cupertino, CA, 10/1997-6/1998
*** Shareware Programmer / Software Engineer @ JX Software
Wrote the Macintosh software application Do It All! Calendar, using C++. MacUser gave it Four Mice rating. Shareware Magazine said "Definite A+ for user interface design and overall product usefulness."
Hanover, NH, 1/1991-12/1996
*** Software Engineer @ Paradigm Technologies
Wrote a product manufacturing process management tool for memory chip manufacturer. Wrote a Windows application to download and integrate data from offsite warehouses and detect invalid data from data sources. Written in C++ on Windows.
San Jose, CA, 6/1991-9/1991
*** Software Development Engineering Consultant @ Active Systems
Wrote new programming modules and designed user interface for Macintosh educational software that interfaced with proprietary hardware. Implemented scripting language and graphical editor in object-oriented C, a variant of C++.
Lebanon, NH, 1/1991-6/1991
*** Assistant System Manager @ Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation
Managed room of VAX/VMS computers for the Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation Palo Alto Research Laboratory Solar Astronomy Group (LMSC PARL SAG). Wrote utilities in the FORTRAN programming language. Provided technical support for company users. Answered technical questions. Solved user problems.
Palo Alto, CA, 6/1988-12/1988
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND CERTIFICATIONS
National Writers Union (NWU), member
Society for Technical Communication (STC), member
Certified Master Practioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Marin NLP, 2005-2006
Professional photographer, with portraits and fine art photography on the Internet at http://www.jxphotography.com
Designer, Artist, Painter
Download art on the Internet at http://www.doitall.com
Download music (electronics, flute, voice, piano) on the Internet at http://www.doitall.com
*** Paul D'Albora
*** Guidewire Software
JX is the most technical tech writer I've ever worked with in my career. He's sufficiently technical for very complex, technical, abstract docs. And JX knows how to explain things well, which requires deep understanding of the tech but also how real people learn and communicate. He makes valuable early project feedback that turns out to be important to our designs, and the company. He's good at understanding and empathizing with end-users of a design, and what their needs are. He's unafraid to speak his mind if a proposal doesn't make sense, and he does it tactfully in a professional way. I've worked with JX for many years now, and on a personal note he's a pleasure to work with. I strongly recommend JX Bell as a top-notch technical writer with a deep grasp of API design and software architecture.
*** Trevor Morris
*** Software Engineer
*** Guidewire Software
JX Bell is the best out there for what he does: he's extremely technical and really good at communication. He learns quickly, and I'm impressed by how much he knows about different systems. Plus all that knowledge is at his fingertips, so he can tie it all together. He contributes as a peer in a working group that's basically our Senior Architects plus JX. He's eager to help both personally and with anything that will help the company and our customers. I'm always impressed by his leadership in making sure the right things get discussed and solved. At a personal level, I enjoy working with JX, he's easy to talk to and makes collaboration a pleasure. His combination of enthusiasm, deep technical knowledge and top notch communication skills (both in writing and in person) make him somebody that any organization would be lucky to have.
*** Robert Geiwitz
*** Senior Technical Writer
*** Guidewire Software
I have worked with JX for over seven years. In that time, Guidewire Software has grown from a small tech start-up to a post-IPO company with multibillion-dollar worldwide customers. During this time, JX had a dual role as skilled technical writer and as automation/process guy in our documentation team. JX's programming and writing efforts have helped the Guidewire documentation group achieve a very high level of sophistication in the doc that we deliver. I'm grateful for the things, both large and small, that JX does to make us and our customer community a success. JX is a very proficient programmer with expertise in API design. Over the course of his tenure at Guidewire, JX his written thousands of lines of code to automate our documentation tools. The GW doc team now has an automated nightly doc build process with auto-generated emails that highlight validations and warnings about our language usage and doc structure, all designed and implemented by JX. On a personal note, JX is extremely helpful, and also most gracious about it. I really appreciate the effort he makes when something important suddenly comes up, which, in the world of software release cycles, is often. I have noticed that JX puts attention into good interpersonal communication. He makes an effort in meetings, both public and private, to listen carefully to what the current speaker is saying, and respond in a positive diplomatic manner. Without a doubt, I believe JX to be a valuable technical asset for any company.
*** Peter Rexer
*** Platform Product Manager
*** Guidewire Software
JX is one of the rare technical writers that I've met that actually could be a coder on many of the high-octane teams that he's writing documentation for. His love of writing craft and explaining technology and coding standards shows through in his work. Having someone that can turn my whiteboard scribbles and ten minute explanation of an arcane topic into top notch doc truly makes JX stand out. Not only does he *get* how compilers and garbage collectors work, he helps find potential holes in a complex design as you explain it to him. Those are some damn pesky good questions JX asks... and he makes me think a little harder about how to make our software better. JX also brings a sensitivity to how difficult it is to translate vague terms or ideas into other languages, and pushed me to come up with concrete recommendations for our users that would translate what we *really* mean. Guidewire customers probably don't know it, but their project success is thanks to JX's technical skills and keen eye for language.
*** Regina Bustamante
*** Director of International Product Management
*** & Director of Globalization Strategy
*** Guidewire Software
When a co-worker goes above and beyond expectations in their interaction with me or my team I like to call it out. I am talking about JX Bell and the many ways in which he contributes to the success of the company. The Globalization team's background is in software localization rather than document translation and publishing, and JX helps us succeed in our larger mission. In addition to his technical writing for Guidewire in the Documentation team, JX developed globalization-friendly features in Guidewire's documentation publishing system. His most long lasting contribution, we hope, was advice on process improvements to help our translation vendors deliver higher quality documents for all our future projects. JX's technical expertise, good will, and cross-team coordination allow us to offer high quality documentation to large multi-billion-dollar customers around the world.
*** Gerry Kane
*** Documentation Manager,
*** Openwave Systems
JX has a rare ability to discover very creative solutions while staying incredibly focused on delivering solid and accurate documentation on schedule. He moves easily from quickly grasping the 'big picture' to drilling down to the detailed level to fill in that picture. JX combines a depth of technical knowledge and skills with an artist's eye for presentation and design. History: I first worked with JX Bell at Apple in the mid '90s when I was the Technical Publications Manager for the Newton Group and JX was an engineer in the closely-linked developer support (Developer Support Engineer) organization. His contributions to the Newton developer community were widely acknowledged and his interactions with the technical publications group were invaluable as we all worked to build and invigorate the Newton OS platform. More recently, I worked with JX while I was at Openwave, which was developing and deploying a cellphone-based browser and application framework. I was tasked with defining and producing a comprehensive user interface (UI) flow document for external partners (and internal engineers) that completely specified the behavior of the extremely customizable underlying framework. There were tremendous time and detail pressures to deliver a robust document under highly severe contract penalties. I hired JX in to help. He quickly did much more than 'help'. He defined Visio-based templates that were invaluable and unique in illustrating how the framework operated. He worked under great pressure and delivered comprehensive documents that became the standard for Openwave and were used as sales tools when dealing with vendors.
*** Craig Barton
*** Director of Products
*** MapQuest Enterprise API Solutions
As Product Director of MapQuest Solutions, a division of America Online (AOL), I worked closely with J. Christopher “JX” Bell as a Technical Writer and a Technical Communication Consultant. MapQuest and AOL were extremely happy with his work. In addition to developing deep knowledge of complex programmer-level (API) tools and creating several suites of documentation, JX advised us on our product line, improved our API interface, and dramatically improved product deliverables across the board. JX contributed both low-level technical knowledge and high-level perspectives to us to help make our products easier to use and easier to understand. JX translates technology details for a variety of audiences. He keeps his audience in mind, whether it is in person, on the phone, in e-mail, in writing, or in design. He translates complex information into what would be useful for each audience, and even knows how to talk to varied audiences all at once with elegance and clarity. JX's work was readily and openly accepted and praised across the organization, including Quality Assurance, Engineering/Development, Pre-Sales/Sales teams, and our paying customers. They all appreciated that JX's work was well-designed, detailed, and thorough. JX balances an attention to detail with thoughtful elegant introductions, explanations for less technical people, detail for very technical people, and the key information for decision makers. It's also worth noting that JX demonstrated great skill for collaboration and diplomacy with a wide range of people and personalities, even when people are in crisis mode. And yet when we needed it, he's courageous enough to respectfully ask tough questions with integrity when appropriate, and this process improved our teamwork and our products. In addition to his technical skills and people skills, JX is an excellent graphic designer and marketing communication consultant who created very professional diagrams, graphics, and marketing materials. I strongly recommend JX Bell for any technical communication or marketing communication projects.
*** Sidney Griffin
*** Manager of Platform Communications
*** Palm, Inc
It has been a pleasure having Christopher (JX) as part of the Platform Communications Team. Christopher (JX) is a professional web developer of the highest caliber, who meticulously developed, formatted, edited, and managed critical user documentation and content for one of Palm's premier internet properties, PalmOS.com. Our internal customers -- management, and personnel in tech support, engineering, training/education, and other departments all praised his work. Christopher (JX) is an innovative self-starter, who excels in a high-level of autonomy and accountability. He is punctual and typically exceeds expectations. Of his many skills, his ability to foster relationships cross-functionally in an ever changing, fast-paced environment has proven to be extremely beneficial to our team. He handles pressure well and is adept at problem identification and resolution. Whether the situation calls for rollout of a site redesign, data migration, server monitoring, or the creation of content on our PalmOS.com site, Christopher (JX) not only met these extremely tight deadlines, but also often beat them. At the same time, he continued to produce a stellar user experience to support our more than 150,000+ developer community who look tot he site as the primary support resource to aid in their development efforts for the Palm OS platform. These are just a few examples which highlight Christopher's [JX's] superior skills and admirable work ethics. Christopher (JX) is an invaluable asset to any technical communications department, and I highly recommend hiring him."
*** Gabriel Acosta-Lopez
*** Developer Support Manager
*** Apple Computer, Inc.
Christopher (JX) was a great asset, both professionally and personally, to the Developer Support team. Christopher (JX) showed excellent technical skills as a software engineer, problem solver, code debugger, and researcher. He used these skills in his own work, and also in cooperation with peers, other Apple engineers, and our developers. In addition to his primary duties helping developers with their applications and collaborating with our engineering teams, he had other responsibilities that he handled well. For instance, he took responsibility for the management, editing, and publishing of hundreds of "Q&A" documents, creating a database and a process that satisfied the team and cross-functional teams. He also helped the engineering teams and software quality teams who requested his time in order to meet their deadlines, arrangements that I worked out with the other teams. On a personal note, he has been a great asset to the group because of his good spirits, sense of humor, and passion to help and teach others. For these reasons, I've appreciated my time working with him. Overall, he was a valuable part of my team, and I recommend him as a very well rounded and solid professional.
*** Michael Buckland
*** Project Manager
*** Newton System Group
In his role as an engineer in the Newton Systems Group, J Christopher (JX) Bell did an excellent job during the 7 months or so we worked together. During this time, he was a developer support engineer, and I was project manager for a critical software project. For example, J. Christopher's (JX's) team skills in assisting fellow engineers was invaluable in staffing an under-resourced but critical project. To do that, he and his manager agreed to transfer J. Christopher (JX) to my team for 7 months, where he provided extensive support to my project in writing code, bug fixing, and documenting bugs. J. Christopher (JX) contributed a great deal to the technical effort in getting the code written for this schedule-driven project. He demonstrated to me that he could write code with the best of the software engineers on the project. Another example of the value J. Christopher (JX) added can be seen in his technical communication skills. I have rarely seen the attention to detail and concise description of technical details that J. Christopher (JX) displayed in a the way he documented bugs in our tracking database. J. Christopher (JX) has always displayed the personal characteristics required to get the job done. He is pleasant to work with, always ready to pitch in and help, and has a sense of humor that helped when things got tense, as they always do in aggressively goaled projects. Finally, J. Christopher (JX) will be an asset to any manager requiring great technical skills, commitment to the team, and the ability to communicate technical information clearly and concisely.
*** John Bouvier
*** San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI)
I am the President of San Francisco Sex Information. SFSI is a 30 year old not-for-profit that runs a large educational department, web site, and most importantly a free national phone switchboard offering Free, Accurate, Anonymous Non-judgmental Sex Information and Referral to the United States and ever increasingly the rest of the world via phone, email, and our web site. I am writing in behalf of one of SFSI's more valued staff members, Mr. JX Bell. I have been both his supervisor over the years and also a collaborator on a number of projects here at SFSI. JX has worked for SFSI in various roles since his sex educator training courses in year 2000: writing detailed technical answers to our clients, writing new detailed copy for our web site, writing marketing copy, and now as Web Editor and webmaster of SFSI. All of his technical writing about sex is accurate and consistent with the latest books, journal articles, medical research, and other sources of information about human sexuality, reproduction, birth control, diseases, risk prevention, practices, and sexual and gender identity. He shows the constant desire to learn and improve, which helps others grow and contribute. He has fostered and nurtured cross-functional work at SFSI in arenas that had challenged SFSI for a few years before JX arrived on the scene to provide insight and solutions. JX understands the big picture yet with a great attention to detail as well as demonstrating excellent communication skills in person, in writing, and on the phone. He is calm, considerate, articulate, and deals with stress well both on the phone with clients and with Staff. JX is one of the best writers in 1-to-1 email answers to our clients as well. He is capable of explaining complex things to a variety of audiences, including educated older adults, inexperienced teenagers, and even other sex educators within SFSI when collaborating on answers and continuing education. In his technical role as Web Editor, he has significantly improved our web site, expanded services, and created a content management database to facilitate content management, supervisor approvals, and even translation teams for Spanish content. On a personal note I find JX to be an extremely focused person that I enjoy working with and learn from as well. I like it when some one can show me another side to a situation and/or problem that I might not see like he does. When JX sinks his teeth into a project/problem, it gets done! Based on his training, knowledge, experience, and communication skills, I recommend JX as a significant value to any technical communication team.
Full set of recommendations: