Larry Hosken
330 Parnassus Ave Apt 203 
San Francisco, CA 94117
Contact Info:
References: upon request

Availability: Give me a couple of weeks to wrap up current tasks.

Objective: Full-time interesting computer programming or technical writing. Things I find interesting include developer tools, programming languages… I find many things interesting. Heck, I enjoyed programming in assembly language. Other people find that tedious. Position must be in San Francisco proper or near a BART station.

Experience summary: ten+ years technical writing; three years industry programming, CS degree

Programming skills: Python, Go (for hobby things), Javascript (a little), Scala (a little), C/C++ (long ago), UnrealScript (long ago), OpenGL (a little), Java (a little), Perl (long ago), Lisp (long ago), SQL (long ago), x86 assembly (long ago)

Engineering Group skills: Functional spec writing, code reviewing, mentoring, developer support

Tool/Environment skills: git, reviewboard, gcc, MS Visual Studio (long ago), Perforce/p4 (long ago), Swat (long ago), Unix (Linux, BSD), Emacs

Tech writing skills: HTML, Python wrangling of HTML, Markdown-alikes, FrameMaker (long ago), doxygen (a little), MS Word, Acrobat Distiller (a little), Robohelp (once), researching, writing, editing

Work History

Staff Technical Writer Twitter
Jul 2012 - Dec 2014
Documented many things, mostly developer tools: Source control, build, test frameworks, code review tools.

Staff Technical Writer Google
Jan 2005 - Jun 2012
Documented internal tools. Wrote concepts, reference, and best practices for build/compile tools and source control. (Many of these tools are described at a blog post by Mike Bland.) Wrote and edited documents about API design. Wrote and edited docs for using Sawzall, an analysis tool for large data sets. (I didn't write that academic paper.) Wrote and maintained document-generating tools.

Documented App Engine Worked with a team writing about parts of the Google App Engine PaaS, including the NDB storage API.

Developed Internal Training Mentored writers. Developed and taught live classes, both working with instructional designers and on my own. Ate at 17 cafeterias in one day.

Senior Technical Writer & "App Dev Kit guy"
Feb 2003-Nov 2004
Documented Mobile Device Software Platform: Wrote how-to, conceptual, and API documentation for Openwave's then-new software platform. Wrote sample code. Researched topics by reading source code and interviewing engineers.

Supported Developers and Wrangled Development Kit: Release engineer for platform's software development kit. Helped visiting manufacturer engineers with technical questions and debugging.

Infinite Machine
Nov 2000-Nov 2001
Programmed on New Legends, an XBox 3-D Beat-em-up game: Set up scripted game events using UnrealScript (a game-engine-specific scripting language). Some AI programming, setting up strategy for computer-controlled critters. Wrote Perl script to extract information from Premiere files useful for creating cutscenes.

Software Engineer &
Senior Technical Writer,
Blue Mug Inc
Oct 1999-Oct 2000

Project Engineer,
Geoworks May 1999-Oct 1999

(Blue Mug spun off from Geoworks to continue a project started there.)

Programmed W-CDMA smartphone: UI programmer on OS for Mitsubishi D2101v, a Japanese smartphone. Designed, specified API for new UI features. (New features included a high-performance scrolling area.) Used logic analyzer for performance testing. Wrote implementation specs for application coders. Mentored Japanese engineers.

Wrote WAP provisioning doc: Technical writing contract with Rewrote large part of chapter about over-the-air provisioning for device programmers porting's browser to their phones.

Drafted Palm platform overview doc: Technical writing contract with Palm. Wrote a system software overview for potential licensees of their OS, explaining how to tweak software to support hardware changes. Topics ranged from UI design to communications protocols to microcontroller support.

Senior Technical Writer,
Geoworks 1990-1998
Doc Lead on Embedded OS: Worked with a group to write online SDK docs for GEOS-SC, the OS on the Toshiba Genio, Toshiba Dialo, and Mitsubishi Moem-D Japanese smartphones. (Excerpts at Co-ordinated & scheduled three other writers. Wrote sample applications for SDK. Coordinated with remote Japanese translation contractors.

Documented Visual Basic-like tool: Documented visual builder tool and BASIC language for Japanese engineers of Genio smartphone. Wrote sample code.

Documented Embedded OS: Worked with a group to write printed and online SDK docs for PC/GEOS, an OS which ran on Intel desktop machines and, later, on handheld devices and smartphones. (Excerpts at Read x86 assembly language. Wrote sample code. Wrote about graphics, printing, BSD sockets, other topics. Created FrameMaker templates for multiple volumes of docs.

Supported Developers: Provided developer support for application developers on PC/GEOS. Answered technical questions in forums and via email. Lectured visiting developers. Assisted in training labs.

Documented Hypercontent Editing Tool: Wrote user-level documentation for a WYSIWYG editor of proprietary-format hyperlinked documents.

Summer QA,
Ingres Summer 1990
Converted test scripts for use with new tool: Learned SQL. Learned VMS.


BA Computer Science,
UC Berkeley
Studied: Learned about OS design, compiler design, digital circuit design, theory, and AI (including grad-level courses in vision and natural language processing). Helped students with homework as a lab assistant for introductory CS course.