2015 At Large Director
Gary Wayne has been a member of STC for 12 years. He was a judge several years ago for the Washington, DC-Baltimore Chapter Regional Competition. He has not attended an STC Summit yet, but he has sat in on several local chapter seminars/webinars. After sitting on the sidelines for a decade plus, he has decided to try and contribute to the WDCB Chapter.
Mr. Wayne has 30 years of experience as a technical writer/editor, including 10 years in telecommunications/hardware and 14 years supporting software development projects for various companies in the DC Metro Region.
His career as a technical writer/researcher began in 1982 after he received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, where he served as a Reactor Operator/Technician on board a nuclear submarine. Although he did not have a degree, he was hired as a Nuclear Systems Engineer and began documenting U.S. Navy sonar systems for a Government Contractor. While continuing to work on documentation supporting government contracts, he pursued a Bachelor's Degree at University of Maryland University College. He juggled work, family and education for seven years. As he was close to graduation with an English degree, UMUC started the Professional Writing Major. Since all his classes were writing classes, he had already completed the requirements for the Major and was able to complete his degree program. He graduated in May of 1990 as the first person to earn a Bachelor's degree in Professional Writing.
He used his new degree to exit the government contracting world and enter private industry for the third largest manufacturer of telecommunications test equipment in the world. He progressed from Tech Writer, to Senior Tech Writer, to Technical Publications Supervisor (leading a team of four tech writers, two graphic artists, and a technical editor). In his ninth year, the company introduced a new telecommunications switcher monitoring system, which was his first chance to work with software development after years of documenting hardware. It was love at first Byte!
Mr. Wayne left telecommunications hardware behind and plunged into software development projects. He used the same drive that got him through UMUC to learn all about the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), Configuration Management Systems (CMS), SharePoint, Rational Suite tools, etc.
Admittedly, it has not all been fun, and it certainly has not been stress free (he had a heart attack in 2010 that was a wakeup call to change his life style). After the heart attack, he quit smoking, changed his eating habits, started walking 2 miles a day, and learned to ask for help when he feels overwhelmed. He is now 30 pounds lighter, still a non-smoker, and still walks 2 miles a day. He chooses contracts carefully to ensure the stress levels will not be severe. Stress and Technical Writing seem to walk hand in hand, but there are techniques we can all use to schedule the workload, work with project teams to establish expectations, and use automation to take the stress out of document reviews. As Competitions Manager, he plans to try to schedule the process to minimize the stress on the volunteer judges and ensure we have a fair amount of time to read and judge the entries.