Gwen Zierdt
Technical Writing Professional
Senior Technical Writer

Award-winning technical writer for server software companies that need to communicate complex information to a wide range of audiences, including the IT Pro. Unlike other content authors, who just focus on the mechanics of the document, I draw on an extensive career in software development, stay current with technical certifications, develop and test sample code, and maintain a sharp focus on shipping high-quality customer-driven content.


  • Writing and Content Publishing
  • Project Management
  • Web Service APIs
  • Virtual Services
  • Cross-Team Collaboration
  • Enterprise Server Systems
  • Training and Education
  • Cross-Platform Deployments

Professional Experience

Microsoft (Consultant)                                                                                                                  3/11 - Present

Technical Writer III


    • Plan, develop, and write original content for System Center 2012 products:
      • System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager
      • System Center 2012 - Orchestrator
      • System Center 2012 - Service Provider Foundation
    • Manage schedule for document content development and release management.
    • Build and manage deployments to validate documentation scenarios.
    • Write content to target audience of system administrators, IT Pros, and development partners.

    Amazon Web Services                                                                                                                  3/10 – 2/11

    Senior Technical Writer


    • Designed content for system administrators, IT Pros, and development partners for cloud services running in Windows and Linux environments.
    • Researched and authored original XML-based content of new features for Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Amazon Beanstalk.
    • Built and managed deployments to validate documentation and samples for Hadoop MapReduce with support for Hive, Pig, and Cascading.

    Microsoft Corporation (Consultant)                                                                                            2/09 – 2/10

    Technical Writer II


    • Planned and authored content for new product, Operations Manager Cross Platform and Connectors.
    • Built and managed deployments to verify documentation and code samples.
    • Prepared and distributed ad hoc and troubleshooting documentation as required.

    Microsoft Corporation (Consultant)                                                                                             10/07 – 9/08

    Technical Writer II

    • Designed and contributed to implementation of a SharePoint 2007 server for the Business Online Services Group.
    • Created supporting documentation for Connected Services Framework including, but not limited to: white papers internal design documents, business policies, glossary definitions, procedural guides, blogs, wikis, and style sheets.
    • Prepared and presented business justification of web marketing and SEO program for System Center Essentials 2007
    • Developed, authored, and validated online marketing program targeting the IT Pro.

    Microsoft Corporation                                                                                                                     2/06 – 3/07

    Lead Software Development Engineer in Test

    • Deployed beta and legacy Windows Live and OneCare products to the web utilizing both waterfall and SCRUM release models for MSN Customer Tools.
    • Built validation tools used for deployment across domains.
    • Responsible for verifying and releasing: Live Self Help tools, Windows Live Help.

    Cisco Systems, Inc.                                                                                                                         10/04 – 1/06

    Software Development Engineer in Test


    • Provided quality checks for Cisco Unity 4.0(5).
    • Prepared documentation, scripts, and executed automation in Visual Basic.
    • Responsibilities included server administration and configuration management.

    Microsoft Corporation                                                                                                                       10/02 – 9/04

    Program Manager


    • Component PM for Setup and Migration on Microsoft Exchange Server.
    • Designed and drove technical issues related to Exchange Setup and Migration.
    • Responsible for Windows ™ Logo and data center certification of Exchange server.

    Microsoft Corporation                                                                                                                        9/01 – 9/02

    Lead Software Development Engineer in Test


    • Managed team of five individuals to provide stress and reliability data for a WAP 1.0 gateway and an SMS gateway for Microsoft Mobile Internet in Stockholm, Sweden.
    • Overhauled test methods to produce consistent results in a timely manner.
    • Provided support to entire organization by bringing common Microsoft practices to group.

    Microsoft Corporation                                                                                                                         2/00 – 9/01

    Software Development Engineer in Test

    • Prepared automation documentation and scripts for Exchange Server using Visual Basic.
    • Created and maintained individual test cases.
    • Performed structured and ad-hoc tests.


    2010 Puget Sound Chapter STC Technical Publication Award for Excellence

    Technical Certifications

    Microsoft MCP: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization

    MCSE exam 70-659

    Cisco Certification: Introduction to Cisco Networking Technologies

    Cisco exam INTRO

    Microsoft MCP: Install, Configure, and Admin. Microsoft Windows 2000 Pro

    MCSE exam 70-210

    Microsoft MCP: Installing Configuring and Administering Windows 2000 Server

    MCSE exam 70-215

    Technical Skills


    System Center 2012, Microsoft Office 2010, Windows PowerShell 2.0,Adobe Professional Suite, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Project

    Operating Systems

    Windows 2008 R2, Unix and Linux including: AWS Linux, IBM AIX, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Server, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server


    XML, HTML, C#, C, Visual Basic, JSON, PERL

    Development Methods

    Agile, Iterative, and Waterfall

    Content Management Systems

    CLiX, DxStudio, DocBooks

    Technology Skills

    SEO/SEM, Mobility, Scalable computing (MapReduce), Highly Available Computing, Blogging

    Writing Samples


    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL: M.F.A.

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL: B.F.A.

    Boston University, Boston, MA: B.A. Archaeology

    Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA: Technical Writing Certificate, Technical Editing Certificate