Troy Topnik

Product Manager & Technical Writer

I am a product manager and technical writer with over 17 years of experience in the software industry, working with open source and open standard technologies. I look for opportunities to define good software with documentation-driven design and work with development teams to deliver great software.

Specialties
  • Product management
  • Software documentation
  • User advocacy
  • Developer evangelism
  • Technical copywriting
  • Supporting and troubleshooting complex software systems
Skills
  • Clear and concise writing
  • Documentation generation/delivery: HTML, XML (Docbook, DITA), Markdown, Sphinx, ReStructured Text, CSS
  • Git, SVN, Mercurial, and Perforce
  • Unix/Linux system administration
  • Some programming in Python, JavaScript, Perl, and Ruby
  • Making the best of terrible bug tracking and project management software
Experience

Technical Product Manager, Stackato

ActiveState

Feb. 2015 - Present

As the Technical Product Manager for Stackato, it's my job to refine the product roadmap into software development stories and tasks, ensure that the overall product roadmap matches the expectations of customers, and represent those customers as the product owner in development team standups.

Technical Communications

ActiveState

2006 - Present

As ActiveState's sole technical writer, I was responsible for customer-facing technical content including product documentation, white papers, articles, website copy, and blogs. I also developed and led customer training sessions for Stackato, led product demonstrations, and when needed, assisted with pre-sales engineering.

Prior to working on Stackato, I worked closely with the Komodo team for several years, contributing to development and providing feedback on usability and user experience.

I take an active interest in new authoring technologies and documentation frameworks. I mainly work with the Sphinx documentation framework (Python) but keep an eye on Dexy, Asciidoctor, Gollum, and Daux.io.

Technical Support Team Lead - Technical Writer

Sophos

2004 - 2006

I led the Enterprise Support team, supporting the PureMessage anti-spam product, then joined the small team of technical writers creating and maintaining documentation for PureMessage, Komodo, and other ActiveState products.

Technical Support

ActiveState

2001 - 2003

I started as the sole Customer Relationship Representative, providing technical support for the full range of ActiveState software. I moved on to lead the Enterprise Support team (six engineers) who helped system administrators install, configure, troubleshoot and customize PureMessage on a variety of Linux and Unix systems.

Technical Support and Sales Engineering

FaxPC / Image Power Inc.

1999 - 2001

I was hired initially to provide customer support for FaxPC, a "unified messaging" service. I was given numerous other responsibilities as developers and managers left the company. When FaxPC shut down I moved to a sales engineering and support role for the parent company, Image Power.

Education

Bachelor of Music

University of Victoria

1990 - 1993

Portfolio

Blog:

Product Documentation:

Video:

Articles:

Whitepapers: