long resume

Scott Knaster                                                                 
714 Fairlands Ave.
Campbell, California 95008
email: sknaster@gmail.com
mobile: 408-799-1226
home: 408-379-3350 

I learn about new technology in depth, then share that knowledge by writing, teaching, demonstrating, and speaking. I'm an explainer.

I have written documentation for various audiences, including:
  • Application Programming Interface (API) documentation for programmers.
  • Internal technical documents about software for programmers and others.
  • Books about software for programmers and non-technical readers.
I've also done these non-writing tasks:
  • Provided developer support to software developers and product support to non-technical users.
  • Developed and delivered training classes, conference presentations, and demos.
  • Managed groups of writers and developer support engineers. 

Employment History

Google, 2005 to present

Technical Writer. Wrote documentation for external developers using various Google APIs and platforms, including Google App Engine, OpenSocial, and Google Checkout. Wrote internal documentation for software engineers and for non-technical users.

MacTech Magazine, 2003 to 2005

Columnist. Monthly column, Mac OS X Programming Secrets, and occasional other features. http://www.mactech.com/

Danger, Inc., 2003

Technical Writer. Wrote software development kit (SDK) documentation for Danger hiptop, a platform for mobile devices with phone, e-mail, web browsing, and instant messaging features. http://www.danger.com/developers.php

Microsoft Corp., June 1996 to February 2003

Technical Writer. Responsible for writing Microsoft Windows Longhorn User Experience Guidelines, a future Microsoft Press book and web site for Windows software developers. Wrote various technical documents including Inductive User Interface Guidelines, which describes a new style of user interface for consumer software. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwui/html/iuiguidelines.asp

Program Manager. Co-designed and managed numerous features in Outlook Express and Entourage software for Macintosh. Was lead program manager on Outlook Express version 4.5, which shipped on time simultaneously in 9 languages and won Macworld Expo Best of Show award. Created and delivered theatre and booth demos at many trade shows and customer sessions.

Technical Writer. Wrote documentation for two software development kits, ActiveX and Configuration Manager. Presented conference sessions at 6 Macworld Expos, including demoing in 1996 and 1997 keynote sessions. Co-created and implemented various marketing communication programs, including demos, presentations, ads, press releases, and “rude Q & A” documents. Acted as press contact and interview subject for Mac Internet group. Wrote columns and feature articles for various microsoft.com Web sites.

General Magic, Inc., 1990 to 1996 

Writer and Documentation Group Manager. Wrote more than 1000 pages of programmer documentation on concepts and application program interfaces (APIs) for Magic Cap, an object-oriented communication software platform with several hundred developers. Published this documentation both on paper and on the Web (site no longer available). Managed the five-person group that was responsible for all user and technical documentation for the company.


Wrote various technical reference materials, white papers, press releases, magazine articles, advertising brochures, phony articles for April Fool’s Day, and more. Led team in user-testing software, demonstrated products at trade shows and training classes, and helped with user-interface design and the wording of on-screen messages.

Apple Computer, Inc., 1987 to 1990

Technical Writer. Wrote API and concept-level programmer documentation for a large object-oriented software system written in C++, which later became a project inside Taligent, Inc, a joint venture of Apple, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard.

Acius, Inc., 1987

Co-founded Acius, Inc. (now called 4D, Inc.), a company that creates and sells relational database software called 4th Dimension or 4D. Responsible for setting up and delivering technical support, customer support, and training.

Apple Computer, Inc., 1983 to 1987

Technical Support Manager. Managed a group of 16 engineers who provided technical support to Apple’s most important ISVs. Provided software and hardware support to customers and independent software developers via telephone and electronic mail. Designed technical note system and wrote many technical notes. Created and delivered classes for MacCollege, a series of intensive developer training and debugging sessions.

Books published


Learn Objective-C (with Mark Dalrymple), Apress, 2004. http://tinyurl.com/2562f

Hacking iPod and iTunes, John Wiley and Sons, 2004. http://tinyurl.com/2562f


Mac Toys (with John Rizzo), John Wiley and Sons, 2004. http://www.amazon.com/mactoys


MSN The Everyday Web (with Barbara Knaster), Microsoft Press, December 2000. http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/4711.asp


Macworld Discover Internet Explorer (with Shannon Rouse), IDG Books, 1997. http://hallinternet.com/internet_applications/429.shtml


Presenting Magic Cap (with Barbara Knaster), Addison-Wesley, 1994. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/020140740X/qid=1043017867/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/102-9697365-6247364?v=glance&s=books&n=507846


How to Write Macintosh Software, Hayden Books, 1985; second edition, 1988; third edition, Addison-Wesley, 1992. Apple issued this book to all new registered developers from 1985 to 1990.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201608057/qid=1043017960/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/102-9697365-6247364?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 . Recommended by Microsoft as a technical introduction to Macintosh: see http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3ben-us%3b32536 .


Macintosh Programming Secrets, Addison-Wesley, 1987; second edition (with Keith Rollin), 1992. Received the Mac Wizard award from the Boston Computer Society.


Cooking with HyperTalk 2.0, (with Dan Winkler), Bantam Books, 1990. Translated into 3 languages.


Magic Cap Concepts and Reference, published on the Web and on paper by General Magic in 1995.


I was Series Editor for Addison-Wesley’s Macintosh Inside Out, a collection of 19 technical books published over a 3-year period in the 1990s.

Personal information

I’m very happily married, and my wife and I have two terrific kids, a son and a daughter.


I enjoy spending time with my wife and our kids, playing with new technology, watching baseball, reading, listening to music, and taking walks. I collect MAD magazine – I have every issue! I’m in the Trivia Bowl Hall of Fame at the University of Colorado. I love to ride roller coasters.


I’m happy to provide references and printed writing samples on request.