From Complexity To Clarity®

Contact information for all references below is available upon request. Most of the references below are from my technical writing years, with one more recent reference from a patent law firm colleague. References from additional law firm colleagues are also available upon request.

Timothy Doyle, Patent Attorney and (former) Senior Associate at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, PLLC
Tim Doyle's bio on LinkedIn

I worked with Steve on several assignments. In each of these I was struck by the thoroughness of the groundwork that he does prior to writing. Steve is determined to "get it right."

I remember a particular situation involving a patent application that I had been prosecuting before the patent office for over a year that did not seem to be progressing toward resolution. Steve approached the situation with fresh eyes and found what he believed to be an important point of distinction. I joined Steve when he made the telephone call to the examiner to present the distinction. To my surprise, not only did the examiner agree with Steve's point (thus overcoming the particular rejection of the claims), but the examiner also stated that he could find no other reasons to reject the claims and that he would allow the application to issue as a patent!

Neil Diener, Director of Software Engineering, Cognio, Inc. (formerly, now CTO/Strategic Initiatives Group, Cisco [which acquired Cognio])
Neil Diener's bio on LinkedIn

Our company, Cognio, Inc., has developed advanced technologies to optimize the performance of wireless (802.11) communications networks. Our technology is targeted mainly towards sophisticated end-users -- both network engineers who will put our technology into application, and computer scientists and electronic engineers who will integrate our software and hardware into their own network support offerings.

Steve Oppenheimer came into our offices, and with minimal hand-holding from our engineers was able to rapidly grasp some very difficult subject matter material. He worked well with limited or raw reference materials (such as raw C header files as a basis for understanding our spectrum management data structures). His work product, that is, his user guides and related materials (such as marketing brochures), were easy to understand, yet thorough enough for our demanding end-users, well organized, and very professional in their layout and presentation. Mr. Oppenheimer worked quickly and efficiently, and we are happy to recommend him to other potential clients.

Karl Miller, Programmer, Cognio, Inc. (formerly, now Principal Software Engineer at DRS Signal Solutions, Inc.)
Karl Miller's bio on LinkedIn

My role as a programmer at Cognio, Inc., was to develop a set of low-level software drivers that collected and processed data from an ASIC (SAgE) that performed rapid spectrum analysis on the ambient radio frequency environment. The software drivers delivered a data stream containing comprehensive RF spectrum information. In turn, Steve's role was to take the data stream that came from my drivers, and document it for use by RF engineers; and also to explain how to control and fine-tune the SAgE ASIC's performance via various commands.

Stevens work was exemplary. Beyond documenting the pure data structures themselves, his documents introduced contextual and background material, both in terms of understanding RF spectrum physics, and in terms of "wiring" my code into larger software modules. In addition to creating documents that communicate well, he would point out technical inaccuracies or inconsistencies. In some cases he would propose changes to the interfaces to improve the usability for 3rd party users.

I particularly appreciated Steven's ability to document new technologies which were under development and not well defined. Typically provided with a bare outline, Steven would proactively pursue engineers (both myself and other colleagues) to get the necessary technical information to build the documentation. I would highly recommend Steven for any tech writing project. His technical background is of particular advantage during the development of new technologies.

Bernadette Harmon, Enterprise Architect at JDA Software Group (formerly Manugistics, Inc.)
Bernadette Harmon's bio on LinkedIn

Steven Oppenheimer worked for me as a contractor, documenting supply chain management software (specifically the efficient utilization and routing of tractor-trailer equipment) under development by my team of software engineers. The documentation included functional specifications to define the software, and a reference manual and online help for the finished product. In every significant respect, Steve delivered. He worked well with the developers and his documentation was both accurate and thorough. Transportation Routing (our software product) was already a sophisticated tool when Steve joined the team to help document a major upgrade. Steve's professionalism enabled him to join an established development team, learn the product and quickly add value, using the resources available to him to gather required information.

Beth Chambers, Manager of Documentation, NPRI (later Versatility) (later Product Manager at Oracle [which also acquired NPRI])
(Beth Chambers bio on LinkedIn)

I hired Steven Oppenheimer for his first technical writing contract, back when I was the Manager of Documentation for NPRI (a company later acquired by Oracle, Inc.). In my view, Steve simply has a natural talent for communication, and it showed itself immediately. We were a small company, and Steve proved himself to be a self-starter and a rapid learner, which made my life as a manager much easier. I think Steve could work well with almost any company or team. But, I especially think he is the ideal candidate for small companies and start-ups, where he can play a major role in defining the documentation standards, and where his natural capacities for managing his own time, structuring his own work, and contributing new ideas, are all major assets.

Steve's actual work product was consistently clear, complete, well written, and well illustrated. In addition, I tracked the time and costs for my writers, on a per page basis, and compared the results to standards published by professional societies like The Society For Technical Communication. Steve consistently took fewer hours per page than typical writers, so that his work was cost effective as well as being of high quality.

Beverly Markels, Writer and Trainer, NPRI (later acquired by Oracle)
(Beverly Markels is now retired)

I met Steven Oppenheimer years ago when I was a technical writer and trainer for NPRI, a firm specializing in telemarketing software. Steve was a colleague, and I was immediately impressed at how he came into the company and quickly began documenting a wide variety of technologies – user interfaces (which were text-based at the time, and not very user-friendly), some special hardware we had for automatic phone dialing, and a custom programming language used to create call scripts for telemarketing staff.

I also observed that Steve was very adept at getting information from one of our lead technical staff members, who was himself somewhat less than user-friendly. That’s one of the real challenges of technical writing, working with technical staff, most of whom are wonderful, but a few of whom are less threatened by computers than people. Steve was willing to take the time to understand the technical side to the point of converting it accurately to English in an understandable and readable format for the less technical audience.

What really struck me, though, was something I only learned years later, in casual conversation, long after we'd both moved on to other jobs: NPRI was Steve’s very first technical writing job. Apparently he’d done programming before, and also other kinds of writing, and shifted gears into technical writing as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I truly had never guessed it was his first crack at tech writing, until he mentioned as much.



Steven Oppenheimer is NOT an attorney. Steven Oppenheimer and Oppenheimer Patents do not offer legal services and do not offer legal advice. Oppenheimer Patents is a sole proprietorship owned and run solely by Steven C. Oppenheimer, Registered Patent Agent, USPTO Reg. # 57,418.  Oppenheimer Patents is based in the state of Maryland, United States of America.  The services offered by Oppenheimer Patents are limited to: Patent drafting, patent prosecution, representation of inventors and their inventions before the United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) in matters pertaining to patents, and other patent-related services before the USPTO as authorized for registered patent agents by applicable sections of 35 U.S.C. and 37 C.F.R; and technical writing and documentation services (an activity not requiring a license) based on Mr. Oppenheimer's years of experience in that field.

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