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Tonya Joy Engst
50 Hickory Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

607/227-0903 (voice)
425/699-5104 (fax)
tonya@tidbits.com

Chronology


Looking back, it seems that my jobs and projects have been highly interrelated.

1985-1989: Cornell Years

  • After graduating from Ithaca High School, spent undergraduate years at Cornell University. Majored in Communications, minored in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. Graduated with honors.
  • Co-edited The Risley Revue, a literary magazine. Edited and desktop published the newsletter for Ithaca's Macintosh user group.
  • Held a series of increasingly responsible student jobs staffing and managing public computer rooms for Cornell Information Technologies (CIT).

1990-1991: After College

  • Worked for CIT selling and supporting personal computers.
  • Co-founded TidBITS, one of the first electronic publications on the Internet, with Adam Engst. TidBITS covers topics of interest to the Macintosh and Internet communities.

1991-1994: Early Years in Seattle

  • Accepted a job at Microsoft supporting Microsoft Word 5, married Adam, and moved to Seattle.
  • At Microsoft, took on advanced responsibilities quickly - wrote and edited articles for Microsoft's online database of questions and answers, trained new staff members, performed technical and copy editing for the Word 6 for Macintosh manuals, and provided second-tier support for complex problems.
  • Wrote The Word Book (Hayden Books, 1994), which divulged everything I had learned about Word 5.
  • Spent a few hours per week copy editing and strategizing for TidBITS. Meanwhile, Adam did most of the work and started a sponsorship program to raise money for TidBITS. (This was possibly the first advertising to appear in content published on the Internet.)
  • In 1993, Adam wrote the best-selling first edition of Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh (the fifth Internet book, and the first to offer the necessary connection software and flat-rate graphical Internet access).
  • Chose to leave Microsoft in order to focus on writing and TidBITS.

1994-1997: The Web Arrives

  • Wrote Word 6 Starter Kit (Hayden Books, 1994). Later, Word 6 Starter Kit was reprinted (with slight revisions) in Microsoft Office 4.2 Survival Guide (Hayden Books, 1997).
  • Co-authored Create Your Own Home Page(Hayden Books, 1995) with Adam (my writing, his help with the included disk, and his best-selling name on the spine). Became an authority on HTML, writing content for the Web, and Web authoring software - wrote about creating Web pages and reviewed Web authoring software for MacWEEK, MacUser, and other trade magazines. Also wrote the HTML and Getting Started chapters for subsequent editions of the Internet Starter Kit series.
  • Took a strong role in running TidBITS as Adam focused more on Internet Starter Kit work. Helped transition TidBITS from being entirely email-based to being email-and Web-based. Hired three contractors to help with writing, editing, and technical operations.
  • Riding on my interest in teaching HTML and the success of TidBITS, did some public speaking, attended professional conferences, and met many interesting people. Eagerly participated in the early excitement of the Web.
  • Acted as copy editor for Eudora for Windows & Macintosh, Visual Quickstart Guide (Peachpit Press, 1997).

1998: Professional Growth

  • Decided to broaden my editing and managerial skills by working as a contractor in a variety of short-term positions.
  • Acted as content manager, editor, and project lead in redesigning a Web site for a local mortgage broker. Contracted with a graphic designer and programmer to equip the site with graphics and forms.
  • Worked for eight months helping Microsoft create a unified Web site for Office 2000, focusing on content, consistent navigation, and an improved user experience.

1999-2000: The Early Mommy Years

  • Left professional life for an extended maternity leave. Participated in a parenting group that provided training in listening skills and non-violent communication. Studied yoga. Learned advanced time management and multi-tasking skills.
  • Scaled TidBITS work back to financial operations only, though did write "Parenting With a Net," a TidBITS article discussing parenting resources on the Internet.
  • Acted as copy editor for Eudora 4.2 for Windows & Macintosh, Visual Quickstart Guide (Peachpit Press, 1999).

2001: Back to Ithaca

  • Made New Year's resolution to move back to Ithaca. Sold contemporary home with stunning view of the Olympic mountain range. Bought contemporary home with lovely view of pond and hills in Ellis Hollow. Transported self, husband, toddler, and cat to new home. Secured day care.
  • Completed a short-term project working as technical editor for a Cornell Theory Center Web site.

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Last updated 11-Dec-01.