Bob Haynie, the chief "Go To" guy for Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Office XP deployment, has spent more than 20 years writing and editing technical information. From the beginning, he has considered himself an advocate for the reader, someone who finds, organizes and clarifies essential information so that it can be used by the people who do the work—especially IT pros facing onrushing deadlines, frustrated users, and overly-optimistic managers.
Bob began his tech career in Salt Lake City when Sperry, impressed by his writing samples, offered him a job. He taught himself about computers and word processing, and produced a 240-page user's guide -- in his first two months. Relying on a knowledge of writing and a belief that any topic could be presented clearly and simply, he continued to write and troubleshoot, ultimately being assigned to develop and produce documentation for Sperry's Unix 6000 Series.
Moving to the northwest in 1986 to create documentation for a small company specializing in products for electrical utility companies, he was soon drawn into the gravitational field of Microsoft. He edited the MS-DOS 5.0 Programmer's Reference on a subcontract, then joined on full time to teach writing and editing to technical support workers assigned to the Product Support Services Knowledge Base. While there he also served as a general purpose writer/editor on Windows NT (then in its initial release), LANMan, Mail Gateways and other products.
In 1993 he moved over to TechNet to write, edit and teach writing. In 1997 he and Michael Ohata were offered a chance to design and deliver books that tapped into the knowledge acquired in the field by Microsoft Consulting Services. They started with two books on Exchange 5.5: developing the process, securing the contacts, acquiring the information and carefully (but very quickly) editing it into concise, accurate, readable text. Having established and validated the form, Michael and Bob went on to produce two more Notes From The Field books on Windows NT and one on SQL Server 7.0. After Michael transferred to another department in 1998, Bob helped produce another NFF book on Active Directory and one on Office 2000. The series was well received, setting a high standard for accessibility, clarity, and usability, and even though they are ancient (in technical years) Bob still bumps into people who use them.
Now Bob has focused his skills on his role as a deployment foreman. Drawing on his long and varied experience, and still believing that learning things should be a challenge but not a chore, he is helping to uncover and highlight the best information available on deploying Windows XP and Office XP -- so you can find out what you need to know to start getting things done.