[Hidden-tech] RFI

Richard Resnick rjr at sloan.mit.edu
Thu Sep 17 15:59:59 EDT 2009

My company is seeking information on individuals or organizations that can
handle large-scale technical documentation on a project-basis.
We are a mid-stage life science informatics company ("bioinformatics") based
in eastern Massachusetts. We have about 160 customers across biotech, ag,
pharma, and academia. We provide a DNA sequence database management system
for use by discovery researchers. The system is web-based and fully
documented via an online WIKI.

We have a powerful API that is mostly undocumented. There are command line
documentation elements (e.g., "lspcalc -help") but there is no reference
manual, no overarching documentation of the system concept, and most
importantly, no use case documentation. Documenting such a system requires
understanding of the use of the APIs, which are currently somewhat guarded
by the development team. The developers want to have people use their APIs,
but they don't necessarily want to commit to stabilization.

We are considering hiring an external resource to develop and deliver API
documentation for our company. The project would begin in Q4 2009 and run
for anywhere from 60 to 120 days. Any resource who could produce the
deliverable must have:

o some experience documenting APIs in the past
o strong understanding of LAMP solution stack
o toughness - an ability to stand up to genius-level developers to get what
you need from them (information!)
o at least one previous body of work we can use to evaluate
o a plus: some personal experience as a developer/programmer
o a plus: some experience in the bioinformatics industry

At this time we are requesting information on potential fits. If you'd like
to explore the possibility yourself or connect your friend or colleague to
me, please do.

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