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Lead, Technical Writer



Marketing & Communications, IT
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline uses drones to deliver critical and lifesaving medicine to thousands of hospitals serving millions of people in multiple countries. Our mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Join Zipline and help us make this a reality for billions of people.

About You and The Role

Have you led a team to develop or maintain technical documentation? Do you have a knack for translating highly technical and complex concepts into easy-to-use information? Have you worked in a highly-regulated environment that has helped you develop a sensitivity to the needs of both the regulators and the users of manuals?

We are looking for a talented people manager to lead a team of technical writers to create and sustain a robust, high-quality documentation program for our fast-paced operations, including original equipment manufacturer (OEM) manuals, manufacturing process instructions (MPIs), regulatory documentation, service bulletins, operating procedures, and policies. You’ll have the opportunity to use your applied reasoning and strong analytical skills to advocate for creating improvements in messaging and documentation as well as develop and promote the adoption of documentation. You’ll be responsible for balancing the needs and priorities of multiple internal customers (Manufacturing, OEM, Regulatory, Operations, etc.) and ensuring on-time deliverables of substantial scope and complexity.

Your team will collaborate with many cross-functional teams, listening and drawing from their expertise, experiences, and needs. You will work within a fast-paced and dynamic working environment. You know how to set a high bar for quality and accuracy for your team and will hold your communications and actions to the same standard.

This is an in-person role, based either in South San Francisco or Charlotte, North Carolina.

What You'll Do

  • Manage and take ownership of Zipline’s documentation program for the development and sustainment of all technical documentation
  • Lead a team of technical writers to create, maintain and update high-quality manuals, procedures, and other documents that comply with regulatory requirements and are easy to use for manufacturing technicians and Zipline operators around the world
  • Develop documentation strategies with internal and external stakeholders
  • Design and establish style guidelines and standards for texts and illustrations
  • Review, revise, edit, and proofread documents prepared by others
  • Ensure the accuracy and timeliness of updates to documents
  • Manage the translation of technical documentation into other languages
  • Drive cross-functional engagement with subject-matter experts for technical inputs, internal and external reviews, and approval of documentation
  • Continuously improve documentation workflows for speed, efficiency, and quality
  • Evaluate and establish a roadmap for scaling internal technical writing tools used for publishing, version control, and translation

What You'll Bring

  • At least five years of experience leading teams and managing programs or projects in a technical field
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with significant experience as a technical writer
  • Meaningful prior experience working with or in a regulatory body focused on aviation, aerospace, or transportation (in certain cases, candidates with strong relevant experience in other highly-regulated and safety-oriented industries, such as medical devices, may also be considered)
  • Strong experience developing and owning an end-to-end documentation creation process, including experience developing technical standards and business processes (internal- and external-facing)
  • Experience working cross functionally to communicate the nuts and bolts of a process
  • Excellent attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects in a fast-paced, changing environment
  • Experience with localization or translation of technical documentation (highly desirable)
  • An ability to communicate effectively (verbally and in writing) and build strong relationships with internal business teams and external stakeholders
  • The grit, resourcefulness, and resilience to thrive in novel, uncertain, and constantly-changing business and regulatory environments
  • Ability to travel 10-20% as needed to visit operations
  • French or Spanish fluency is a plus
  • Eligibility to work in the US


The starting cash range for this role is $90,000 - $110,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!