Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran with an interesting background. A Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate, Ed started his academic career with undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology. Then, realizing the need for gainful employment, he moved into computer science, and has never looked back since starting his first programming job in 1981.
These days Ed primarily makes his living as a freelance writer and consultant. He also works occasionally as an expert witness, mostly on patent cases. In addition to blogging daily here, Ed blogs weekly for GoCertify.com. He’s also a regular contributor to various TechTarget websites, and at ComputerWorld.
After starting out as a developer (and development manager) Ed worked in a variety of marketing jobs from 1988 until 1994. Since then, he’s primarily worked as a freelance writer.
Ancient History: Up Through LANWrights (1980s – 2004)
Starting in 1981/82, Ed spent his first six years in the industry writing code, primarily for database-related systems and applications, at companies such as Information Research Associates (now known as Scientific and Engineering Software, Inc.), Michael Leesley Consulting, and at Schlumberger’s Austin Research Center.
In 1986, Ed switched from staring at a CRT to the softer side of the business, moving into management and marketing. From 1988 to 1994, he was employed in a variety of positions at Novell, initially at Excelan (acquired by Novell in June 1989).
Starting as a Networking Consultant for Excelan, he became a “talking head” for Novell as a National Marketing Manager, in early 1990. During that job, he averaged over 200,000 air miles per year, briefing top Novell clients around the country on NDA technologies and products. His final position at Novell, as Director of Technical Marketing, commenced in early 1993. In that position, Ed oversaw technical content for corporate strategies, publications, trade shows, and developer conferences. This included curriculum planning for BrainShare in 1993 and 1994.
In May of 1994, with a dozen books under his belt, and prospects for several more in the offing, Ed decided that Novell’s decision to shut down their Austin operations was the impetus he needed to go out on his own. Since then, he’s worked primarily as a freelance writer, trainer, and consultant working on a regular stream of Web and magazine articles, whitepapers and technical briefs for high-tech companies, and at least one or two books a year ever since.
In 1993, Ed hired Dawn Rader (now Davidson), who would later become his first full-time employee in 1997, to help him manage projects, edit his books and articles, and keep his side business humming along. In 1996, Ed started working with Michael Stewart, who later became his second employee, working on Internet research, computer gear, and the first of a long series of books they co-authored together.
The LANWrights Story
In 1997, after his accountant informed him that he could benefit from starting a company, Ed incorporated LANWrights to change its status from a dba to a real corporation. That same year, Mary Burmeister (now Lemons) joined the team, and the group started digging into certification topics in a big way. That’s the same year the concept for Exam Cram was born as Ed and Michael dug their way through the monster tomes known as Study Guides that dominated the self-study offerings available at the time. Dr. Bill Brogden also joined the company that year, and quickly turned his programming wizardry to good use in the development of a Java-based test engine that he still uses and maintains to this day.
1998 through 2000 were heady years for LANWrights, as the Exam Cram series took off for the Windows NT 4.0 MCP exams, with sales of core books topping 10,000 copies a month for a blissfully extended period. This rush of success culminated in the sale of LANWrights to LeapIT.com (a Sylvan incubator company), after which it renamed itself to iLearning. During this period, ace project manager Kim Lindros also joined the team, and became an instrumental member of the group.
The period of 2000-2004 saw the former LANWrights group, renamed as the “Austin Content Services Division” adapt to life as a corporate entity. It also witnessed a serious downturn in the certification business, which unfortunately hit the group’s bottom line hard. But the period also witnessed some real growth and development, primarily in creating several corporate book series and in relaunching the Exam Cram series as Exam Cram 2 under new management at Pearson’s Que Certification press. 2003 was also the year that witnessed the departures of Michael Stewart and Dr. Bill Brogden from the group, as both took up positions as freelance professionals. These days, Michael’s spending a lot of time teaching information security classes in Germany for the DoD, while Bill has advanced to retired status as “programmer emeritus.”
Life After LANWrights
In June of 2004, Ed bid farewell to his position at iLearning (by that point, the company had become a division of Capstar, a spin-off of ETS in Princeton, NJ) to return to working life as a freelancer. But since then, he’s worked on several projects with his old colleagues at the Austin Content Division, including numerous Que Certification titles as well as numerous books for Wiley, including titles on TCP/IP and a variety of security technologies, as well as …For Dummies titles on HTML5 and CSS3.
Though the group no longer works for the same company, they continue to collaborate on the occasional project here and there. In May of 2005, Mary Lemons left what had by then become a division of Thomson/NETg to go to work for Powered, Inc., to help that company manage its burgeoning online training businesses. About six months later, Dawn joined Mary at Powered, while Kim started what has since become a thriving content creation business called Gracie Editorial. Until 2018, Kim managed most of Ed’s projects, and worked with him in a variety of roles — mostly notably, as a frequent co-author on books and articles.
Since 1987, Ed has been an active writer for the computer trade press. He has over 140 books to his credit, ranging from the best-selling Beginning Programming with HTML5 and CSS3, (the 14th edition of “HTML For Dummies,” which first appeared in 1995), co-authored with Chris Minnick (Wiley, September 2013); to the Exam Cram series, which he originated for The Coriolis Group (over 20 titles from LANWrights alumni in this series are available). Ed has written a variety of texts on XHTML, XML, Java, VRML, and CGI programming and e-commerce. He has also worked on around two dozen different …For Dummies titles (all for Wiley). He has also written numerous textbooks for Course Technology, including tomes on networking, TCP/IP, and Windows operating system titles.
Today’s Story (and Activities)
Currently, Ed writes occasionally but regularly for sites like EdTittel.com, GoCertify and ComputerWorld. He also writes several short books a year for ActualTechMedia. Ed even writes white papers and tech briefs for various corporate clients, including NVIDIA, HPE, ZPE, and others. PMP-certified Mary Kyle Inks has taken over his project management work.
Since 2009, Ed has worked as an expert witness on Web and Internet-related patent infringement cases for several IP law firms. These include The Webb Law Firm, Fish & Richardson, Bracewell Giuliani, Pillsbury, Latham and Watkins, Orrick, and others. His testimony and reports have invalidated various patents, most notably in cases involving Soverain Software, AGIS and Alcatel-Lucent. Ed has also contributed to dozens of PTO office actions and filings.
See his Expert Witness Work list for a reasonably complete recitation of his legal work. (An “attorney’s eyes-only” version is available upon request to law firms and their clients who need to resolve or establish potential conflicts.)
Since the original Technical Preview for Windows 10 appeared in October 2014, Ed has researched and written about a broad range of related topics, tools, and technologies. Some of this work appears in his Windows Enterprise Desktop blog, while other bits and pieces have been published on various other sites.
In January, 2018, Ed’s efforts were recognized with a Microsoft Windows Insider MVP award from Microsoft (renewed 2019 – 2022). In March, 2018, Ed earned “Guru” status for his contributions at TenForums.com.
Life Outside Work…
When Ed is not writing, editing, teaching, consulting, or scouring the Internet for new projects, he’s often online with his son, Gregory (now attending Emerson College). When not texting or emailing his son, Ed also likes to hang out with his lovely wife, Dina. When the opportunity presents, Ed likes to shoot pool, cook, and savor the occasional bottle of good red wine. F
or more details on Ed’s professional activities and publications, you can download his Resume and Vita (List of Publications) from the EdFiles tab on any page of this Website (both are in PDF Format). Should you consider hiring Ed for writing, consulting, or expert witness work, please consult the Rate Sheet for his schedule of related fees and charges.
Use the Contact link on any page here to reach out to Ed by email or phone.