President’s Message From STC Washington, D.C. – Baltimore Chapter

Greetings STC WDCB Family,

Our hope is that you are finding and improving on ways to face the challenges of the times. We strive to be a positive reinforcement for the importance of a supportive community and thank you for tuning in. Your time spent with us is valued and we are pleased to update you on the events created for your enrichment and enjoyment. In commemoration of Black History Month, we wish you balance, upliftment, love for yourself, love for your neighbor.

For there is always light
If only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
-Amanda Gorman

Announcements

The Masterclass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series

Sign up for The MasterClass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series, which features prominent figures in the technical communication (TechComm) industry offering candid discussion on crucial topics, trends, and skills within our field. Why should you tune in? Because thought and practitioner leaders embark on ways to challenge themselves for refinement, inspiration, and mentorship. Join us!

February 2021

Matt Reiner – Writing Documentation in an Agile Environment
With various agile framework options available, and the agile manifesto itself stating that agile doesn’t value “lengthy documentation,” it’s hard to understand where content creation fits. We will explore this and how agile product development teams can rapidly develop and deliver content alongside their product.
Webinar: Wednesday February 10, 2021 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

<Jack Molisani – TechComm Trivia Night!
Come join us for an evening of networking and fun brain teasers to stretch your techcomm IQ!
Webinar: Wednesday February 17, 2021 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

March 2021

Angela Trenkle – Scientific Technical Writing in the COVID-19 Era
A deep dive of the topic will include the type of skills that scientific writing requires, how to venture into the specialty, and the various types of opportunities that working in this area of expertise can open up for those up for the challenge.
Webinar: Wednesday March 10, 2021 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

April 2021

Sean Stevenson – How to Slay an RFP
Learning how to develop proposals is essential to creating bids to win new business, which is the cornerstone of business development. Come learn how to knock out a response to a request for proposal (RFP).
Webinar: Thursday April 1, 2021 @ 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET

May 2021

Adam Bradley – The Foundation of Technical Illustration

Discover how to determine when your content should be communicated graphically. Learn how to communicate with graphic artists and illustrators with the use of common terminology. Understand what the fundamentals are to create technical graphics in order to effectively instruct authors on what requests to make from graphic specialists.
Webinar: Friday May 28, 2021 @ 10:00-11:00 a.m. ET

Our chapter uses the GoToMeeting platform to host webinars. All registrants will receive the link to the event in their e-ticket. Please download the free GoToMeeting app to attend on your smart device, or attend by pasting the event link into your web browser. If you have any questions, please contact: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The Masterclass in TechComm Podcast

Our January 2021 feature was rescheduled to our February 2021 Episode Starring: Angela Trenkle – Discourse with a Tech Writer Working on Covid-19 Pre-Clinical Trial Work

Listen to a tech writer working in the bioresearch industry, share how her career path led her into pre-clinical trial work for COVID-19 research.

Listen to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast on Sunday February 28, 2021 @ 8 p.m. ET
This podcast is also offered via the following outlets:

Anchor
Spotify
iTunes

Please subscribe to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast to support this growing professional development initiative. If you are an active, or a retired technical communicator that would like to be featured on the podcast, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required to discuss.

STC WDCB TechComm Competition

STC Alliance Competition

STC WDCB Chapter joined forces with the STC Alliance Competition team and entry judging is underway! For updates on the entries, award winner selections, and judges, subscribe and check out STC Alliance Competition for details.

STC Alliance Competition – Schedule of Events
November 11, 2020 – STC TechComm Roadshow
December 8, 2020 – Deadline for Judge Entry Forms
January 15, 2021 – Deadline for Entries
January 25, 2021 – Training / Refresher for Judges (virtual)
February 1, 2021- Judging Phase Begins
April 17, 2021 – Consensus Day
April 28, 2021 – Awardees Announced
June – September 2021 – Awarding Conducted

Online Resources

Sign up to Receive Event Notification Emails
1. Go to STC WDCB Events.
2. Scroll down to enter your email address in the Subscribe to New Posts by Email panel.

Our chapter website offers job listings, a LinkedIn network, and much more. View chapter updates via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Networking and Volunteering

Would you like to team up with members of the STC WDCB Administrative Council?
Please consider volunteering to network, share your talents, and lend your support.

STC WDCB Chapter Membership

Renew Your STC WDCB Membership
Not only do we want to continue to serve you with professional development events and opportunities to network, we would love for you to give us feedback on our programs and events. We’re also interested in collaborating with you on professional development initiatives and projects, so please email the address below to set up a time to discuss the concept that you have in mind. If you haven’t already, please Renew Your STC Membership for 2021 and allow us to continue serving you by selecting STC WDCB as your home chapter.

Thank you for your energy. We greatly appreciate you.

Kind regards,

Tavia Record
President and Professional Development Director
STC Washington, D.C. – Baltimore Chapter
email hidden; JavaScript is required

#TCCamp Workshop: User Experience from Insights to Action

UI/UX Workshop – TC Summer Camp 2017

User Experience from Insights to Action

In this interactive workshop, you will learn the “Why” of UX (user experience): Why placing emphasis on the users is fundamental. You will understand users and types of user research. We’ll examine the UX lifecycle from insights to an actionable prototype and to a very useable product or experience. We’ll survey a variety of key UX artifacts such as personas, empathy maps, customer experience maps, journey maps and more.

Workshop leader: Vera Rhoads, Senior Managing Consultant UX at IBM, Adjunct Lecturer at University of Maryland iSchool

Vera Rhoads has been teaching at the University of Maryland iSchool in the MIM program since 2004. Her focus has primarily been usability and user experience. She has been working on optimizing web solutions for large-scale Fortune 500 companies and non-profits (Fannie Mae, AARP, IMF) for 19 years. Vera’s specialties include web strategy and operations, next-generation website evolution, usability, branding, multi-lingual globalization, web content management and search implementations. She is PMP, ITIL and SCRUM master certified and works on enhancing process methodologies into the web development lifecycle.

When: Saturday 9 September 2017, 8:30-10:30 AM

register-round

Lessons in saving lives

An interview with Vera Rhoads, IBM UX professional and lecturer at University of Maryland College iSchool by the TC Camp roving reporter, Li-At Rathbun.

Vera Rhoads was in the closing panel at STC Summit in May. She’s a working professional and instructor for UX. She will be leading the UX workshop at TC Camp. Our intrepid Camp reporter, Li-At Rathbun, sat down with Vera to get her perspective on what technical communicators need to know about UX to advance their careers and capabilities.

“UX Saves Lives” -Vera Rhoads

When you hear Vera Rhoads talk about UI/UX, you become an instant believer. As technical communicators, we have the power to save lives and change the world. Vera teaches us how.

Li-At: Why is UI/UX interesting to you?

Because it has the power to change the world.

I’m being quite serious. By focusing on changing the user experience, we’re changing how people interact fundamentally with each other. It’s not so much about the interaction between humans and machines. At the end of the day, it’s how people experience the world and interact with each other.

Even if you think of a shopping experience—of how people interact with Amazon.com and the like, it’s about the connection between people. That’s why user experience and the power of user experience is so interesting to me.

Li-At: What attracted you to UI/UX?

In the early 90’s, I was working in a book publishing agency and then for a literary agency. At about the same time, I was going to graduate school. Hypertext—the Internet—was gaining momentum and I got very interested in the UX mostly from the publishing perspective, from the writer/editor/publisher perspective. I then got so involved in the technology that I got much more technical because I wanted to understand how this communication can be empowered.

This is before the term UX was even used. I was doing a lot of information architecture (IA) , navigation systems, and search systems. I’ve always been interested in the human factor of communication.

Li-At: Who should attend this September 9 workshop?

This workshop is for people who want to learn more about user experience and UX research methods. It starts with placing focus on the users: how to find out more about the users and how to create empathy with the users. How to find out what the users think, feel, say, and do.

The workshop is geared towards people who are starting in the field, but also towards people who’ve been in the field for a while and want to share their experiences.

Li-At: What’s the one thing that all technical communicators should understand about UX?

As technical communicators, we already understand about purpose and audience. We already have a lot of skills and knowledge. So what we need to know about UX is that we are not the users—and it’s all about the users.

We must study and understand the intended users and gain insight into who they are.

Don’t assume you know everything about the users. And don’t try to substitute your own experiences for their experiences. You are not your users.

Li-At: Okay, this is TC Camp. So my next question is, what’s your favorite camping spot?

Definitely Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

My husband grew up touring America in a VW Van, the kind that you can sleep on top of. I’ve promised him we’ll tour the U.S. in one of these some day.

Li-At: If you could take one person camping with you, who would that be and why?

Elon Musk or someone smart like that might be interesting. But I’ll stick with my own husband.

register-round

#TCCamp is only 4 weeks away

Greetings STC Member!

The 2nd annual TC Summer Camp, the techcomm unconference, is coming up in 4 weeks!

What’s an unconference?

It’s an intense day of learning that’s totally relevant to you! Sessions topics are defined by the attendees on the day of the event. There are no presenters, no juried presentations. Instead, you can join together with other like-minded people to discuss topics that interest you!

We start the day with a selection of 2-hour workshops which are run by techcomm luminaries and are designed to get your thinking going, first thing in the morning. After the workshops, the unconference begins! We start with an overview of how it all works, followed by a keynote, lunch, and unconference topic voting. In the afternoon are the unconference sessions, followed by a session wrap-up and raffle!

What hands-on workshops do we have lined up this year?

User Experience from Insights to Action with Vera Rhoads, UX Consultant at IBM
Effective Collaboration with Andrew Lawless of Rockant Inc
Structured Authoring for Beginners with Janice Summers of Single-Sourcing Solutions
Adobe Workshop with Dustin Vaughn

All this for only $35 (including lunch)!

TC Summer Camp is a day of unmatched, intense, learning, sharing, and networking for techcomm professionals. This is a great opportunity to get information on the latest trends and technologies, learn how your colleagues solve problems, and have a focused discussion with your tool vendor about important issues.

Join us Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the District Architecture Center in downtown Washington DC. This is YOUR TC Camp!

Find out more at: www.tccamp.org

P.S. Watch video highlights from January’s conference on YouTube.