#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.

Event Review: Building Your Professional Identity in Technical Communication Workshop at GMU

This is the first post by guest blogger Greta Boller, a talented technical communicator who is new to the DC-Baltimore area. Many thanks to Boller for creating and sharing this review. Read more on her blog, The Lone Technical Writer.

Background

The George Mason University Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (GMU STC), the newest chapter of STC, held its inaugural event Tuesday night for GMU students and alumni, local professionals, and members of STC. The event was sponsored by GMU STC, with support from the Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) Program at GMU and the STC Washington DC-Baltimore Chapter (WDCB).

The Building Your Professional Identity in Technical Communication workshop promised the "opportunity to learn more about careers in technical communication, gain valuable feedback on resumes or your writing portfolio, and connect you to area students and professionals in technical communication." It also featured three breakout sessions: resumes, portfolios, and social media/online presence.

Welcoming Remarks

Though this was their first event, it hardly showed. Attendees were welcomed with a sign-in sheet, nametags, and a raffle ticket (the prize: a free STC webinar of their choosing). Presentations, room divisions, and snacks were all in perfect order. The attendance balanced local professionals with graduate and undergraduate students, eager to get the evening started.

Heidi Lawrence, Assistant Professor of English at GMU, kicked the night off by welcoming the room full of technical communicators. She was poised, yet visibly excited, giving many thanks to the people who made the evening possible. She quickly outlined the evening: introductions, breakout sessions, review, and then networking.

Chris Lyons, STC CEO, and Liz Pohland, STC Director of Communications and Intercom Editor, spoke next. They encouraged the group to get involved with STC by attending meetings, visiting headquarters, and writing articles. They emphasized that Intercom and the STC blog welcome student submissions (a note jotted down by many attendees). While their attendance was a highlight of the event, they excused themselves before many had a chance to make a personal connection. For those who missed their chance, Lyons and Pohland appear in the STC staff directory, and headquarters is not far away.
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Breakout Sessions

Before the breakout sessions, Heidi allowed each presenter to introduce themselves. Ugur Akinci, Melissa Kulm, and Viqui Dill stood up to announce the resume, portfolio, and social media sessions respectively. As the room broke into sessions, I selected social media and online presence.

Dill stated from the very beginning: this is not how to hide on the internet. Quite the opposite actually, Dill wanted her audience to make their presence known using social media. She started with an ice breaker, asking each person to tell their “superpower” and “kryptonite” to the group. Essentially asking: what makes you awesome and what can hold you back?

She went on to explain that social media gives the opportunity for you to show your best self by accenting your superpowers. How? Dill pointed to Career Sherpa, Hannah Morgan, for specific advice, but said it all starts with creating a home on the web. A blog, Dill said, is a great way to gather social media contacts as well as share your writing and presentations. Accent it with a LinkedIn profile and SlideShare account to show the world what you can do.

What about your kryptonite? Lock it down and flush it out with your superpowers was Dill’s advice. You can clean house by altering privacy settings and deleting harmful results, but Dill encouraged her audience to focus on what to show rather than what not to. She explained that negative results can be “flushed out” of your top results by positive, well-maintained social media profiles. Ultimately, this will bring positives to your online presence rather than just removing the negatives. Concerned about your online results? Dill pointed to Google Alerts and EdgeRank to stay ahead of the curve.

Conclusion

At this point, the breakout sessions concluded and the group reconvened. Each presenter took a moment to recap their presentation for the group, encouraging those who attended other sessions to reach out with any questions. After some brief, concluding statements, the raffle was held (I won!) and personal networking commenced. Attendees spoke up about local job opportunities and STC members made themselves available to those interested in joining the chapter. As I made my leave, the room still buzzed with excitement as people discussed future events, graduate programs, and the excitement of technical communication.

Bravo GMU STC for a successful first event. I know many walked away excited about what this chapter has in store. I look forward to your next gathering.

About the Author

Greta Boller is a technical writer and blogger in Washington, D.C. As a technical writer, she not only authors documentation for technicians and management, but develops processes to create and restructure technical writing programs. As a blogger, she is The Lone Technical Writer, dedicated to collecting lessons learned in technical writing.

Building Your Professional Identity in Technical Communication Workshop

George Mason University logo .svg file

We are delighted to announce a collaboration with the students and staff of the Writing and Rhetoric program at George Mason University. The event will have something for those entering the profession, as well as job seekers and professionals.
eventbriteRegister on Eventbrite or scroll down to use the Eventbrite widget below.

Would you like to learn more about technical communication as a career? Are you currently seeking a job in technical communication? Or, are you a technical or professional communicator who would like to boost some of your career and communications skills?

The Building your Professional Identity in Technical Communication workshop will give you the opportunity to learn more about careers in technical communication, gain valuable feedback on resumes or your writing portfolio, and connect you to area students and professionals in technical communication.

The Workshop will feature three breakout sessions: Resumes, Portfolios, and Social Media/Online Presence. Each breakout session will combine presentations by experts in technical communication with one-on-one time for feedback on your materials and Q&A.

Current students, alumni, local professionals, and members of STC are welcome to join. This event is free to all participants. Refreshments will be provided.

Sponsored by the George Mason University Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (GMU STC), with support from the Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) Program at GMU and the STC Washington DC-Baltimore Chapter (WDCB).

We will be meeting at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in The Hub, Meeting Rooms 1 and 2. From the main entrance, Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 are down the corridor to the left. The Hub is building 56 on the GMU map, in red.

There is usually ample parking in George Mason’s parking garages. The closest garage is the Shenandoah Parking Deck. The Shenandoah Parking Deck is building 43 on the GMU map, in purple. The Mason Pond deck is often a good back-up, and it isn’t quite as full. Parking can be challenging at Mason, so please be sure to leave yourself extra time (and patience!) to grapple with traffic.

eventbriteRegister on Eventbrite or scroll down to use the Eventbrite widget below.

Michelle Chin shows us how to make a professional portfolio

UXPADC logo

At the #UserFocus2014 conferenc on October 17th, Michelle Chin made a presentation about building a professional portfolio that all technical communicators should see.

Highlights from this presentation include
• Let it go
• Inventory your work
• Show the process
• Create a project
• Design it well
• Tell a story
• Be unique
• Less is more

Have a portfolio to share? Come to Speed Mentoring and Portfolio Review on October 29th, show us your work, and get feedback from your fellow communicators.

Many thanks to our friends at The Washington DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association for bringing such a great conference to the DC area and for sharing Michelle and her wisdom with us.

Section 508 2-Day Core Workshop, August 12-13

From: www.PubCom.com — Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers

Learn to make accessible Word and PDF documents in the 2-day core workshop August 12-13 in Washington DC.

Section 508 workshop logo

This hands-on session provides a solid grounding in accessibility guidelines and requirements, as well as techniques to efficiently make compliant Word documents and PDFs. The session also covers how to remediate existing PDFs for accessibility.

An optional add-on day for accessible InDesign is specially for InDesigners who must make accessible PDFs from their InDesign layout files.

And this year, we've added one more optional add-on day for making EPUBs from Word and InDesign.

Workshop Details

http://www.workshop.pubcom.com/index.html?tpm=1_2&#sessions

Instructor

Bevi Chagnon | email hidden; JavaScript is required | 301-580-1944 direct cell

List Moderator: Publishing DC https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PublishingDC/info  Updated
and Pubcom.com
Twitter @Pubcom  New

Discount for STC Members

We're offering STC members a 7% professional courtesy discount. Before registering online, email email hidden; JavaScript is required to receive the discount code.

Register Now

This is a great workshop that will add highly-sought skills to your resume. Take the core session alone or add on one or both of the optional days for InDesign and EPUBs.

Register online at www.Workshop.PubCom.com

Tuition

$625 for the core workshop less the 7% STC discount.

Location

Host is Gestalt Partners
1325 G St NW, Suite 1020
Washington, DC 20005

Map

http://goo.gl/maps/SHQUu

About www.PubCom.com

Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508 Accessibility.

URL: www.Workshop.PubCom.com

Blog: www.pubcom.com/blog

Upcoming Workshops

508 Workshop
August 12–13 — Washington DC
508 InDesign
August 14 — Denver
EPUB Workshop
August 15 — Washington DC

STC Introduces a New Certificate Course in January on Usability Testing

STC is introducing a brand-new certificate course in January, plus bringing back one of our most popular courses as well!

Members have asked us for more in the area of usability, so we’re pleased to offer Usability Testing Essentials: Hands-on Workshop and Best Practices, presented by Carol Barnum every Tuesday from 8 January through 26 February, from 10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5).

Also on tap is the popular TechComm Manager, presented by Saul Carliner, every Thursday from 10 January through 14 February, also 10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5). If you’re looking to step up into a management role, this course is for you!

Usability Testing Essentials: Hands-on Workshop and Best Practices?

Presented by Carol Barnum
Tuesdays, 8 January-26 February
10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5)

Whatever job you hold, user experience is (or should be) a part of it. That’s why usability testing is such a good fit for technical communicators. We are the voice of the user, so why not also be able to share what we learn from users by observing how they work with our products? We learn from them, educate ourselves and other product stakeholders about who our users are and how they interact with our products, and make our products better as user experience improves.

Whether you are self-taught, unschooled in the topic, or looking to upgrade your skills, this certificate course will take you step by step through the process of planning and conducting a test, analyzing the results, and reporting them-with the goal of educating yourself and other stakeholders on the user’s experience and advocating for more testing, more often.

TechComm Manager

Presented by Saul Carliner
Thursdays, 10 January-14 February
10:30 AM-Noon EST (GMT-5)

Effectively managing a technical communication group involves a unique set of skills: clearly communicating expectations regarding a job, effectively evaluating performance, developing and communicating a strategic vision for your group, making a business case for proposed projects, and selling the services of your group. TechComm Manager helps you develop these skills.

This certificate program develops these skills through a combination of discovery exercises (which leverage your existing knowledge), formal presentations (which describe the “must knows”), and action planning segments, which give you a chance to consider how you’ll apply what you learned back on the job.

Don’t forget about STC’s live Web seminars, too!