Saturday, January 19: Annual Party and Touchstone Awards

Our annual party features a catered buffet dinner, great companionship with fellow communicators, and valuable door prizes. As in previous years, we will announce the  northern California Technical Communication Competition, Touchstone, winners and display the winning entries throughout the evening. These winners exhibit the best in technical communication. Continue reading

STC Berkeley Job Fair – on a Saturday afternoon, September 29

Description

Are you looking for a job in the field of technical communication? Or considering some change in your tech comm career? You need to attend the fifth annual STC Berkeley job fair. You can talk to recruiters, join in short discussions about career-related topics, and get expert advice about improving your resume. And you can network with other people in the field at the Job Fair.

This year we have moved the Job Fair from Wednesday evening to Saturday afternoon, and extended the time, to make it more convenient for people to attend.

Participants

Recruiters from Synergistech and TEKsystems.

Resume advice from Joy Montgomery, author of a book about resume-building.

Progression-style discussions:

  • Open-source projects as an entry into technical writing. Gale Naylor, documentation engineer at Facebook.
  • Going independent: legal considerations. Lindsay Spiller, attorney.
  • Preparing for an interview. Dyana King, career and business coach.*
  • Tech writers and medical writing. Rose Tomey, medical/technical writer and communicator.

* Dyana King asks that anyone who plans to join her progression discussion take the four-minute assessment at www.mindtime.com anytime before the progression begins. You will get much more out of the discussion if you do.

Time and Place

Saturday, September 29, 2018. Doors open at 11:00 a.m., close at 5:00 p.m.  Recruiters will begin interviewing at noon. Progression discussions 1:00 to 2:00.

The location is the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley. You can take public transit: the campus is adjacent to the Ashby BART station. The job fair will be just off the main lobby.

Admission

$10 reserved online (click below) or $15 at the door.

If you don’t wish to use PayPal, you can reserve a place by sending email to reservations@stc-berkeley.org. We’ll collect the reserved-in-advance price from you (cash or check) at the door.


You can reserve now using PayPal.



Wednesday, October 10: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies–Where do Technical Writers Fit In?

Cryptocurrencies are an emerging, unregulated, digital asset that many people are looking to as a new form of money. Blockchain is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies, the “rails” they run on. The world of blockchain and crypto has its own jargon, a growing technology infrastructure, and even some political philosophy behind it.

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September 12: Does the design of a ballot prevent errors in voting?

A California election offered a natural experiment in user interface design—an open Senate seat that would be on the ballot statewide. Ballot designs must adhere to legal, technical, and financial constraints, but there is still room for variation. California’s 58 counties came up with 58 different designs. Nancy Frishberg was part of a group that analyzed the results after the election. They evaluated whether any of the discretionary graphic treatments and county-specific wording achieved better results or fewer errors. Did wording, layout or other graphic design elements lead to more accurate voting (fewer disqualified ballots)?

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August: What Is User Experience? And why should tech writers care

Back in the day, tech writers were the vanguard of software usability; the way to make software easier to use was to write a better user manual. But then along came usability, and writers discovered that they could better serve their readers by helping engineers to make software easier to use. Writers also made their instructions more accessible by providing user assistance in the form of more lucid UI text, tooltips, and context-sensitive help.

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July: Panel of Hiring Managers

Three managers who interview and make hiring decisions regarding technical writers, editors, illustrators or other roles in the broad category of technical documentation will discuss what they are looking for in potential candidates and give you some insight into how they work. There will be time for questions from the meeting attendees.

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June: Privacy on the Internet…I don’t think so

You will be provided with real world examples by a presenter whose primary work is OSINT investigation (open-source intelligence, data gathering from publicly available sources), along with an extensive handout containing various domestic and international websites for gathering intelligence, tips for searching, list of available tools, and list of OSINT experts to which you can turn when you have specific needs. We will delve into privacy plus the ups and down of LinkedIn, Amazon, social networking and online searching such as Spokeo.

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May: The Leap From Open Source Volunteer to Full-Time Tech Writer

Open source software projects provide writers (and software engineers) opportunities to develop their skills, make meaningful contributions, and produce authentic work samples. These projects are almost always looking for help, including documentation and testing. But how do you get noticed when the primary communication channel is a mailing list and no one knows who you are? See how Gale Naylor leveraged her open-source experience to change careers and become a full-time technical writer at Facebook. Continue reading

April: To Contract or Not To Contract?

Many technical writers and content developers are curious about converting from salaried roles to contracting or freelancing. The freelance market promises flexible work schedules, the ability to work from anywhere, and the ability to cherrypick exciting projects. But most writers are nervous about taking the plunge. How is freelancing different from full-time employment? What are common pitfalls to watch for, and how can you prepare yourself for a new career path as a freelance writer? How do you know if you have what it takes to make the transition­–and be happy doing it? Continue reading