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

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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

February 14: “What You Need to Know about IPv6 and the Internet of Things”

IPv6 is critical to operation of the internet and foundational to the Internet of Things. At our February 14 session, you’ll learn these things:
1. What IPv6 is and how it differs from its predecessor, IPv4.
2. Why is it so important to the Internet and foundational to the Internet of Things industries? Continue reading

January 13: Annual Party and Touchstone Awards

Our annual party features a catered buffet dinner, great companionship, and valuable door prizes. As in previous years, we will announce the winners of the Touchstone technical communication competition and display the winning entries throughout the evening.

This party is an annual favorite — casual, but festive. Come have fun while keeping up with the best work of your peers. To reserve online, scroll to the bottom of the page.
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“Evaluating (and Improving) Technical Documentation: Save Money and Reduce Risk”

“Is this documentation effective?” That can be an important question. Technical documentation that is poorly designed or poorly written, or that is not addressed to the right audience, can cause problems: dissatisfied customers, lost customers, wasted effort, and in the worst-case scenario, lawsuits or regulatory penalties. How can you determine if your documentation is adequate or where it can be improved? This presentation will show you how to evaluate the quality of your documentation and identify ways to improve it. I will discuss visual design, choosing content, working with standards, and more.

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Chapter Elections Open Until November 20

Dear STC Berkeley chapter member:

As the end of the year approaches, so does the annual election for our chapter officers. I am writing to ask you to consider running for one of the elected offices. Holding a chapter office will get you more involved in what is happening in the chapter, giving you an opportunity to help shape the future of STC Berkeley. It can also help in your career—another item for your resume.

The chapter has five elected offices. You can run for any one of them.

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STC-Berkeley Moves to WordPress

If this site looks different from the last time you visited, that’s because STC Berkeley volunteers rebuilt it for WordPress.

The leadership committee decided in December 2016 to replace the previous website, constructed in the early 2000s, with this WordPress-hosted site. They did so partly at the urging of STC, which wants to gather all its chapters on one server.

WordPress is an open-source content management system used by more than 60 million websites; it’s especially popular with bloggers, because of the ease of publishing new content. The Berkeley chapter’s leadership committee expects that WordPress will make it easier for the chapter to keep members informed.

The planning and building of the new site were done by Madeleine Adkins, Clarence Cromwell, Rebecca Firestone, and Nicki Davis. Jane Olivera, who reworked a site for East Bay STC, provided advice about rebuilding the site in WordPress.

Kobla Fiagbedzi, the IT manager for STC, provided a great deal of technical support for the project.

STC Members Visit the Bay Model

A photo of the Bay Model, a working replica of the San Francisco Bay and delta, built by the US Army Corps. of Engineers.

The Bay Model Visitors Center houses a two-acre working model of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. It uses timer-controlled pumps to cycle water in a carefully calibrated network of basins and channels to simulate tides and water flows in the vast, complex estuar

By Patrick Lufkin
STC Fellow and VP Membership

On June 3, a group of technical communicators and friends from around the Bay Area visited one of the area’s hidden treasures, the Bay Model in Sausalito. The excursion was organized by me and Nicki Davis, STC-Berkeley chapter president, as part of an outreach effort to increase camaraderie and cooperation among the five Bay Area STC chapters. About 30 members from various chapters participated.

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