We managed to find a quieter corner in a restaurant that’s known for its large echoing rooms and loud atmosphere as well as for its good food. We didn’t quite have to shout to be heard, but the group was large enough that each half of the table had its own separate conversations going on.
We began with announcements:
One person discussed the international technical writing conferences he attends regularly, such as the STC Summit, Lavacon, and Information Development World. Each has its own focus and every year is different. Each provides great opportunities to network with a broad range of people in our field and talk with vendors showcasing new software and other products. The number and variety of topics make it hard to choose which presentations to attend; he recommends studying the program in advance and choosing some topics related to your current job, some cutting-edge sessions on brand-new tools and techniques, and others that simply intrigue you.
That led to a discussion of the value of STC membership. Sometimes it seems that head office and international members are remote from chapter-level activities, but the association has much to offer and we agreed that, especially if you’re a student member or your employer recognizes the value of paying for your membership, it’s worth it. Several people had found work through networking at chapter events or made valued connections through volunteering.
We touched on the question of artificial intelligence replacing technical writers and decided, not surprisingly, that human writers are still needed. We also discussed the merits of various authoring tools and the need to keep our skills up to date.
The Tech Comm Café provides networking opportunities, job leads, answers to work-related dilemmas, and a burst of professional energy to keep you motivated. We discuss technical writing tools and techniques, career planning, portfolios, and anything else related to working as a technical communicator.
We welcome anyone who’s interested in technical communication — contractor, in-house, student, long-time tech writer, STC member, non-member, career-changer, or recruiter. We hope to see you at the next meeting!
Next Vancouver-area Tech Comm Café: Wednesday, MARCH 13
If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 12.
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time: 6:30–8:00 pm Pacific Time
Green Basil is across the street from the northwest corner of Metrotown, on the north side of Kingsway, east of McKay Ave. Metrotown Skytrain station; free or metered parking on nearby streets.
Heather Sommerville is a senior technical writer and editor with over 20 years of experience delivering clear, concise writing for business and technical audiences. She is an STC Associate Fellow and has served in many volunteer positions with the STC Canada West Coast chapter.