Career

Event report: Preparing Content for Mobile

Event report: Preparing Content for Mobile

Robert Desprez’s presentation on preparing content for mobile on June 3, 2017, proved to be informative for technical communication professionals of all background and skill sets. Particularly interesting to the largely tech writing audience was Robert’s view on current trends in mobile use, and how tech writers are responding to this changing platform. How are…

What is an Information Designer?

  We can think of technical communication as one large, continuously developing field, and information design as a related discipline or additional skill made up of graphic design, human factors design, and writing. Famous examples of information design take us back to Florence Nightingale’s Diagram of the Causes of Mortality and Charles Minard’s Carte figurative…

Six students qualify for membership sponsorships

The STC Canada West Coast chapter is pleased to announce that six technical writing students in the Lower Mainland and Victoria will receive free 2017 student memberships in the STC. The six students are Phoebe Atienza from Surrey; Owen Schellenberger from Victoria; Jay McKiernan from Port Coquitlam; and Amy Takeda, Alison Gilpin, and Chris Powell…

Interview Practice for Technical Communicators: Interviewees and Interviewers

Interview Practice for Technical Communicators: Interviewees and Interviewers

Whether in-person, via the web, or phone, interviews can be daunting for the job candidate and the interviewer. While a job candidate typically experiences some nervous energy as they focus on what to say, interviewers must elicit the information they need from the candidate to help determine suitability for the job. During an interview, the…

What is a technical illustrator?

What is a technical illustrator?

(This is the first in a series of articles exploring the world of technical communication from the perspective of specific job titles and functions. This month’s article looks at technical illustrators.) A technical illustrator creates illustrations that visually communicate complex technical information. These illustrations include drawings, diagrams or photographs that convey accurate proportions and dimensions,…

Should You Become a Contractor?

Should You Become a Contractor?

By Stephen Gauer At the 10- to 15-year point in their careers, some tech writers decide to make the leap to contract work, where they give up the security of a full-time staff position to work on their own as freelancers. Contract refers to the work arrangement: you’re hired by a client at a fixed…

Is it Time For a Career Stretch?

Is it Time For a Career Stretch?

By Stephen Gauer You’ve been a technical writer for five years straight and now you want to stretch yourself — go freelance and offer a wider range of services to clients, or leverage employer-paid training into new responsibilities at your current company. Here are some suggestions, based on my own experience, for new roles and…

Ten Tips for Great Training

Ten Tips for Great Training

By Stephen Gauer You’re written the user guides and online help for the new application and now the client needs someone to train the staff. Why not take the plunge and add training to your skill set? Here are some tips from my 25 years of training: Tip #1: write a detailed script In the…

Becoming a Technical Communicator

Becoming a Technical Communicator

During the past few months in my current position, I have begun to think differently about what it means to be a technical communicator. Initially, I worked solely with development teams and subject matter experts using an Agile methodology, documenting product enhancements and features, and ensuring that the documentation was ready in time for release….

Online Portfolios for Technical Writers

Online Portfolios for Technical Writers

If you’re starting your career as a technical writer, you should have an online portfolio to showcase your work. Your online portfolio should have a URL you can add to your LinkedIn profile, and be included on your resume, or pasted into the appropriate space on the online job application form. The goal of your…

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