December: “Evaluating (and Improving) Your Technical Documentation: Save Money and Reduce Risk”

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“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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November: Intercultural Communication and Business

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Location: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA

 

In today’s global economy, what are common issues and challenges that occur in intercultural work environments? Why do intercultural communication misunderstandings and conflicts occur, and what strategies help to avoid and resolve them? This talk will explore the impact of intercultural communication issues on business situations, the roots of intercultural miscommunication, and some strategies for overcoming issues that can arise in international work environments. Topics will include practical cultural analysis, adapting communication and business strategies for success, and building cohesive international teams.

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Enter Your Work in Touchstone

This year’s Touchstone competition is starting. The deadline for entries is Saturday, October 7, at 2 p.m. Details are at http://www.stc-touchstone.org/2017Competition.html.
We need judging volunteers. The first judging meeting is Sunday, October 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Mudrakers Cafe, 2801 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705. Details are at http://www.stc-touchstone.org/Volunteer2Judge.html.

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.

Mini Job Fair

Looking for a job? Want to brush up your resume? Just want to stay aware of trends in the field? Please join the Berkeley chapter for a mini job fair in place of our September 13 chapter meeting.

This event features tables where you can discuss current positions with local employers and agencies. It features a progression, in which small groups meet with industry experts to discuss topics about technical communication and job seeking.

We’ll also have resume counseling, lots of networking, and light refreshments.

Register now, on our reservation page.

Date and Time:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 
6:00 to 9:00 PM

 

Teaching Through Illustration

 

In this talk, Joanna Bujes will talk about how to to create and use illustrations to reinforce learning, lighten complexity, illustrate multiple relationships, and make the material easier to remember. We will discuss types of illustrations, general principles for creating illustrations, and placing the figure in text. Additional topics include working with artists, localization, and accessibility.

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Evaluating Technical Writing Candidates: A Hiring Perspective

July 2017 Chapter Meeting

Writers may see the recruitment process solely from a single candidate’s perspective: their own. In order to create a positive impression, writers must speak to the needs of the people considering them. In this moderated panel discussion, candidates can learn what this process looks like from a manager’s role.

Our panelists will speak candidly about what they really need, why things are the way they are, and what the entire process looks like from their perspective: justifying the budget, creating a position, writing the job description, filtering and evaluating candidates, perhaps working with recruiters, interviews, offers, on-boarding, and outcomes.

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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 estuary

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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