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Prez Talk for May 2016

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    By Mak Pandit, STC India President 2016

    Hi All!

    It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to a new calendar year! The STC India Chapter is now in its 18th year. We have done many things in the last 17 years that has shaped the community and led to its growth and maturity.

    I would consider the first seven years of the Chapter as ‘years of formation’ and the next 10 to be years as ‘gaining strength’. This year (2016) the chapter has matured into an adult!

    Let us look back at some of the key milestones.

    • 1999 – STC India Chapter was formed with 17 members signing the petition for forming a chapter. The chapter had Admin Council and key volunteer positions like Membership Manager.
    • 1999 – Started having Annual Conferences. The first one was at Bengaluru. This was the first national conference in India for the Technical Writing (TW) community.
    • 2000 – Created our official website and started the Indus newsletter. City Representatives were appointed in key cities: Bengaluru, Pune, and so on. City meetings started happening thus giving members an opportunity to meet and learn from each other.
    • 2003 – Started parallel tracks in the Annual Conference. Thus, participants had more choices and topics to attend. Also started Pre-Conference Workshops focused on specific areas.
    • 2004 – Started having full-day workshop along with City Meetings in various cities.
    • 2007 – Started Regional Conferences. The Regional Conferences had selected number of sessions and focused on learning and on minimum participation fees (just enough to meet the expenses.)

    For the last 8 years, we have published the Annual Salary Survey. Many companies use this survey as a reference.

    Over the years, we have matured and have grown in strength. We have witnessed the times when Technical Communication jobs came to India in the hundreds! We also witnessed the years of slowdown and recession. In the last few years, we have seen the demand for Technical Communication increasing from non-IT sectors. Our jobs are no more dependent only on global projects. We have enough domestic projects to work on and have seen diversification happening in the job profile.

    As the demand for Technical Writers has increased, the demand for Instructional Designers (ID) and Content Writers is also on the rise. Content Writing seems to be increasing at a rate higher than that of TW and ID put together. The demand is so great that writing content in other forms (than the conventional User Guide and Help file formats) is becoming a part of our work. This includes blogs, articles, whitepapers, and even preparing audios and videos. No place for complacency in the workplace, it is a continuous circle of adaptation and adoption of new technology, trends, and other influences.
    Thus, while our core skill remains the same, we now have to prepare for the changes in demand. We should therefore have more sessions focused on Content Writing, Marketing Content Writing, Training Videos, and so on.

    We ended 2015 with a bang! The STC India 2015 Annual Conference at Pune was a grand success, along with Udaan, the Conference Newsletter. The STC India Community members have blogged, tweeted, and shared their happy moments on various social media.

    I take this opportunity to thank Mugdha Kulkarni and the entire 2015 Conference Team for putting together one of the most memorable events I have ever attended!

    I thank the 2015 Admin Council and all the volunteers who worked for STC India in 2015. It takes a lot more work to manage a community of this size than what meets the eye. Thank you guys!

    The Admin Council for 2016 was elected through the systematic Election Process – thanks to our election officer, Manisha Khurana. We have a terrific team in place this year. An experienced and enthusiastic team leads the chapter. If you want to reach us, here is the list of leaders for 2016. Feel free to reach out to any one of us with your suggestions and ideas. We acknowledge and respond to every email.

    The Admin Council has already started meeting regularly and publishing the Minutes of these meetings to the Member’s email list. In last two months we have:

    • Started a new mailing list for members
    • Appointed city representatives
    • Published all 2014 Conference videos on the STC India YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/STCIndiaChapter
    • Uploaded and published all 2015 Conference videos to STC India YouTube channel
    • Published Minutes of Meetings on Members List

    This year we have a team of enthusiastic volunteers who have already got in action. Do not hesitate to reach out to the following City Representatives for Paper Presentations or to sponsor a meeting venue.

    Sangeeta and Shiham have taken the lead to publish Indus for 2016. Many more volunteers are coming forward to contribute! You can reach them at sangeeta.raghu@gmail.com or shimdude@gmail.com with article ideas.

    The team has already got into action! City learning sessions and webinars already successfully conducted by Padmaja, Rajdeep, Deval, Mansha, and Manisha.

    It had been quite some time since we had a learning session organized in Mumbai. Mansha has started the year by conducting the first session in Mumbai, thus making Mumbai once again active on the TW map.

    Jagneshwar is planning to conduct a session in Kolkata shortly.

    Let me end this first piece by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 2016! The crew is in the cockpit and the team is already in action. Hope you all are in place and are comfortable. We are ready to take off! Lean back and enjoy the flight!”

    Mak Pandit
    President STC India Chapter
    mak@technowrites.com

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