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STC 2012: Beginning of a new chapter

By Anima Palshikar

By a curious coincidence and good fortune, the 14th STC conference was my first exposure to STC both as a participant and presenter. I thought and rethought number of times before heading to Bangalore; after all I was travelling 1500 KMs to attend the STC. I had mixed feelings – doubt, fear, anxiety and excitement. In a nutshell, it was my journey towards the unknown.

But as soon as I reached Bangalore, everything became comfortable. My experience of STC started with the workshop at Alcatel – Lucent and at the end of day 1, I had a conceptual knowledge of few upcoming technologies and a handful of acquaintances.

Day 2 was more formal. After an informative and encouraging keynote by Parth Mukherjee and Sairaj, things gathered momentum. We moved from one hall to another to attend sessions of our interest and, trust me, it feels good when you find people with the same interest in a crowd of strangers.

STC gave a platform to technical communicators like me to share everyday challenges we faced; discuss different types of documents, pain areas, methodology and technologies; and discuss our work cultures and job profiles. In short, it was a ‘coming together’ of people with varying domains and positions but a single objective of empowering our profession.

Day 2 ended with lots of learning and guidelines for my next day’s presentation.

Day 3 was a special day for many reasons. All the sessions during the day turned out to be helpful. And I presented for the first time at STC.

My session was interactive. The head-count and audience response was encouraging too. I realized that our community of technical writers is mature enough to welcome different ideas, which are not part of conventional technical writing.  That day I realized that life is not only about the number of times your heart beats, but more about the number of times your heart skips a beat. I am thankful to STC for giving me a platform to explore and stretch my potential as a technical communicator.

Sessions and Take-aways:

Panel Discussion moderated by Francisco Abedrabbo:

The topic was ‘How to become successful’. I was particularly impressed by the panel of ladies who were absolutely confident and clear about what they were speaking.

Minimalistic Writing – Indumati Sandirane

Take away: The audience attention span has drastically reduced today. So a technical writer should learn to communicate using minimum words and without losing any important piece of information.

Video as a genre in Technical Communication – Faraaz Mohiuddin and Nabneeta Sarkar

Take away: The audience is shifting from text to visual mode of learning. Technical Writers should adapt to this change and focus on this genre of communication.

Let’s Get Technical: Getting the Technical back into tech writing – Percy Monteiro

Take away: Technical Writers should have the knowledge of technical concepts. They should learn it by doing it. They should have the interest and willingness to learn new things and not remain dependent on the Development team and others.

About the author:

Anima Palshikar is Sr. Technical Writer- Marketing Communication for Cyberoam Technologies Pvt Ltd. Her specialization includes various competition analysis documents which are read and referred by Cyberoam distributors and resellers spread across 125 countries. She is also responsible for preparing gap analysis documents to understand the scope of improvement in the current product as per market need and core technical documents like Technical White papers, Administrator Guides, Help documents and Release notes. She can be reached at anima.palshikar@cyberoam.com

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