Gains, Gains and only gains at the Chennai conference!

Ever since i started my career in Technical Writing, STC India Chapter has always enabled me to learn about latest tools and tricks that helped me to do my job faster and better. After applying the lessons learnt from STC learning sessions, I leveraged the capabilities of the latest tools and best practices in documentation.

When I attended the 12th STC India Annual Conference in 2010 at Delhi, I realized that I had missed out on a whole lot of information earlier when I was not attending the annual conference.Rapid changes in user behavior, technology, and business equally impact our profession. Therefore, it is really very important to keep ourselves updated on the latest trends and latest best practices in our profession. I am glad that I attended the STC India 2011 Annual Conference at Chennai.

On pre-conference day, I attended the following sessions:
• Author-it Core Workshop
• Introduction to eBook and DRM
•S1000D and Adobe FrameMaker

All the sessions were very informative and I learnt a lot in all the sessions as I never used Author-it, e-BookMaker, and S1000D in FrameMaker.

In Author-it workshop, I learnt how to create, manage, and publish our business critical documentation.

In Introduction to eBook and DRM workshop, I learnt about DRM (Digital Rights Management) and eBook. I also learnt how to create a secure eBook using eBookMaker tool.

In S1000D and Adobe FrameMaker session, I learnt that the S1000D is a standard followed in Aerospace industry to prepare instructional manuals for Pilots and Crew.
The first day began with the keynote by the chief guest and Adobe.

On first conference day, I attended the following sessions:
•  UX and User’s Guide
•  Writing Style for Smart Help
•  Managing Localization process using Author-it
•  Taking control of your content migration with Author-it
•  Is the increasing advent of never ending list of tools decreasing growth of technical writers?
All the sessions were great.

The session on UX and User’s Guide, provided some best practices that should be followed to provide usable documentation. In addition, the session also provided some guidelines to be followed to enhance the user experience of the product GUI.

In the session on Writing Style for Smart Help, the focus was on following 5C (Correct, Complete, Concise, Clear, and Consistent) writing principles while writing help file.

In the Managing Localization process using Author-it workshop, I learnt that Author-it supports Acrolinx which takes care of style and Grammar checks. This makes it very cost effective to manage localization process using Author-it. It covered information on how to use the Author-it Localization Manager to produce documentation in multiple languages.

The conclusion of the panel discussion on impact on Technical Writers of increasing advent of never ending list of tools was that the tools help the Technical Writer to do better documentation. Similarly, second day of the conference was again full of very good workshops and sessions.

By Manisha Khurana