STC India Pune Learning Session 1

By, Anagha Walvekar

The STC India Chapter held a half-day workshop on March 18, 2017. TIBCO Software was the venue sponsor for the “Design Thinking” workshop that was attended by 70 passionate attendees.

STC_Pune_First_1The session started with a welcome note by Mugdha Achalkar, the STC India Pune City Representative for 2017. She introduced the speakers, Sinoj Mullangath, Kumar Varun Verma, and Hemant Baliwala.

She then handed over the session to Mugdha Kulkarni, Vice-President, STC India Chapter for 2017. Mugdha paid homage to Sunil Gokhale, a veteran in technical writing who passed away recently.

Sinoj conducted the session from the UX perspective, while Varun shed light from the Project Management perspective. Hemant Baliwala represented the TechComm community and asked questions that helped the audience understand the concepts better.

Sinoj rightly claimed at the beginning that the workshop would change the way technical writers think. Through several examples, he explained how lateral thinking would help make documentation more useful for the user. He stressed that writers should ask “Why will the user perform this task” and write in a way that would help users accomplish their tasks, instead of the regular “How will user perform this task using the product/software”? Thinking from the “Why” perspective rather than the “How”.STC_Pune_First_2

The workshop was very interactive. The lateral thinking activity challenged us to find a murderer and solve the mystery of eggs in a basket. In another activity, the participants were given a topic and had to build an interesting story. In yet another activity, Sinoj encouraged the participants to stretch and express their imagination by drawing pictures. The “How might we…” activity made all the participants look at things differently – beyond the obvious. The “Crazy 8”, was another interesting activity to generate new ideas. Sinoj said that conducting such an activity with people in different roles – a product manager, a developer, a tester, a writer, and a UX designer – when beginning to work on a project would surely give some fantastic results.


There was plenty that the presenters had to share, but – time being a constraint – they ended the session with a promise to conduct another one in the near future. Read the article “STC India Pune Chapter Learning Session 2” for details about the follow-up session.

Makarand Pandit, immediate Past President STC India Chapter, expressed gratitude to the presenters. Rajib Borkataki thanked Deval Faldu, the outgoing STC India Pune City Representative, for her contributions to the fraternity in the past year. Mugdha Achalkar expressed the vote of thanks before concluding the session.

Another interesting event was a webinar arranged by Abhilasha Garg, STC India Webinar Manager, on March 15, 2017. The webinar demonstrated Pendo, which is a platform for product experience that enables you to capture all product usage data and influence behavior with in-app messaging. It received a tremendous response – 51 people attended the webinar.

About the Author

Anagha has over 14 years of experience as a trainer. She has also authored courseware for C and C++ programming languages. She has done English language reviews for “Employability Enhancement” (E2 series), a series of books published by Avani Publications, Pune. Currently, she is working as an Associate Technical Writer with TIBCO.