STC City Conference, Hyderabad – April 2018

By Punit Shrivastava

On Weekends, IT folks are generally hungry for fun or rest lazing in a personal space with family or friends. But, April 14 was a different Saturday for a group of almost 50 Technical Writers who were hungry for knowledge and craving to meeting folks (from industry) whom they have never known before. The occasion was the first STC City Conference of Hyderabad in 2018.

The hunger was apparent during registration when in an unprecedented move, organizers had to close registration two days prior to the session. Organizers felt sorry to refuse entries, but they could not house more (entries) because of space crunch. Next time hopefully, we can accommodate all.

OpenText was the host and their hospitality, arrangement, and warmth reminded all visitors of India’s most ancient maxims “Atithi Devo Bhava”. The participants ranged from technical writers based in Hyderabad to visitors from Vijayawada and Bengaluru. A few participants even took out time from their vacation to attend! The participation was spread over 30 companies and included individuals at various levels in the career – from Associates to Directors in the industry.

After spending the scheduled 20 minutes in completing registration formalities, we all settled in the spacious place that had two screens on both sides in addition to the huge main screen to display the presentation.

We started with an introduction from City representative following by a special welcome audio from STC India President Kiranmayee, who obliged us even at a very short notice. Then, started the half-day event packed with four sessions and one quick byte.

Harry Anthony was the perfect ice-breaker with the first session of the day. His session was about DITA and Non-DITA Technical Authoring Platforms. The certified Information architect and project management professional not only involved the audience but his confident and well-articulated presentation skill demonstrated his experience of 16 years in the industry.

While audience was still discussed DITA, Sumayaa Fatima presented an interactive and engrossed session on How Technical is Technical Writing? The professional from JDA Software presented data and to help the audience identify with the topic. Soon, we realized the topic needed a longer duration as almost all from audience shared input and thoughts. Unfortunately, everything has a timeline and so we had to finish the session, only with the promise to have a longer and bigger debate on the topic soon.

Then the announcement of Tea time surprised many as they were reluctant to leave seats in anticipation of next session. Apart from conversations over Chai (and Coffee too), we used the time to have a group pic. Then moved on to the next two and a half sessions.

One and a half sessions were from OpenText. Sharing an experience of 22 years between them, Vrinda Singh and Piyali Das introduced the audience to the world of user interface. Their presentation, examples, communication, and interaction with the audience, got everyone talking.

Their session was followed by a quick byte from Anindita Basu. And, what a byte it was!! Audience interaction ensured it was not to be a quick one at all. After all, it was not a general talk about writing but something taken directly from the Arthashastra. The unique concept certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.

Considering that the audience may need a short break from serious topics after one and a half interactive sessions, we spent some time in announcing a future contest of Best Practices and Innovation. Of course, there was an on-the-spot social media contest running too. The enthusiasm showed by all certainly points to some good contest on innovation and best practices in future.

The last session was on creating videos. Singamsetty Rajesh, the founder of AuthorTech, introduced us to some basic but complex concepts of Adobe Captivate. With his experience of providing presentations in multiple cities, the Captivate Guru had everyone’s attention.

Unfortunately, we had already crossed lunch time by then, and the audience had to be freed from the captivity of interesting sessions. After sharing gifts and certificates, we broke for lunch.

Hunger for knowledge was satisfied partially as participants wanted to know when we are meeting next! As we announced the date and venue for the next meeting, all happy faces started satisfying their hunger pangs. After all, it was 2.30 p.m. by then.

The official time for the event was from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Interestingly, participants not only started entering by 9:15 a.m., but were also not so keen to leave by 3:30 p.m. If it was not office closing time, many would have preferred to stay longer.

What more can one ask for Learning and Networking on a weekend!!

Special thanks to OpenText and their Documentation team for being such a nice host and providing us with a wonderful venue as well as taking care of all refreshments. We are also grateful to AuthorTech for being the gift sponsor.

And the biggest thanks to all the volunteers and participants who preferred knowledge over a lazy Saturday!

About the Author

Punit is leading the Technical Communication department in Arcserve (Backup and Storage domain, Product Company). He possesses 14+ years of experience that involves individual contribution as well as leading multiple teams. Being an avid learner, he loves to continuously upgrade himself with domain knowledge and the latest technologies. In his words, “Being Innovative is the best way to love your daily work.” Off work, his interest lies in Sports and Travelling.

Feedback  about the session

Email by Praveen Bingi

“I just wanted to share my feedback on yesterday’s professional and well-presented training. I usually go to these events with an agitated feeling, but your training was completely different. The fact that almost everyone had the same feedback as mine proves just how powerful and influencing the training was. I was particularly impressed with the practical use of the material presented. This is exactly what I would expect from a training.

You have done a wonderful job. Thank you very much.”

LinkedIn Post by Suyog Ketkar