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2015 Technical Communication Conference Program


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Conference program for 2015

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2015 Technical Communication Conference Program

  1. 1. Created by Jessie Mallory Presentation Details Opening Announcements Keynote 9:00 – 10:30 Willow Grove What Makes Us Connect with Our Favorite Things? Harold Hambrose The central challenge for anyone who creates for a living is to produce something that will connect with its intended audience. Whether making a consumer product, a paragraph, a website, or the plan of a new house, the creator sits between a host of variables and limitations – like raw materials, time, and budget – and the people for whom the creation is intended, and from whom a particular response must be elicited. When we create, we have an obligation to make something that connects with its audience – well beyond being usable and intuitive. From the objects and experiences of our every day, that resonate with us so effectively, what can we learn about connection? As founder & CEO of Electronic Ink, Harold Hambrose’s human-centered design approach attracts leaders across all types of industries to award landmark projects to Electronic Ink. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Harold began designing technological systems that put people first. His early work included industry breakthroughs: the first ATM for Citibank Corporation, the first electronic medical record’s graphic user interface and the user interface for IBM’s OS/2. Harold’s designs received international recognition, one of which now resides in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. His bestselling book, Wrench in the System, details how to turn under-performing digital assets into powerhouse systems. Harold received the Alumni Achievement Award from Carnegie Mellon University for his contributions to the design and technology industries. Session 1 10:45 – 11:45 Willow Grove SoYouWanttoBeaContentStrategist? David Dylan Thomas Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to become a content strategist. What is content strategy, anyway? Why is now a good time to become one? What sorts of deliverables are expected? With what other disciplines will you interact and how? David Dylan Thomas, senior content strategist at EPAM, will walk you through the process for content strategy as it pertains to clients and some of the major content problems they try to solve. David Dylan Thomas has developed strategies for major clients in entertainment, publishing, and retail. He is the founder of Content Camp, co-organizer of Barcamp Philly, head of Content Strategy Philly, and the creator, director, and co-producer of Developing Philly, a web series about the rise of the Philadelphia tech community. He is the co-host of the Talking Pictures and Proof of Concept podcasts. He has given lectures on such topics as the future of content in a post-ownership economy and the hidden power of online links.
  2. 2. Created by Jessie Mallory Thunderbolt Accessibility and Translatability: Making Your Content Universal Jessie Mallory Accessibility and translatability are powerful tools that enable you to deliver your content to the masses. In this presentation you will learn how to design accessible and translatable content. Through examples and easy-to-follow guidelines you’ll see how accessibility and translatability are more similar than you may think. Jessie Mallory solves complex project management and documentation problems. She is skilled at breaking projects into achievable, defined tasks. She advises clients on the planning, processes, and execution that will lead to a successful project launch. Jessie has several years of experience creating technical content that is usable, helpful, and scalable. She’s an advocate for user needs and content that is universally consumable. Scenic Writing Documentation That Matters Gary Sternberg Have you ever wondered if people read the documentation you produce? This workshop will address specific ways you can determine the needs of your audience and then write documentation that is more user focused and better connects with your intended users. Each attendee would discuss the documentation he or she produces, concerns he or she may have, and ways he or she can write better documentation. Gary Sternberg is currently the Publications Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, where he has worked for the past 14 years. Previously, Gary worked for 16 years with the U.S. Naval Audit Service, doing similar work. A graduate of Temple University, Gary started his career as a newspaper reporter. He is a longtime member of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and has been a speaker at STC’s International Conferences as well as various chapter events. Gary is also the coordinator of the STC-PMC’s South Jersey Networking Group. Alps Becoming a New Manager Todd DeLuca Have you wondered how to transition from a sole contributor to a manager? How do others recognize your potential? Maybe you’re thinking about that “leap” but don’t know if leading others is for you. If you don’t know where to start, consider this informative session and learn from someone who has been there. Todd DeLuca will outline his experience of being a lone writer to leading a Technical Communications department. More specifically, he will describe activities and actions that helped him demonstrate his capability to decision makers that helped him stand out as a potential leader and land the job. Todd will also share pointers and provide “newbie” advice if you manage to get that big promotion. Todd DeLuca has 15 years of experience as a senior Technical Writer, team lead, and department manager (with a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree). His background includes graphic design, editing, client communication, policies and procedures, and software documentation. Todd is an active Senior Member of the Society for Technical Communication (including Past President of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter) and speaks at regional and national conferences on various career-related topics. 2
  3. 3. Created by Jessie Mallory Session 2 1:00 – 2:00 Willow Grove Use Your Technical Writing Skills for Both the Bottom Line and the Public Good Lawrence Souder STC’s Ethical Principle for professionalism asserts: “We advance technical communication through our integrity and excellence in performing each task we undertake.” Professionalism, however, does not stop at the front door of the workplace. By virtue of their privileged status in society, professionals have a moral obligation to give back to the public a portion of their time and energy in order to improve the quality of life for all people. This presentation explores the similarities and differences between for-profit and nonprofit worlds in order to uncover opportunities for professional technical communicators to give back. By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:  describe the nature of nonprofit organizations  list some characteristics of nonprofit communications  explain the content, form, and style of the conventional genres of nonprofit communications Lawrence Souder teaches courses in technical writing and in nonprofit communications at Drexel University. He is the founding director of Drexel Edits, a center for support of nonprofit communications. Thunderbolt UX for TCs Cheri Mullins Pluralsight and Business Insider recently identified six tech skills that are “not just ‘nice to know’ but ‘need to know’ in 2015.” Those all-important skills? Coding, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobile, Data Visualization, and UX Design. Whoa! Wait. UX? What exactly does that mean, and how does it affect me? In this talk, I will provide an overview of some UX—user experience—topics, concepts, and methods, and we will discuss how they relate to and inform technical communication. Cheri Mullins is an information architect, user experience analyst and designer, usability and communications researcher, writer, educator, and content strategist. Her research is focused at the intersections of technology, culture, and language. Scenic Single Sourcing and Localization: Leveraging Content Across Languages Laura Dent As technical communicators, we use single sourcing tools and techniques in English, to create multiple outputs of our documentation. When we localize (translate) our documents into other languages, the benefits of single sourcing multiply and so do the challenges. Come learn a combination of tools, best practices, tips and tricks for managing your localization projects. Laura Dent has several decades of experience working in technical communication, specializing in localization. As a freelancer, she serves her clients’ documentation needs in a variety of languages. Previously, at Rosetta Stone, she collaborated on systems that enabled SimShip (simultaneous shipment) of all software and documentation, an almost unheard of achievement. Alps The Future of Mobile Learning Danielle Villegas Mobile learning is a convenient means of delivering informational content to learners using current mobile technology devices. With the fast emergence of mobile technology proliferating in modern society, m-learning has presented an opportunity to those in the technical communications field to establish and promote best practices using concepts of human memory and literacy. Because of the screen size restrictions and means of everyday use of mobile devices, methods need to be developed to allow for smaller chunks of information to be delivered for better retention and promoting informational literacy within responsive design. 3
  4. 4. Created by Jessie Mallory Danielle M. Villegas is a content strategist who has most recently worked as a web publishing consultant at BASF North America, with a background in client services, project management, e-learning, social media, and web content management. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, and the Content Rules blog as well. Session 3 2:15 – 3:15 Willow Grove Tech Comm Cheatsheet Bernard Aschwanden By using features most people don’t even think about, you can take a set of tools (for example, FrameMaker, Excel, and PowerPoint) and create a set of materials that let you track some initial metrics, build up reports, and track content in ways that the tool vendors never dreamed of. There are a dozen easy shortcuts (or more) that you can use with any toolset (even free ones like Google Docs) to simplify the work you do every day. Bernard Aschwanden solves documentation based problems and helps companies generate more revenue. He guides clients through the best processes to create, manage, and deliver content. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow. He is the founder of Publishing Smarter, an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), and the Vice President of STC. Bernard has helped hundreds of companies implement successful solutions. He is focused on publishing better, publishing faster, and publishing smarter. Thunderbolt Valuing UX – Timing is Everything Nathan Relles and Andy Busovsky A case study in gaining acceptance (and resources!) for better UX attention. How a band of passionate UX devotees made their company more aware and supportive of efforts (and dollars) to achieve greater user engagement and satisfaction. Dr. Nathan Relles is President and founder of SofterWare, Inc., a local company that develops, markets, and supports software for non-profits, preschools, camps, and educational institutions. Andy Busovsky is Manager of SofterWare’s UX Department. Prior to establishing his company, Nathan spoke at several conferences and submitted papers on the topic of easy-to-use software. Scenic Using Scenarios to Help People Learn Kim Lindsey These days, there’s a lot of emphasis on using “scenarios” in training and development – even technical training. Is it all just hype? Or can scenarios really make a difference? This presentation provides an introduction to scenario-based training formats. Together, we’ll answer questions like: How long do scenarios have to be? When are scenarios appropriate, and are there times when they are not appropriate? Do you have to use video? Audio? Special software tools? And what is a “branching scenario”? Kim Lindsey is the e-Learning & Instructional Design Manager at Cinecraft Productions Inc. in Cleveland Ohio. She is a Senior Member of STC and has held numerous offices in the Northeast Ohio STC chapter, including President; she is currently the chapter’s Webmaster. Kim has completed several classes on scenario-based design from industry experts and enthusiastically shares how she has applied what she learned in real world projects. 4
  5. 5. Created by Jessie Mallory Alps The Agile Triathlon Doug Leard In this session, we will use preparing for and completing a triathlon as an analogy to help attendees better understand agile principles and concepts, as well as how to use these principles and concepts to reach your business objectives. We’ll explore your “agile why”; the key principles of working software, collaboration, embracing change and simplicity; and review / provide suggestions for the agile practices of planning, dailies, reviews and retrospectives. Doug will also share stories and lessons learned from his organization’s agile journey over the past several years. Doug Leard is a Senior Director of Quality Assurance at Oracle. Prior to acquisition by Oracle, he introduced agile to his organization and continues to be a key advocate for agile principles and concepts. He is a Project Management Professional and an Agile Certified Professional. He received his Certified Scrum Master training from Ken Schwaber and is also a Certified Product Owner. He has presented agile topics to Oracle teams in the United States and India and has given client presentations on software quality at a variety of user conferences. Closing Session: Ask the Candidates & Door Prizes 3:30 – 4:15 Willow Grove Ask the Candidates Adriane Hunt and Christopher Ward Adriane Hunt and Christopher Ward, the STC vice presidential candidates, will address the conference. Follow the conference at #stcpmc15 on Twitter and other social media outlets! 5
  6. 6. Created by Jessie Mallory Thank you to Adobe for hosting this event. 6
  7. 7. Created by Jessie Mallory A special thanks to the Giant Community Center for hosting our event. Please give your continued support to our sponsors. 7
  8. 8. Created by Jessie Mallory Conference Committee David Calloway – Conference Chair Stephen Adler Staci Bender Lori Corbett Timothy Esposito Clare Hirai Jessie Mallory Jessica Rineer Danielle Villegas Conference Volunteers Ellen O’Brien Please Complete Our Survey Online 8