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Saturday, May 6
 

8:30am

CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class: Day 1

Gain the edge and get results with certification! This year’s preconference sessions include a two-day CPTC exam prep class that will look at the requirements for CPTC Foundation Certification and cover the nine core skill areas of technical communication. The class will also address topics included in the certification exam, exam format, and sample questions. Students will be able to sit for the exam at the end of the two-day period.

Registration for this class is an additional fee and is managed independently by Red Desk Studio.

Chris Hester, an accredited CPTC trainer, will teach the class. Visit CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class to learn more and register today!

This is a two-day Preconference workshop held on Saturday and Sunday.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Hester

Chris Hester

Writer, Trainer, Strategist, Red Desk Studio
CPTC trainer. STC Fellow. Fair-weather cyclist. Reluctant runner. | | I learned to code on punch cards. Ask me anything.


Saturday May 6, 2017 8:30am - 4:30pm
Camellia 4
 
Sunday, May 7
 

7:30am

Registration Open Sunday
Sunday May 7, 2017 7:30am - 8:00pm
Woodrow Wilson Foyer

8:00am

Leadership Program

Leadership Program Agenda 

7:30-8:00

Registration & Coffee

 

8:00-8:30

Comments, Welcome from STC Leadership

Adriane Hunt, Cindy Pao, Liz Pohland

 

8:30-9:15:

Keynote Address: Flow-Based Leadership

Judy Glick-Smith

 

9:15-9:30

Networking Break

 

9:30-10:15

Succession Planning Panel

Carolyn Kelley Klinger and Ben Woelk

 

10:15-10:30

Networking Break

 

10:30-11:30

Breakout Sessions

Sessions Presented Twice:

Resources on the STC web site; tour of new site: Kobla Fiagbedzi

New Leader Table:The Basics of Running a Community; Resources available to leaders from the STC & CAC Community Handbook- Jamye Sagan and Cindy Pao

Mentoring: groups of leaders talking with each other about different topic: James Bousquet

10:30-11:00

Pacesetter award winner projects: Viqui Dill

Student Outreach Program; Article Writing Competition, IDL SIG-Sylvia Miller and Viqui Dill

Sponsorship/scholarship for students, Philadelphia Metro Chapter-Timothy Esposito

Multi-Community Virtual Techcomm Showcase, Rochester Chapter-Ben Woelk
 
Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), Chicago Chapter, and Community Achievement Award Application: MaryKay Grueneberg

Tech Support Table: Adobe Connect, other technology: Roger Renteria
Have a question about using Adobe Connect for your community? Are you considering to use a webinar format for your meetings? Do you know how to record and download your webinars? Learn about the basics on how to use Adobe Connect for STC Communities and bring in more participants for your community! Roger will be available to help you out and answer any questions you have and best practices for webinars. 

11:00-11:30

Manager’s Handbook: Mellissa Ruryk
Every year (or every other year), SIG volunteers come and go. How do you preserve the knowledge of the ones who leave? How do you get newcomers up to speed quickly and doing things the way your chapter/community has worked out as a best practice? A Community manual goes a long way to providing continuity and consistency in making these transitions smooth and efficient. Mellissa will show off the IDL SIG’s Community manual’s Table of Contents and lead a discussion of which items should be “written in stone” and where it’s better to just “wing it.”

Present CAA Awards 

11:30-12:00

Closing Remarks


Speakers
avatar for Viqui Dill

Viqui Dill

TechComm Leader, American Woodmark
An engineering graduate from Virginia Tech, Viqui is happiest as a small group worship leader or surrounded by singing kids at Vacation Bible School. She works as a Technical Writer for American Woodmark in Winchester. | | Viqui loves being in the STC #TechComm community and... Read More →
avatar for Timothy Esposito

Timothy Esposito

Principal Technical Writer, Oracle
Timothy Esposito is a Principal Technical Writer at Oracle Corporation where he works on logistics software. An STC member since 2005, for the Philadelphia Metro Chapter Timothy has served as Scholarship Chair, Treasurer, Webmaster, Vice President, and President. Additionally, Ti... Read More →
avatar for Judith Glick-Smith

Judith Glick-Smith

President/CEO, MentorFactor, Inc.
Dr. Judith (“Judy”) L. Glick-Smith is President/CEO of MentorFactor, Inc. She has been a technical communicator, systems professional, entrepreneur, and business consultant since 1983. MentorFactor focuses on helping organizations and leaders prepare for the unexpected. She h... Read More →
avatar for MK Grueneberg

MK Grueneberg

Sr. User Assistance Developer, SAP
MaryKay has been a technical communicator for almost 35 years. She has been a member of STC for over 20 years, was inducted as Associate Fellow in 2015, and earned certification as a Professional Technical Communicator in 2016. She is very active in STC Chicago, and has held a nu... Read More →
avatar for Adriane Hunt

Adriane Hunt

Senior Principal Information Engineer, CA Technologies
I am an author, editor, content strategist, and problem solver with a passion for great content paired with dynamic rich media. I drive value and deliver cost-effective solutions by designing and delivering lean, relevant, multi-channel content that engages, teaches, and helps pe... Read More →
avatar for Sylvia Miller

Sylvia Miller

Sr. Communications Analyst, Elsevier
Talk to me about the STC Scholarships Committee and the Student Outreach Article competition held by the Instructional Design & Learning SIG. I have a lot of experience (I'm old), so you can ask me about other topics, too!
avatar for Cindy Pao

Cindy Pao

I have been involved in STC since 2000 and have served in many STC leadership roles: Chapter President, SIG Co-Manager, and other Administrative Council jobs. I was also the Chair of the Distinguished Community Service Award committee and a member of the budget review committee... Read More →
avatar for Liz Pohland

Liz Pohland

Chief Executive Officer, Society for Technical Communication
Liz Pohland is the Society for Technical Communication’s Chief Executive Officer and Editor of Intercom magazine. She is an executive with extensive expertise in publishing, editing, design, and technical communication. During her tenure with STC, she has worked closely on the... Read More →
avatar for Roger Renteria

Roger Renteria

Web Content Administrator, Central New Mexico Community College
avatar for Mellissa K Ruryk

Mellissa K Ruryk

Sr. Technical Communicator, Technically Right Technical Writing Services Ltd.
Mellissa Ruryk is a senior technical communicator with over 20 years' experience in writing for software development, financial, oil and gas and engineering clients. She is the immediate past co-manager of the Instructional Design Special Interest Group, past president of the Canada West Coast chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, a judge/evaluator for STC Community Achievement Awards, Pacesetters Awards and has acted as judge for the International Summit Awards and is a judge on the panel for the IDL... Read More →
avatar for Jamye Sagan

Jamye Sagan

Pharmacy Communication Advisor, H-E-B Grocery Company
Jamye manages communications between the corporate office and the store pharmacies. She also helps design training programs and reference materials for various pharmacy projects. | | When not “making sense out of the senseless” in the tech comm. world, Jamye enjoys transformin... Read More →
avatar for Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk

ISO Program Manager, Rochester Institute of Technology
Introverted leader. Member, EDUCAUSE HEISC Awareness and Training Working Group. Former STC director, current chair of STC Scholarship Committee, Associate Fellow (2017). Practice areas in security awareness, leadership development, policies and procedures, mentoring, information... Read More →



Sunday May 7, 2017 8:00am - 12:00pm
Baltimore 3-5

8:30am

Programming Language Storytime: Programming Language Literacy for Technical Communicators
This session will examine open-source applications in a few of the most common programming languages: Java, JavaScript, C, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Perl.
Simple code-reading techniques turn applications into an easy-to-read "story" to answer your questions:
* What does the application do?
* What text the user will see?
* What files or settings are involved in the process?
This session will be particularly helpful for writers who work with API documentation often. We will start with the basics of reading simple scripts, and then move on to explore extensive examples in several languages to gain experience in reading source code and finding answers.

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Kiniry

Sarah Kiniry

Technical Writer II, cPanel, Inc.
Sarah Kiniry is a Technical Writer for cPanel, Inc., a web hosting software company. In this role, she provides full documentation support for an Agile development team, as well as participating in content strategy and other initiatives for the company as a whole. | In a past... Read More →



Sunday May 7, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm
Annapolis 4

8:30am

The 21st-Century Technical Communications Manager
This preconference workshop will cover 21st-century workforce issues including aging workforce, hiring millenials, changing technologies, and more. Attendees will learn about managing their boss, business case building, and change leadership.
Objectives:
• Network with other Tech Comm managers
• Share your own biggest issues with peers in the industry and work on solutions
• Learn about trends and issues affecting Tech Comms managers today
• Sharpen your skills in change leadership and people management
• Develop a plan for your department, for managing upward, and your team for the next year

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Barbara Giammona

Barbara Giammona

Sr Mgr Technical Publications, Schneider Electric
Barbara A. Giammona has been a technical communicator for more than 30 years and a manager of technical communicators for more than 25. She is currently manager of technical publications and communications for the Process Automation division of Schneider Electric, a global energy... Read More →


Sunday May 7, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm
Baltimore 2

8:30am

Hard Day's Journey into Technical Editing
By attending this workshop, you will gain knowledge, expertise, and ammunition for defending your art, for providing value to your company, and for proving that you can and do affect your company's bottom line. Learn tactics and techniques to be better at what you do, while you learn enough about your skill and its history to truly be considered an expert in your own right. In today's world of tools and technology, how do the basic skills of technical editing fit in? Where and when can we depend on tools to help us with our craft, and how can we get better at what we do as we prove our value and show the results our input can bring?
Proposed schedule includes definitions, tools, basic mechanics, types/levels of edit, copy and comprehensive editing techniques, value and quality, the art of writing comments to wow your writers, and a view to the future of technical editing.
Come to this day-long, intensive, discussion and exercise-rich offering to get answers to these and other questions you bring with you! 

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Linda Oestreich

Linda Oestreich

Program Mgr, Leadership & Talent Development, Space & Naval Warfare Sys Command
STC Fellow since 1996, technical communicator, instructor, training specialist, and program manager. Serving the communication and leadership needs of people in technology for more than 30 years.


Copyedit docx

Sunday May 7, 2017 8:30am - 4:30pm
Baltimore 1

8:30am

CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class: Day 2

Gain the edge and get results with certification! This year’s preconference sessions include a two-day CPTC exam prep class that will look at the requirements for CPTC Foundation Certification and cover the nine core skill areas of technical communication. The class will also address topics included in the certification exam, exam format, and sample questions. Students will be able to sit for the exam at the end of the two-day period.

Registration for this class is an additional fee and is managed independently by Red Desk Studio.

Chris Hester, an accredited CPTC trainer, will teach the class. Visit CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class to learn more and register today!

This is a two-day Preconference workshop held on Saturday and Sunday.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Hester

Chris Hester

Writer, Trainer, Strategist, Red Desk Studio
CPTC trainer. STC Fellow. Fair-weather cyclist. Reluctant runner. | | I learned to code on punch cards. Ask me anything.


Sunday May 7, 2017 8:30am - 5:00pm
Camellia 4

12:00pm

Adobe Workshop
Make plans to arrive early and attend this FREE workshop sponsored by Adobe. For complete details and to register, please visit this site: 

http://adobetechcommworkshopatstcsummit2017.campaignsandevents.com/.

The workshop is free, but registration is required.

 

Sunday May 7, 2017 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Annapolis 1-3

1:00pm

Collaborating and Contributing in GitHub for Technical Communicators
GitHub could be considered a “one-stop-development-shop” because it includes version control, project management, and social features that technical communicators can use to manage and document software projects.

As noted in the session abstract, tech comms need GitHub skills because of the popularity of GitHub -- it is reportedly the world's largest open source community, and in addition to public GitHub, companies are rapidly adopting GitHub Enterprise for internal use.

In this workshop, we'll learn how technical communicators can collaborate and contribute in GitHub in a variety of ways, including: writing content and managing issues; commenting on, reviewing, and merging proposed changes; documenting GitHub projects; and managing the wiki community.

We'll discuss how opportunities for tech comms vary by the type of GitHub project (repository) you are working in, for example:
–Public Repositories – contribute content and comments
–Corporate Public Projects – project docs, community management
–Corporate GitHub Enterprise Projects (and private repositories) – project docs, issue tracking, project version control

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Nicky Bleiel

Nicky Bleiel

Watson Information Developer, IBM Watson
Nicky Bleiel is a Watson Information Developer at IBM. She is a Past President and Associate Fellow of STC. Nicky has over 20 years of experience writing and designing content for software products in the cognitive computing, tech pubs, media sales, industrial automation, simulat... Read More →



Sunday May 7, 2017 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Annapolis 4

1:00pm

Modeling the Content Experience: Delivering the Right Content, to the Right Person, in the Right Place, at the Right Time

Do you work in a multi-product environment and struggle to keep content experiences consistent and delightful for your customers across the enterprise? Do you feel that your style and design guidance is necessary, but not sufficient, to address the task of ensuring your content is delivered to the right person, in the right place, and at the right time? If so, join Andrea for this deep-dive into modeling the content experience. You will dive into a real-world example and work in a group to follow Andrea's process for creating the framework of several models. You will complete enough of each model to continue the process back on the job, and you will take away actionable advice, tips, and tricks to make the work as efficient and successful as possible. Bring your questions and plan to get your hands dirty and have fun!

In this hands-on workshop, you will learn

  • What content experience modeling is and how it differs from content or topic modeling 
  • How modeling benefits your customer experience
  • What some typical models are and how to identify the right models for you
  • How to design, develop, and validate models
  • How to enable the content designers and developers on your team to apply those models
Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Andrea Ames

Andrea Ames

Senior Technical Staff Member and Enterprise Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer, IBM
Andrea L. Ames, M.S., is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Enterprise Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer at IBM, where she enables strategic use of IBM’s high-value content assets for the most client delight and success and highest business impact. She is a Fell... Read More →


Sunday May 7, 2017 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Baltimore 3

1:00pm

Revive and Thrive: Strategies for the Introvert in Today’s Workplace
The presentation supports the Summit theme of Gain the Edge to Get Results. Attendees will learn to identify and leverage strengths and mitigate weaknesses to become exceptional contributors in the workplace.

Workshop Overview
Introduction: The Introvert and Today’s Workplace (presentation)
Foundations (presentation and discussion)
• Understanding strengths and weaknesses: The role of personality typing and temperament
• Overview of temperament types
• Reveal and discuss—participants’ temperaments
Workplace challenges (discussion)
• Misunderstandings
• Communication preferences
• Working with other types
Revive and thrive (discuss)
• Getting to know yourself
• Leveraging introvert strengths
• Overcoming weaknesses
• Recharging
Develop action plan (activity and discussion)
• Create action plans
• Share selected action plans
• Finding support
Prerequisite—inventories at humanmetrics.com and keirsey.com

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk

ISO Program Manager, Rochester Institute of Technology
Introverted leader. Member, EDUCAUSE HEISC Awareness and Training Working Group. Former STC director, current chair of STC Scholarship Committee, Associate Fellow (2017). Practice areas in security awareness, leadership development, policies and procedures, mentoring, information... Read More →


Sunday May 7, 2017 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Camellia 3

1:00pm

The Power of the Question: Developing Analytical Skills for TC Success
Analytical skills are extremely important for any TC. Logical, rational thinking, a healthy suspicion about information, and the ability to ask the right question are the mark of the consummate profession TC. A TC with good analytical skills can spot potential project hazards, avoid major errors with content decisions, and help drive the entire documentation lifecycle. Clearly, this is an important skill! However, many practitioners, especially at the beginning of their career, feel uncomfortable about asking questions and pushing aggressively for information. As a result, they make errors and miss opportunities. The workshop is designed to help new TCs develop analytical thinking, plus improve on the skills of more experienced TCs.
In this workshop, participants will learn:
• The causes and costs of poor analysis
• Strategy 1: Big Picture Analysis (audience match, fit with other products, workflow)
• Strategy 2: Data and Content Analysis (missing, illogical, questionable, and inappropriate)
• Strategy 3: Asking Successful Questions (pushing without offending)
• Strategy 4: Overcoming Lack of Confidence (building on your expertise)
• Strategy 5: Improving General and Technical Knowledge (self-learning and research)

Additional rates apply for this preconference workshop. 

Speakers
avatar for Leah Guren

Leah Guren

Owner, Cow TC
Let's talk about writing, editing, UX, L10N, and more. I've been in TC since 1980 so I'm ready to swap stories from the trenches!



Sunday May 7, 2017 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Baltimore 2

5:30pm

Opening Keynote

Relationship Revolution: Elevating Your Impact and Influence in the Connected Age

We are entering the greatest period of business transformation the world has ever known. The rigid models and long-standing rules we’ve come to count upon for centuries are no longer reliable. The constant state of disruption we are experiencing mandates a new level of courage and influence in order to effectively impact our organizations and those around us. 

This program is designed to help individual contributors and leaders understand the forces impacting the new state of work today and arm them with the practical tools and techniques to deepen their connection to those around them and amplify their capacity to positively effect change and influence outcomes.

Attendees gain:
Deep insights into the macro drivers of change impacting the new world of work.
Insights on the roadblocks preventing us from forming meaning relationships in the connected age.
New perspectives on the power of empathy, authenticity, and vulnerability to foster lasting bonds and ultimately influence change.
Strategies for navigating the connected age’s forces of distraction.

 


Speakers
avatar for Seth Mattison

Seth Mattison

Seth Mattison is the Founder and Chief Movement Officer of FutureSight Labs. Seth advises many of the world’s leading brand and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work. Named to the Editors’ Picks for Favorite Speakers for 2013 by MeetingsNet... Read More →


Sunday May 7, 2017 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Cherry Blossom

7:00pm

Welcome Reception in the Expo Hall
Start your conference  experience on a positive note by connecting with friends and colleagues, networking, and getting an overview of what's new at the Expo. This is a great time start on your Expo Bingo Card! Meet with SIG leaders and find a virtual community to connect with. This even is included in your Summit registration fee. Guests are welcome, but a ticket is required and must be purchased in advance.

Sunday May 7, 2017 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Woodrow Wilson
 
Monday, May 8
 

7:30am

Registration Open Monday
Monday May 8, 2017 7:30am - 4:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Foyer

8:00am

Continental Breakfast
Monday May 8, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
Woodrow Wilson

8:00am

Expo Hall Monday
Note: The Exhibit Hall will be closed during the midday break from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM EDT.

Monday May 8, 2017 8:00am - 11:00am
Woodrow Wilson

9:00am

The Holy Trifecta of Intelligent Technical Content
Technical communication professionals revolutionized the publishing world with the introduction of structured writing and intelligent content. By adopting innovative methods, approaches, and content standards, we were able to craft and deliver content to multiple channels quickly, often with reduced effort and cost. And, we’re not done yet. When technical content is required for global audiences, intelligent content alone is not enough to tackle the obstacles multilingual content introduces. Combining structured intelligent technical content, terminology management, and translation memory together can solve these challenges. We call this the Holy Trifecta of Intelligent Technical Content. When all three of these are leveraged together, we can systematically produce consistent content that is on-brand, on-message, and easy to read in every language; the right content to the right person in the right language on the device of the consumer's choosing. In this session, we will clearly describe intelligent content, terminology management, and translation memory. You will gain an understanding of how they are interrelated and why they are important to technical communication projects. 

Speakers
avatar for Val Swisher

Val Swisher

CEO, Content Rules, Inc.
Val helps companies solve complex content problems by analyzing their content and how it is created. She is a well-known expert in structured authoring, global content strategy, content development, and terminology management. Val believes content should be easy to read, cost-eff... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Annapolis 1/2

9:00am

Breaking Down Silos: Combining Marketing and Technical Content to Deliver a Consistent Customer Experience
Content is king, and organizations are creating content in amounts that were unheard of just a few years ago. Marketing and Technical Publications teams often develop content in different tools and store content in separate content management systems, which makes it difficult to share content and deliver a unified and consistent customer experience. Gone are the days when you had the luxury of getting phone calls from confused customers. Today, consumers would much rather tap or swipe their way to your competitor. Join Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe, as he discusses how to integrate technical and marketing content.

Speakers
avatar for Dustin Vaughn

Dustin Vaughn

Solutions Consulting Manager, Adobe
Dustin Vaughn is a Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe who manages a team of experts in Adobe's Technical Communication and eLearning products. Dustin has over 10 years of industry experience and has served as a panelist, speaker, and Adobe representative at various conferences... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 5

9:00am

Gain the Edge by Learning to Read Microexpressions
Being able to communicate effectively requires good listening skills developed over time. Beyond using our ears to listen, we use our eyes to see and read people. Leading research experts, such as Dr. Paul Ekman, claim that without training, the average person misreads visual cues 50% of the time. That means that half the time, we are wrong in our perceptions of the feelings and thoughts of others during face-to-face meetings. In today’s technology-driven world, we meet with clients, customers, and colleagues face-to-face through video-driven meetings. The visual clues we need to understand each other are in front of us all the time. But we have not learned to read them properly. This session aims to train the audience in the basics of reading microexpressions for immediate practical use in professional settings. The soft skill of reading microexpressions will help improve interpersonal communication and reduce misunderstandings due to misconceptions, giving the user an edge in the work place.

Speakers

Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 4

9:00am

To Manage or Not to Manage: That is the Career Path Question
When looking at their career path most people are eventually faced with the question: Do I want to be in management? For some this is a no brainer and they can easily say, “Yes, sign me up!” or “No, I’d rather be an individual contributor.” Then there are others who just aren’t sure. For years I was in the “individual contributor” camp and I thought I always would be. Then, as different opportunities came my way, I started to waver in my decision. As our lives change, so may our career aspirations. So whether you have never been a manager before or you have managed a team in what now feels like a past life, there are questions to ask yourself to see if management would be a good fit for you. This sessions guides you through one technical writer’s journey from individual contributor to manager and all of the introspective questions asked along the way.

Speakers
avatar for Meredith Kramer

Meredith Kramer

Information Development Manager, Micro Focus
Meredith Kramer, an Information Development Manager at Micro Focus, has worked in the technical communication industry for 18 years and has held several positions before moving to a management role. | She leads a team of 14 people in multiple geographic locations covering 15 d... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 1/2

9:00am

User Experience Strategies for Winning API Documentation
API documentation is a product. Are you confident you’ve built a great user experience for yours? This session covers strategies for creating, validating, and maintaining better API documentation. You will leave with practical advice on working with API development teams and tips for creating a great user experience for your API docs.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Cressey

Eric Cressey

Senior UX Content Writer, Symantec
I write API documentation for Website Security products at Symantec. When I'm not doing that, I'm writing content for our web products and working on features for our API portal. I love talking about the latest tools and techniques for API documentation and I enjoy dabbling in co... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 3

9:00am

Leveraging Cognitive Science to Improve Structured Authoring
Have you ever wanted to know what information typing is and its significance for structured, topic-based authoring? Where did concept, task, and reference come from anyway? Decades of research and practice have shaped the tools and standards we often take for granted in the technical communication community. This session examines the relevant research behind structured authoring practices to reveal fundamental concepts many of us may have been missing. It takes you through history and science behind structured authoring to discuss many of the best practices writers at Precision Content employ.

Speakers
avatar for Rob Hanna

Rob Hanna

President, Precision Content Authoring Solutions Inc
Thrilled to be returning to the STC Summit again this year! | | I've served the STC in many capacities over the past 20 years and continue to mentor new technical writers in my hometown of Toronto. I've had the honour of receiving my STC Fellow recognition in 2014 for my con... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Annapolis 3/4

10:10am

Documentation Support for an IoT Product: A Case Study
The Internet of Things* (IoT) generates huge volumes of data from a wide range of locations. This session will share experiences and knowledge gained through providing documentation support for an IoT product. Learn how this product enables programmers to build applications to process and analyze streams of continuously flowing events. The lessons learned can be generally applied to any highly technical subject, and can provide useful insight into other IoT products.

*The Internet of Things is any collection of devices that are embedded with the electronics, software, and network connectivity that enables them to collect and share data.


Speakers
avatar for Michael Harvey

Michael Harvey

Principal Technical Writer, SAS
At SAS, I am documentation project leader for risk management solutions. I also teach Information Architecture for the Duke Continuing Studies Technical Communication certificate program. Previously, I worked as a manager and a writer for EMC. I have a BA in English and Psychol... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 3

10:10am

A Layman's Crash Course on Analytics in Help Content
If your help content lives on an HTML page, then you can easily measure how well it’s performing, who it’s reaching, how they get to it, and what you need to do to make it more, well … helpful. You can do this for free with Google Analytics.

In this beginners-level session, you’re going to get a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do to develop a Google Analytics monitoring strategy that demonstrates the value of your tech comm team's work. We’re going to cover the important stuff you need to be measuring and how you can use it to improve your content strategy. We’ll also dive into what you need to report to your leadership team and how to do it in a way that makes you look like an analytics expert (even if you aren’t).

Speakers
avatar for Vivianne Costa

Vivianne Costa

Senior Product Manager, PROS
Vivianne Costa works as Senior Product Manager at PROS (NYSE:PROS) where she owns the strategy of the customer help portal. She has been a strong customer experience advocate for the past 15+ years, working first in digital marketing, then diving into the product world... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Annapolis 3/4

10:10am

Analytics and Tech Doc: The Dawn of a New Era
Understanding how product documentation is consumed can fuel your company with data that has the potential to transform operations and impact strategic decisions. To gain this insight, you need to change the way you track and mine the behavior of users when they search, read, and interact with your technical content. By combining the latest delivery, text-mining, and analytics technologies, you will transform tech content into a sensor and its delivery into a data generator. You will thereby unleash a tremendous potential of information innovation.

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Baloche

Daniel Baloche

Antidot
With thirty years of experience in Information Technology industry in France and the USA, Daniel has occupied different positions from project manager to consultant to VP Sales to Founder and CEO. He runs business development for Fluid Topics in the USA. 
avatar for Camille Ponchet

Camille Ponchet

Antidot
Camille worked as an engineer in various domains such as the railway industry, the telecommunication industry or the digital photography industry. His experience let him realize that the documentation broadcasting is a main issue. He decided to turn this hidden cost into a real m... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 5

10:10am

Picture Perfect! How to Turn Words and Data into Powerful Graphics
Quickly turn your words, data and ideas into powerful graphics. Attend this high‐energy, interactive session to learn how to communicate even the most complex content in a way that is impactful and unforgettable. Get step‐by‐step instructions, practical tips, and tools. After attending this session, you’ll be able to make any complex idea easy to understand in three steps, turn ideas, text, and data into graphics, visualize and better communicate your solutions, and make professional graphics that are clear, communicative, and compelling, and find the right imagery at the right price.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Parkinson

Mike Parkinson

Owner, Billion Dollar Graphics
Mike Parkinson, Microsoft MVP and APMP Fellow, is a visual communication guru, professional educator, and award-winning author. Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and educational institutions work with Mike to achieve their goals. His two companies, Billion Dollar Gra... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 4

10:10am

Workflows: Your Treasure Map to Great Content
As technical writers, creating content to document software can be an adventure. With workflows, you and your team can navigate the jungles of bad communication and find the treasure of user-focused content. Using examples from an Agile Scrum team, this session shows how to create a software workflow, which you can use to create and complement your documentation and training materials. This knowledge will empower you and your team to minimize the mini-waterfall effect you sometimes see during Agile processes.

Speakers
avatar for Rosie Arcelay

Rosie Arcelay

Technical Writer II, cPanel, Inc.
Rosie Arcelay works for cPanel, Inc. as a technical writer in an internal development Scrum team. She writes API content for product developers and training content for customer service and sales. Besides writing, Rosie likes to work on her family’s genealogy, edit a theater bl... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Annapolis 1/2

10:10am

Avoiding the $36 Comma: Clever Editing Strategies Can Reduce Translation Costs
Editing documents can often lead to unanticipated translation costs. While explaining the secrets of localization pricing, this session shares with documentation managers and editors some concrete tips for reducing expenses. Strategies for both new and updated materials are covered. Attendees will benefit from learning about the impact of translation memory on cost, and the impact of editing on translation memory effectiveness. The session also covers strategies for avoiding the hidden translation costs involved in changing documentation formats (such as from FrameMaker to XML).

Speakers
avatar for Adam Jones

Adam Jones

COO, SimulTrans
Adam oversees SimulTrans' worldwide operations, including project management, translation, engineering, testing, multilingual publishing, account management, sales, and marketing. Adam has spent over 20 years directing the company's customer outreach efforts, internal production... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 1/2

10:10am

Lights, Camera, Screen, and Audio: Make Better Videos with the Basics
Need to get started with video but overwhelmed by where to start? Attend this session to get the lay of the land and practical tips for balancing time, cost, and quality. We’ll cover the video creation workflow, basic gear needed, and some fundamental techniques. 

This is a Summit+ Theater session. 


Monday May 8, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Woodrow Wilson

11:00am

Monday Break-Lunch on your own
Monday May 8, 2017 11:00am - 1:00pm
TBA

11:30am

Accessibility, Agile, and Usability and User Experience SIGs Combined Meeting
Speakers
avatar for Jamye Sagan

Jamye Sagan

Pharmacy Communication Advisor, H-E-B Grocery Company
Jamye manages communications between the corporate office and the store pharmacies. She also helps design training programs and reference materials for various pharmacy projects. | | When not “making sense out of the senseless” in the tech comm. world, Jamye enjoys transformin... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Camellia 4

11:30am

Policies and Procedures SIG
Speakers
avatar for Louise Tincher

Louise Tincher

Proposal Manager, UES, Inc.
* Talk to me about: Policies & Procedures SIG, proposal writing, working for government contractors and small companies, and career transitions. | * My passion is making organizations more productive. My super powers are creating order from chaos and managing Microsoft Wo... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Camellia 3

11:30am

Technical Editing SIG

Location: Bond 45 Restaurant, 149 Waterfront Street

Leave at 11:15 AM from in front of Belevedere Lobby Bar of the Gaylord to walk to restaurant

Contact: Li-At (Ruttenberg) Rathbun, Li-At.Ruttenberg@stc-techedit.org


Speakers
avatar for Li-At Rathbun

Li-At Rathbun

Technical Editor, Yardi Systems
Li-At has over 20 years of technical communication experience (yes, since kindergarten). Although her main role at Yardi Systems is as technical editor, she also creates training videos. | | Li-At has continuously served in various STC leadership positions since her very fi... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
TBA

1:00pm

How Social Media Can Be Part of Your Set of Technical Communication Skills

With the emergence of social media in the last decade or so, there has been a paradigm shift in consumers. They no longer rely on conventional advertisements or marketing/technical literature to make a purchase. They would rather rely on a trusted source within the online or social community who can influence their purchasing decision by providing a true, holistic view of the product or its features. Brands also realize the true reach and engagement of social media influencers, and thus want to work with them in order to create authentic content about their offering, drive engagement around their brand, and push traffic to their websites or landing pages. 

Technical communicators all over the world are known to have a range of skills or abilities that make them successful in the workplace. By being the best communicators within the organization, they can leverage third-party social media tools like blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to create a communication channel with customers, potentially influencing their purchasing decisions in the process.

My presentation will focus on how social media can be part of your set of technical communication skills.


Speakers
avatar for Rahul Prabhakar

Rahul Prabhakar

Rahul Prabhakar (37) is essentially a travel enthusiast from India whose love for the folklore took him to over ten countries, including South Korea where he stayed with his family from 2005 to 2012.  Rahul has over 15 years of technical communication experience and is a leading member of the global technical writing community. He has a Bachelors of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering and an Advanced Masters in Management of Global Enterprises. Rahul has worked for some of the world's leading technology companies such as Samsung, Oracle, etc. He blogs at "When the Muse Strikes!" to help young people get info on new travel and culture stories from around the globe, including tidbits on technology, product launches, lifestyle, food, events, and much more (see... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 1/2

1:00pm

Introducing MadCap Central for Cloud-based Content Management
Are you interested in learning how you can combine powerful desktop authoring with a cloud-based content management environment? Do you struggle with managing production schedules and tasks associated with your project deliverables? Are you tired of relying on your IT team to help publish your content? If you answered yes to any of these questions, join me for an overview of MadCap Central, where we will walk through how MadCap Central can extend your authoring and publishing capabilities within your documentation workflow.



Speakers
avatar for Jennifer Morse

Jennifer Morse

Product Evangelist, MadCap Software
As the Product Evangelist at MadCap Software, Jennifer has over 15 years of software sales experience in the technical communication and content development industry. In addition to overseeing the Product Specialist team, her focus is to promote the value of the company’s solut... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 5

1:00pm

Introverted Entrepreneurship: Leverage Your Strengths to Build A Successful Business
PLEASE NOTE THIS SESSION IS NOW BEING HELD IN BALTIMORE 4.

Are you an introvert? You’re not alone, particularly at this conference. For many of us, “introvert” and “entrepreneur” conjure images of two vastly different types of people: the former is seen to be a quiet, isolated worker and the latter an outgoing dynamo.


Speakers
avatar for Alisa Bonsignore

Alisa Bonsignore

Writer & Strategist, Clarifying Complex Ideas
I spend my days clarifying complex ideas, translating technical and clinical information into understandable language tailored to the needs of healthcare, network security and healthcare IT clients around the globe. I'd love to talk to you about your freelancing challenges, how t... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 4

1:00pm

How to Fix the Credibility Problem When Using Responsive Design
This session will discuss responsive design--its history and methods--and the implications of a 2016 study that demonstrated trustworthiness and credibility are perceived differently when information is changed to accommodate screen size. Finally, and most importantly, the session will provide lessons and suggestions drawn from the research results that practitioners can use to better design information for credibility using the responsive design methods.

Speakers
avatar for Clinton Lanier

Clinton Lanier

Assistant Professor, New Mexico State University
Web Design and Development, Social Media and Content Marketing, and User Assistance



Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Annapolis 1/2

1:00pm

Walk in Your Customer's Shoes: Learn the Art of Journey Mapping
PLEASE NOTE THIS SESSION IS NOW BEING HELD IN ANNAPOLIS 3/4.

When you create a journey map, you're actually walking in a customer's shoes. Journey maps help us clarify the needs of users and identify their pain points. Writers can learn to use journey maps to create targeted content. With this knowledge, writers can also push for improvements to the user interface to reduce the need for documentation. This interactive session will teach you how to create journey maps—either with your product team or on your own. You will also learn how to apply the journey map process to targeted content.

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Gardner

Michelle Gardner

Sr Information Developer, Micro Focus
I'm passionate about improving user experience and providing excellent user-focused content. I have been a technical writer, promotional writer, marketing manager, product manager, sales representative, and customer advocate. As an Information Developer at Micro Focus, I combine... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

1:00pm

A Business Case for Augmented Reality

The shortage of qualified engineers combined with the increasing complexity of products and higher demands on information provision are creating complex challenges. In the near future, numerous industries are likely to see service costs soar, margins shrink, service quality plummet, and customer satisfaction decline. This presentation will demonstrate how augmented reality (AR), in combination with intelligent information structures, offer a cost effective and practical solution to this problem. Benefits of an AR approach for technical communications are well documented and have been measured and published in recent studies.

This is a Summit+ Theater session.

Speakers

Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Woodrow Wilson

1:00pm

Expo Hall Monday
Monday May 8, 2017 1:00pm - 5:00pm
TBA

2:10pm

Customer Centricity at Your Fingertips
In today’s world, creating flawless content isn’t enough. In the end, it’s all about creating delightful experiences for your end users. It’s about simplifying the customer journey. Starting from a simple search or an F1 click, how easy is it for the end users to get to relevant content? The effectiveness of your content is largely driven by the success of your end users. In this session, let’s learn what can we do to be yet another step closer to our customers. We will see, how you can create a great looking output which is personalized, searchable and consumable across all form factors.

Speakers
avatar for Abhishek Jain

Abhishek Jain

Product Manager, Adobe
Abhishek Jain is Product Manager at Adobe Systems, India, where he manages the Technical Communication line of products (FrameMaker, RoboHelp and Technical Communication Suite). He is responsible for product strategy and roadmap, partner ecosystem management, and customer relatio... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 5

2:10pm

Implementing a Content Strategy Is Like Running 100 Miles: Painful But Possible
As customers’ demands evolve, you might wonder how in the world you can change your content strategy to keep up. Finding consensus among executives, teammates, and departments with competing ideas about content can seem as challenging as running 100 miles. Gavin has run 100-mile ultramarathons! He has also helped Salesforce’s 100+ person documentation team implement a new content strategy. In both cases, survival required overcoming fear, choosing the right gear, learning from mistakes, prioritizing the right tasks, enlisting a crew for support, and not quitting when it felt like there was no way to finish. But finish they did, and you can too once you hear more about his experiences and lessons learned.

Speakers
avatar for Gavin Austin

Gavin Austin

Principal Technical Writer, Salesforce
Gavin Austin is a Principal Technical Writer at Salesforce, where he writes everything from UI text to API developer guides. He has delivered a number of highly-rated presentations at LavaCon, WritersUA, STC Summit, Agile 2013, Intelligent Content Conference, Content Management S... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Annapolis 1/2

2:10pm

Meet the Editors

STC will host a “meet the editors” session at the 2017 Summit. The editor-in-chief of Technical Communication, Dr. Sam Dragga, and the editor of Intercom magazine, Liz Pohland, will host a face-to-face session with conference participants and STC’s contributing editors. They will explain the publication missions, editorial processes, recent submission trends, and other topics of interest for scholars and writers looking to publish their work. The aim of the session is to help prospective authors understand how to be published in STC venues and what content is needed. Participants will have an opportunity to speak and pose questions to the editorial teams.


Speakers
avatar for Sam Dragga

Sam Dragga

Editor, Technical Communication, STC
I am Editor-in-Chief of Technical Communication, STC's quarterly research journal.  I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the publication potential of your presentation, your contribution to the journal's cover competition, or the possibility of your serving as a manusc... Read More →
avatar for Liz Pohland

Liz Pohland

Chief Executive Officer, Society for Technical Communication
Liz Pohland is the Society for Technical Communication’s Chief Executive Officer and Editor of Intercom magazine. She is an executive with extensive expertise in publishing, editing, design, and technical communication. During her tenure with STC, she has worked closely on the... Read More →


Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 4

2:10pm

On Track! Running an Effective Meeting is More than the Agenda
Most tech comm project include a series of meetings. Requirements gathering and status updates are a necessary part of every project. But does attending a meeting mean team members are not making progress on tasks or deliverables? This spotlight presentation will show attendees how to make the most of everyone’s time and offer proven solutions for meeting management. Starting up front with an engaging icebreaker, gathering expectations about what should be accomplished during the meeting, and then collecting feedback at the end. All this to make your meeting more effective and your team more productive. 

Speakers
avatar for Viqui Dill

Viqui Dill

TechComm Leader, American Woodmark
An engineering graduate from Virginia Tech, Viqui is happiest as a small group worship leader or surrounded by singing kids at Vacation Bible School. She works as a Technical Writer for American Woodmark in Winchester. | | Viqui loves being in the STC #TechComm community and... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Annapolis 3/4

2:10pm

Section 508: Are You Ready for ADA Compliance Standards?
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards has been a requirement for government and public sector websites since 2008. But did you know that ADA compliance is rapidly becoming a critical need for private sector websites as well, with new standards set to take effect in 2018? Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, or service/support organization, making sure that your website and the content you place on it meets compliance standards is a new challenge for many businesses and organizations. In this session, find out the key requirements, what applies to you along with useful tools and resources to ensure compliance.

Speakers
avatar for Earl Peters

Earl Peters

VP User Experience, JohnsonRauhoff
Effective technical communications is often more about solving problems that a client didn’t even realize existed than it is about writing about a specific product. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Earl has worked with products ranging from small kitchen... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 3

2:10pm

Six Super Success Hacks
The difference between average and great may just be the six hacks you will hear about in this session. You can improve your performance and give your career the edge! Work your calendar: manage time with one new habit. Stop lying to yourself: remove the biggest block to self-improvement. Lobby for the user: amp up job satisfaction by this simple switch in perspective. Communicate like a pro: make your words more effective and persuasive. Find the spotlight: stop downplaying your achievements. Fake it till you make it: master the cognitive neuroscience behind courage.

Speakers
avatar for Leah Guren

Leah Guren

Owner, Cow TC
Let's talk about writing, editing, UX, L10N, and more. I've been in TC since 1980 so I'm ready to swap stories from the trenches!



Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Annapolis 3/4

2:10pm

Learning Styles and the Cancer Experience
Although the majority of the population are visual learners, most details about a medical diagnosis or treatment are delivered verbally. To exacerbate the problem, the majority of the information being delivered consists of concepts and terminology. They are difficult for doctors to explain and even more difficult for patients to understand. Learn from a real-life cancer experience of how information was presented and what could have been done to make it easier to understand and remember. Find out what we can do as technical communicators to address different learning styles and an audience that is not clearly defined.

Speakers
avatar for Debbie Kerr

Debbie Kerr

Business Analyst and Author
Debbie Kerr has been a technical communicator for over 30 years, a breast cancer survivor for over five years, and a lifetime expert at making people laugh. In 2016, Debbie published, When Cancer Takes Flight, which teaches patients about the cancer journey using analogies and pe... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 1/2

2:10pm

Focus on Your Creativity, Not Your Tools
At Xeditor, we believe that you should not have to learn XML or DITA in order to create great structured content. Attend this session to find out how you and your team can get started right away.

This is a Summit+ Theater session.

Speakers

Monday May 8, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

3:00pm

Refreshment Break
Enjoy some light refreshments in the Expo Hall (Woodrow Wilson Ballroom) from 3:00-4:00 PM!

Monday May 8, 2017 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

4:00pm

Engineering Content Champions
Crowd sourcing content is a concept that seems foreign to traditional technical communication. But it is becoming increasingly common for everyone from developers to product managers to contribute content. What happens when you open the doors to your documentation and let non-technical writers craft content? Do standards go out the window? It turns out that you can build excellent documentation via crowd sourcing. But there are some rules for the road. Learn how engineering a culture of content champions, both inside and outside your organization, can help create a wealth of valuable documentation for your users.

Speakers
avatar for Becky Todd

Becky Todd

Senior Technical Writer, Atlassian
Becky is a Senior Technical Writer at Atlassian. She has managed enterprise content at various levels throughout her career and is a self-professed lover of Git. At Atlassian, she acted as a product owner for the updated developer site and is involved with building the developer... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

4:00pm

Proving ROI: Agilely Cutting Costs in Help
ROI isn’t just a buzzword in the C-suite--it’s a must-have for technical communicators and managers to get the resources they need to succeed. Learn how you can cut costs, improve efficiency, and join the Agile bandwagon. Single-sourcing and the tools of information architecture will help you present your information in the most intuitive way. Users will be able to find what they need in a fraction of the time, cutting down the costs needed for support calls and training. Coordinating your efforts in an Agile development environment will smoothly manage your projects, and further cut costs. Jessica will show you how to achieve the metrics that you need to prove your business case.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica Kreger

Jessica Kreger

Senior Manager, Client Training and Education, TradeStation
Jessica Kreger leads the technical documentation team at TradeStation to publish information that empowers active traders around the world. With over fifteen years of experience in communications, she has worked at Dell, the University of Miami, Carnegie Mellon University, and Al... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 3

4:00pm

Supporting Customer Advocacy with Intelligent Knowledge Management
Express Scripts recently developed an enterprise-wide knowledge management system focused on improving efficiency and quality, as well as reducing operating costs. Steve will share his experience using MadCap Flare and other tools to develop a centralized Knowledge Management System. He will also share tips and principles his team used to successfully implement our “Support Customer Advocacy with Intelligent Knowledge Management.” Hear about the substantial benefits to both users and the enterprise as a whole including: improvement in overall quality; reducing average call handle time; and reducing inappropriate/unnecessary transfers/referrals. 

Speakers
avatar for Steve Pfeilsticker

Steve Pfeilsticker

Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Express Scripts
I'm a knowledge management and technical communications professional with 16 years of experience in technical writing, web/system development, and project management. I'm currently a Sr. Business Systems Analyst at Express Scripts in Bloomington, Minnesota. My job involves build... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 1/2

4:00pm

The Heart of MadCap Central: Project and Task Management
This session takes a detailed look at the parts of MadCap Central where users will spend most of their time—projects and tasks. You will learn how to connect your MadCap Flare projects to MadCap Central and use the integrated source control solution to keep your content in sync. I will also discuss how you can build, publish, and roll back output, plus more. And finally, I will cover MadCap Central’s system for task management. You will see how it can help managers and writers maintain control of their ongoing processes and workloads.


Speakers
PS

Paul Stoecklein

Documentation Manager, MadCap Software


Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 5

4:00pm

Video Provides the Edge
Five years ago, the technical documentation team at Mark’s company abandoned its traditional help system and replaced it with an online video library that now consists of over a thousand short training videos. Each video’s goal is to answer a specific “How do I…” question. Mark will show how they arrived at this point and take you through the barriers removed and lessons learned as well as the success stories.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Kleinsmith

Mark Kleinsmith

Technical Communications Manager, MiTek, U.S.A
20+ Years of Technical Communications Experience in the Software Industry. | For the past five years, I've focused on distributing technical information via targeted training and help videos. | Our team has amassed a technical library of over 1,200 1-3 minute training videos... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Annapolis 1/2

4:00pm

Work Global, Live Local
Do you work in a different location than your team? Finding it difficult to get out of stealth mode as a “work-in-place” technical communicator? This session will change that. Salesforce remote writers share their success stories and tips for improving visibility and recognition as a full-fledged member of a global team. They’ll also discuss how to participate in corporate culture and build goodwill with your stakeholders across time zones and offices.

Speakers
avatar for Melissa Kulm

Melissa Kulm

Lead Technical Writer, Salesforce
I've been a technical communicator for over 25 years, including 3 years on the East Coast supporting a West Coast team. I currently write Salesforce platform documentation for administrators and developers. I also enjoy judging in STC chapter and international competitions. In my... Read More →



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 4

4:00pm

A Guide to XML Content Conversion and Web-based XML Authoring for SMEs

Is your organization looking to implement structured content solutions using XML DITA? Do you need to understand how to convert your existing content to XML DITA from source formats including FrameMaker and Word? Are you worried that collecting and reviewing contributions from subject matter experts may suddenly become a difficult problem to manage?

Join us for a combined demonstration of the Migrate cloud XML content conversion service and AuthorBridge, a new low-cost, web-based authoring tool that has been developed for use by SMEs with no knowledge of XML. AuthorBridge provides authors with a Word-like interface, along with a guided and fluid authoring experience, free from the usual constraints of traditional XML authoring tools.

With Migrate, you will learn how to make a simple DITA structure, configure basic conversion rules and witness a real-time conversion to DITA. We will then review the DITA output in AuthorBridge and learn how to edit and review existing DITA topics and to quickly create new ones without requiring any knowledge of DITA or XML.

This is a Summit+ Theater session. 



Monday May 8, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Woodrow Wilson

5:30pm

Annual Business Meeting

Make time for the annual business meeting where the 2017-2018 Board of Directors will be installed, a variety of association-related topics will be discussed, and members put forth motions. This meeting is open to everyone. Only members in good standing may vote. Dowlonad a motion form in advance.



Monday May 8, 2017 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Cherry Blossom

6:30pm

Dine Around

Join leaders from your host chapter, STC Washington, DC - Baltimore (WDCB) for a dine around dinner event on Monday, May 8. This dine around event is a great way to meet new friends, network with peers, and enjoy great dining at the National Harbor.

Register for a free ticket for one of the dinner events. A ticket includes you in the dinner reservation, though you are responsible for the cost of your own meal and drinks. Each dinner can accommodate a limited number of participants, so be sure to sign up soon!

Your dining options for Monday evening follow. 

  • Join Liz Herman at Rosa Mexicano at 153 Waterfront Street for networking, merriment, and margaritas.

  • Join Sean Stevenson at Grace's Mandarin at 188 Waterfront Street for world-class Asian flavors from the highest-rated restaurant in National Harbor.

  • Join Greta Boller Buskirk at Granite City at 200 American Way for a polished take on casual American cuisine with an on-site brewery. 

  • Join Carolyn Klinger at The Walrus Oyster and Ale House at 152 Waterfront Street for fresh oysters, craft beers, and Chesapeake Bay inspired seafood. 


Monday May 8, 2017 6:30pm - 8:30pm
TBA
 
Tuesday, May 9
 

7:30am

Registration Open Tuesday
Tuesday May 9, 2017 7:30am - 4:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Foyer

8:00am

Continental Breakfast
Tuesday May 9, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
Woodrow Wilson

8:00am

Expo Hall Tuesday
Tuesday May 9, 2017 8:00am - 4:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

9:00am

Productivity Hacks for Technical Communicators
THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO ANNAPOLIS 3/4.

Feeling overwhelmed? Stuck? Less productive than you want to be? Join us in discovering five productivity hacks that you can implement today that will help you be more productive! Today's technology allows us to get more done faster, but this increased efficiency often comes at the price of time to think deeply about what we are doing. Being busy and efficient does not necessarily mean that we are being productive. According to Michael Hyatt and others, true productivity is doing the right things well. Productivity is what sets apart the stellar performers from the merely good ones. Being able to manage your time and knowing how to filter out the busy work from the truly important sets you apart from your peers. 

Speakers
avatar for Kit Brown-Hoekstra

Kit Brown-Hoekstra

Principal, Comgenesis, LLC
Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra is an STC Fellow and former STC Society President, certified trainer for the STC Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) program, and a member of the Colorado State University Media Hall of Fame for the Dept. of Journalism. She is an ex... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Annapolis 3/4

9:00am

Five Cascading Style Sheet Techniques That Every Technical Writer Should Know
We all know how to style in word processors but too many writers seem reluctant to learn CSS techniques. In this session, Mike Hamilton shares five easily mastered CSS techniques to help and build confidence in writers at any skill level. Since the CSS language is the basis for modern markup languages, the more you learn about CSS the more it will benefit your career. Learn the basic techniques for the beginner, and some intermediate techniques for those more advanced. In addition, Mike will then finish with a prototype CSS technique allowing for vocabulary control over your content in a Responsive Design situation.

Speakers
MH

Mike Hamilton

VP Product Management, MadCap Software


Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 5

9:00am

Writing Complete APIs
Web applications (particularly those using REST) have taken off, replacing traditional client side applications. That API technology far outpaces documentation technology. Many new writers have come to rely on automated documentation systems (such as Swagger, Sand Castle, and Visual Studio’s Summary XML tags). But they are not complete. Relying solely on those tools forms only a partial API suite. The truth is the suite is a combination of several disciplines. Robert’s session goes back a step and puts API documentation in proper perspective. It outlines the requirements of API documents, such as the difference between an API and SDK (software development kit), the parts of an API, the methods description page, how automated tools can make this better (or worse), and the relationships between the writer, developer, and reader. You don’t need programming or scripting experience although those with familiarity may benefit the most.


Speakers
avatar for Robert Delwood

Robert Delwood

Sr. User Assistance Developer, SAP
Robert Delwood is a programmer, writer, and programmer-writer currently in Chicago but formerly with NASA's Johnson Space Center. He's passionate about technical writing, API documentation, and Office automation. With more than 18 years experience, he's written about and document... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 3

9:00am

A Tech Writer, A Map, and an App
THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO BALTIMORE 4.

It's hard to create an app. It's even harder to get the app published and make it available for other people. That's true whether you’re a developer or a technical writer. You need to put yourself on the edge and take the jump. You need courage, conviction, and knowledge. Above all, you need documentation and examples, they give you the edge. This presentation tells the story of a tech writer, a map, and an app. Tech Comm on a Map is an interactive web-based map that shows events of interest to technical communicators. You’ll hear why Sarah decided to create an app and how she went about it. You’ll see some code and understand the nuts and bolts ofthe app: where the data is stored, how it gets there, how it ends up on a map for everyone to see.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Maddox

Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, Google
APIs, chocolate, and strolling in the Aussie bush.



Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 4

9:00am

CANCELLED: Customer Success: It's Not Just a Job, It's a Calling!
THIS SESSION IS CANCELLED. Please pick another session during this time.
Thank you!


Gone are the days when you could document “Enter your name in the Name field” or wait for SMEs to throw information over your cubical wall just so you can “make it pretty” and throw it back. We are in the middle of a content development revolution. Customers need help solving problems, reducing costs, and generating revenue—and so does your employer! In this session, we will discuss why you should shift your focus from “technical writing” to “customer success”—no matter if your “customer” is internal, external, or a paying client. We will define “customer success” and why it is important, and show how focusing on customer success adds to your company’s bottom line and can advance your career.

Speakers
avatar for Jack Molisani

Jack Molisani

President, ProSpring Staffing
Jack Molisani is the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in technical writers and other content professionals: http://ProspringStaffing.com | | He's the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and A... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Annapolis 1/2

9:00am

Everyone's an Editor
Having a full-time, dedicated editor for a technical writing team is a luxury that few organizations can afford these days. Documentation quality suffers if no one’s work is being edited. But how do you implement a peer-editing approach, and does it work? Is it possible for writers to be editors too? This presentation maintains that peer-editing is a viable alternative to hiring a full-time editor. It offers several peer-editing approaches that we tried at NetIQ, and it provides perspectives on the pros and cons of each approach.

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Navarro

Elizabeth Navarro

Information Developer II, Micro Focus
I grew up in Canada and overseas, so I love to travel and explore other cultures. When I'm not travelling or planning my next adventure, I make beaded jewelry and take long walks and hikes with my husband (Troy) and our Jack Russell (Loki).



Tuesday May 9, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 1/2

10:10am

Ditch the Rose-Colored Glasses: A Look at the Costs, Risks, and Benefits of Moving to XML
There are many good reasons to consider a move to structured authoring. However, there are risks and costs that can make even the best plans take longer than expected to execute. Join Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe, as he discusses how to mitigate these risks and increase the adoption of structured authoring within an organization.

Speakers
avatar for Dustin Vaughn

Dustin Vaughn

Solutions Consulting Manager, Adobe
Dustin Vaughn is a Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe who manages a team of experts in Adobe's Technical Communication and eLearning products. Dustin has over 10 years of industry experience and has served as a panelist, speaker, and Adobe representative at various conferences... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 5

10:10am

Getting to Compliant: Responding to Government RFPs for the Technical Communicator
THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO BALTIMORE 4.

There are two kinds of technical communicators: those who have been thrown into business development, and those who will. Technical communicators already have the skills they need to write superior responses to government Requests for Proposal (RFP), they just need a little context. This presentation explains the processes and lingo necessary to jump into proposal writing, along with some lessons learned moving from technical editing to proposal management.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Stevenson

Sean Stevenson

Proposal Manager, EMCOR Government Services
Sean Stevenson, Immediate Past President of the Washington, DC-Baltimore chapter of STC, is a technical communicator working in business development. He started as a creative writer who taught writing on the side, and eventually realized he needed a career, not just a means to su... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 4

10:10am

We Stoop to Conqquer: Adjusting to Mediocrity
THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO BALTIMORE 1/2.

When our boss or client says “good enough” work is good enough, shouldn’t it be good enough? Why is it a struggle to produce mediocre work when that’s what the customer wants? Yes, one day the powers-that-be will agree that all documentation must be flawless and superb. But how do we survive until that day comes?

In this session, Li-At explores reasons for why mediocre work might be okay and teaches attendees a mantra—for those times we just need to hunker down and deliver so much less than what we’re capable of…and of course, sharing and venting will be encouraged! In our cone of silence, we will close our eyes, use anonymous names, and share our travails. We will learn we are not alone in the trenches of mediocrity!*

* No, of course you’ve never worked on a project of this sort; I’m talking to the others. You’ll just be there “to observe.”

Speakers
avatar for Li-At Rathbun

Li-At Rathbun

Technical Editor, Yardi Systems
Li-At has over 20 years of technical communication experience (yes, since kindergarten). Although her main role at Yardi Systems is as technical editor, she also creates training videos. | | Li-At has continuously served in various STC leadership positions since her very fi... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 1/2

10:10am

We’re Going Mobile! Great! What Does That Mean?
So your company has decided to take its documentation mobile. Great! But just saying “mobile” is too vague. What does that mean and what effect will it have on your documentation efforts? We’ll first look at various definitions of “mobile,” their pros and cons, and classes of tools you can use to create them. We’ll then look at how your documentation practices might have to change including eliminating local formatting, shrinking or even eliminating tables, cutting text, and more. You’ll leave this presentation with a solid understanding of mobile development options and how your work may have to change to stay on the cutting edge of technical communication.

Speakers
avatar for Neil Perlin

Neil Perlin

President, Hyper/Word Services
Training, consulting, development, and troubleshooting for MadCap Flare and Adobe RoboHelp projects. Rapid, inexpensive mobile app development using ViziApps Studio. Training in ViziApps Studio. General strategic consulting regarding online content, technical trends in tech comm... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Annapolis 1/2

10:10am

Accessibility Made Easy: Automating and Optimizing Accessible Outputs from DITA XML
Let’s face it: making accessible HTML outputs from DITA XML is time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone. Learn how to automate your way to create accessible output using DITA XML and to optimize your HTML results. This presentation will show you how to automate inclusion of accessibility requirements with minimal DTD changes/customizations; how to move most of your testing to XML, where it can easily be corrected before publishing; how to optimize your output rendering tools and stylesheets. And you will learn the most common and avoidable DITA HTML output mistakes.

Speakers

Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 3

10:10am

Hello World! RIP Traditional Content Strategies and Methodologies
In order to adapt to changes in content consumption and learning preferences, documentation teams are employing alternative content strategies which employ aspects of crowdsourcing, social media, gamification, and YouTube. In this interactive session you will gain insight, ideas, and knowledge about how to shift away from traditional content delivery mechanisms. 

Speakers
avatar for Pamela Noreault

Pamela Noreault

Solutions Architect, SDL, Inc.
Pam has over 20 years of experience in technical communications, education, and management. She specializes in content strategy, customer engagement, content conversions, and social networking strategies. She has an undergraduate degree in education from The Ohio State University... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Annapolis 3/4

10:10am

DITA Isn't for Everyone. SmartDocs Is. SmartDocs Transforms Word into a Complete Content Management Solution

Microsoft Word letting you down? 36Software is pleased to present SmartDocs – the only completely collaborative content reuse and management solution for your MS Word content. Optimize what your company already has and relies on. Get more than you ever thought possible out of Word and SharePoint with SmartDocs as your solution. Don’t leave anybody out – SmartDocs is for everyone, no matter where they work.

DITA isn't for everyone; SmartDocs is. SmartDocs is just a fraction of the cost, training, and set-up time to XML or DITA-based CMS solutions. Proven. And, unlike other solutions, SmartDocs is scalable and affordable for teams of 5 to 5000. Join Lisa Pietrangeli and Bryan Lynn to experience everything that SmartDocs can do, without ever leaving your Word environment. Bring your questions and Word content challenges. SmartDocs will solve them!

This is a Summit+ Theater session.

Speakers

Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Woodrow Wilson

11:00am

Tuesday Break
Note: The Expo Hall will not be closed during the midday break from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM on Tuesday, so stop in for refreshments, to chat with exhibitors, and participate in Speed Networking.

Tuesday May 9, 2017 11:00am - 1:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

11:30am

API and Lone Writer SIGs Combined Meeting
Speakers
avatar for Ed Marshall

Ed Marshall

Marshall Documentation Consulting
Ed is an independent consultant technical writer and the sole proprietor of Marshall Documentation Consulting, with over 28 years in technical writing. He specializes in technical documentation for developers including APIs (application programming interfaces), SDKs (software... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Camellia 3

11:30am

Consulting and Independent Contracting SIG
Speakers
MW

Marilyn Woelk

President, Wingz Creative & Technical Grp


Tuesday May 9, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Camellia 4

11:30am

Instructional Design and Learning SIG
Speakers
avatar for Viqui Dill

Viqui Dill

TechComm Leader, American Woodmark
An engineering graduate from Virginia Tech, Viqui is happiest as a small group worship leader or surrounded by singing kids at Vacation Bible School. She works as a Technical Writer for American Woodmark in Winchester. | | Viqui loves being in the STC #TechComm community and... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Annapolis 1

11:30am

Speed Networking
The Summit's fast-paced networking experience puts you in touch with industry veterans, fellow colleagues, and product experts. During this hour-long event, you'll participate in several rounds of networking at multiple tables with fellow attendees and industry experts. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and take this opportunity to make new connections. Space is very limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Get there early to secure your spot. 

Tuesday May 9, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm
Woodrow Wilson

1:00pm

Content As-a-Service: A Structured Program for Extending Your Business Value and Amazing More Customers
Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) is the productization of your content creation, management, and publishing services. You have the skills. You have the technology. Transform your services into a scalable, revenue generating program for your technical writing operation. Content in today’s organizations is dynamic, complex, and often required across several locations throughout an organization. Organizations can no longer view content as a cost-of-business managed by traditional operating models. Content must be treated as a valuable corporate asset. Organizations that are successful at managing their content can focus their efforts on who needs it, rather than where it’s stored, the format, or which version is published. The road from today’s practices to Content-as-a-Service requires business process engineering, information governance, and IT planning. During this session, we’ll explore the best-of-breed technology platforms, processes, and practices you can adopt to implement a CaaS program of your own.

Speakers
avatar for Chris MacMillan

Chris MacMillan

Vice President, Precision Content
I'm interested in the intersection between technology, written communication, and business. | | We all need content do to our jobs. But when that content is unavailable or unreliable, the downstream impact is often negative. Lost sales, unhappy customers and co-workers, law... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 5

1:00pm

Edits as ESL Teaching: Working with Multi-lingual Writers
What happens when your writers do not speak English as their first language? Editing the work of multi-lingual writers presents challenges that many editors—both experienced and novice—struggle with. The errors and issues of clarity inherent to many second language writers often require editors to do more than “correct.” But when editors understand how language learning really happens, the editing process can substantially improve multi-lingual writers’ work. Jessica provides practical techniques, supported by proven pedagogy in the field of English language acquisition, for helping multi-lingual writers develop through a refined feedback process focused on what you and the organization truly value in writing. Attendees will leave with strategies for commenting on and discussing drafts that allow multi-lingual writers to develop as communicators, rather than simply get a finished writing product out the door.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica McCaughey

Jessica McCaughey

Assistant Professor, George Washington University


Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 4

1:00pm

Know Your Client's Language
As a government contractor for more than ten years, Chrystal has learned the ins and outs of various agencies, she also knows it is a necessity to know the language of management. What is their style? Do they prefer writers to follow a particular style guide? Each client is very different and it is in your interest to learn the government client's language if you want to get the edge.

Speakers
avatar for Chrystal Mincey

Chrystal Mincey

Senior Technical Writer, Bart & Associates
Chrystal is a passionate technical and professional communicator, currently sharing her expertise on staff at Bart & Associates. She is well versed in assisting various government and state agencies with their communication and documentation needs. Years of working in this real... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

1:00pm

Case Study: Finding Your Documentation Utopia in an Agile Environment
For writers who work in Agile companies, it can be tough to carve out a place in the overall process. How do we meet release deadlines when the developers work in short sprints? How do we share writers as specialized resources across several development teams? How do we get our work, and who prioritizes it? This presentation focuses on these questions and many more regarding technical writers in Agile.

Speakers
avatar for Shannon McCue

Shannon McCue

Technical Writing Manager, Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.
I use every bit of my 20+ years of experience writing and editing for software companies in various industries - control systems, construction, mortgage lending, healthcare, and now video gaming - to lead my current Agile documentation team to excellence. I'm passionate about fin... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 1/2

1:00pm

Creating a Free Intranet using Drupal
This case study shows how two technical writers and a systems administrator designed, built, and currently maintain an intranet site using only internal resources. Royal is a credit union with 27 branches and about 560 team members whose primary communication tool was email. In 2013, Royal began exploring different content management systems. With a budget of about $15k, we quickly found that the flexibility and affordability of current products were not sufficient. In late 2013, the project team delivered a radical idea to our executive team: let’s build our own custom intranet using an open-source, free solution, Drupal. For companies that need assistance with internal communication but do not have a huge budget to spend on a solution, Drupal may be what they are looking for. It was our team’s way of gaining an edge on corporate communication and getting instant results. 

Speakers
avatar for Kelley Simon

Kelley Simon

Technical Writer II, Royal Credit Union
I have been a technical writer at Royal Credit Union for 17 years, and I love it! The most exciting part of my current position is designing and administering our internal team member portal. I'm looking forward to speaking at the STC Conference this year about using Drupal to cr... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Baltimore 3

1:00pm

Generating Web Service API Documentation Automatically from the Source Code
Learn a new way of generating real-time interactive documentation for web service APIs that enables API users to try APIs without having to create a “sandbox,” which often is time-consuming and complicated. You’ll see demonstrations of two popular, powerful tools that perform these tasks: RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML) and Swagger (now called OpenAPI Specification). You’ll also learn how these tools are used to document APIs, receive instructions on setting up and configuring both RAML and Swagger, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches.

Speakers
avatar for Ed Marshall

Ed Marshall

Marshall Documentation Consulting
Ed is an independent consultant technical writer and the sole proprietor of Marshall Documentation Consulting, with over 28 years in technical writing. He specializes in technical documentation for developers including APIs (application programming interfaces), SDKs (software... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Annapolis 1/2

1:00pm

So You Think You Know What Your Readers Want?
Do you know what your readers really want? It's not always easy to get direct feedback, so we often rely on our "gut instincts" and assume that readers define high-quality documentation the same way that writers do. But is this a safe assumption? This Spotlight talk presents data from a comprehensive, empirically based study that measured and compared how writers and readers define documentation quality, as well as how writers assume readers define it. The results might surprise you--but they will definitely help you bridge the gaps and keep your readers happy. 

Speakers
avatar for Yoel Strimling

Yoel Strimling

Documentation Quality SME, CEVA
When people ask me what I do, I tell them I spin straw into gold. | | I've been an editor for almost 20 years, and over the course of my career, I've successfully improved the content, writing style, and look and feel of my employers’ most important and most used customer... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

1:00pm

Increase Productivity While Championing Creativity

There’s a tension between creativity and productivity--between fostering a creative work environment and an efficient one.  This session will discuss approaches and practices to help a creative champion lead a team or organization using visual communication. It will also show practical examples of how creative visuals can save you time and help you reclaim your work day.

This is a Summit+ Theater session.


Tuesday May 9, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Woodrow Wilson

2:10pm

Aligning Your Technical Communication Content with Brand Initiatives and Making Marketing Pay for It
In this session, Tom Aldous will be discussing where your traditional Technical Post-Sales content like User Guides and Specification Sheets currently lands in the customer journey. Armed with this understanding, you can now reach out to your Marketing Group for brand alignment. This will get you a seat at the revenue producers table, where budgets are more generous. We will also discuss how moving to a DITA XML workflow will make a dynamic brand aligned templated environment not only possible but a necessity.

Speakers
avatar for Tom Aldous

Tom Aldous

Founder/CEO, The Content Era
Tom Aldous, the Founder/CEO of The Content Era, has over 25 years of experience in the Technical Communications industry. Besides being the managing partner and lead XML/DITA/CMS consultant at Integrated Technologies for over 20 years, Tom has also served as the Director of TechC... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 5

2:10pm

Cut through the Clutter: Using Plain Language to Gain the Cutting Edge

THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO ANNAPOLIS 1/2.

What is plain language, and how can it help you? What do you need to know to write or edit the clearest, most comprehensible copy so your message makes maximum impact? This session will introduce you to the concepts of plain language and help change your thinking about word choices, structure, and writing in general. Whether you are a plain language expert or have never heard of the concept, this session will challenge you to question your word choices and whether technical jargon is really necessary and to reduce or eliminate the alphabet soup of acronyms that clog technical communications. 


Speakers
avatar for Wendy Wagner-Smith

Wendy Wagner-Smith

Training Coordinator, Plain Language Action and Information Network
Wendy Wagner-Smith is a plain language expert and the training coordinator for the federal working group, the Plain Language Action and Information Network. Wendy has taught plain language to employees at more than 50 federal agencies since the Plain Writing Act of 2010 was signe... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Annapolis 1/2

2:10pm

Is DITA Right for You? Scenarios for Considering a Move to DITA
THIS SESSION HAS MOVED TO BALTIMORE 4.

In the past few years I have done considerable research on the impact that DITA has had on technical writing, and have undertaken interviews with technical documentation staff at a number of firms that have recently moved to DITA. Common patterns have emerged for why firms may want to move to DITA, including localization cost savings, making content creation processes more efficient, improving workflows, ensuring that only accurate content goes out the door, and more. For many small documentation teams, I have discovered that there are other tipping points that emerge, like the need to effectively handle an increasingly unwieldy base of documentation, an growing lack of consistency, discovering the limits of traditional desktop publishing software, or the need to break down siloed writing groups. I will examine each of these scenarios, providing information to attendees on when moving to DITA becomes cost-effective. I will also give examples of proven change management techniques to aid technical writing teams who are moving to DITA. In a nutshell, my presentation lays out the likely scenarios for why a documentation team might seriously consider migrating to DITA, and when it makes sense to do so.

Speakers
avatar for Keith Schengili-Roberts

Keith Schengili-Roberts

DITA Evangelist & Market Researcher, IXIASOFT
Keith is the DITA Evangelist and Market Researcher at IXIASOFT. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto’s School for Continuing Education. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Adoption, Lightweight DITA and DITA Te... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 4

2:10pm

Prototypes of Use: Adapting Content to the Usability Expectations of Different Contexts
The focus of usability is obtaining measurable results in different settings. Mechanisms that can help technical communicators quickly and effectively engage in such practices can provide them with the edge needed to display the value they can add to organizations and how they can do so in a variety of contexts. By focusing on introducing attendees to a method that can help technical communicators engage in usability quickly and effectively, this proposed presentation both provides technical communicators with a mechanism to gain an edge in the modern workplace (as well as help their company gain an edge -- via more effective/usable products in today's marketplace) and do so via approaches that can readily and easily be tested to reveal how they produce results (e.g., comparative user testing to show improvement of design). In these ways, this proposed presentation addresses the theme of this year's Summit. 

Speakers
avatar for Kirk St.Amant

Kirk St.Amant

Professor, Louisiana Tech University and University of Limerick
Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and the Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair of Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University and an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He researches international and inter... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Annapolis 3/4

2:10pm

Leveraging Structured Authoring: DITA Techniques When All You Have are Unstructured Tools
You've heard the buzz about structured authoring and DITA—how great it is for efficient content reuse, how it enforces consistency, how it guides our writing for topic-based presentations. But what if there's no budget for new tools, no time for training to "become a DITA writer," and no time to migrate legacy unstructured content? Don't despair! You can easily leverage many structured authoring best practices even when using unstructured tools. This session demonstrates tool-agnostic techniques such as writing a good short description, designing task-focused documents, and increasing content reuse. You'll also see how to use FrameMaker (unstructured), Word, and Flare features to style content semantically, standardize textual navigation aids, add metadata, and perform multi-channel publishing. Whether you're a DITA beginner, a structured authoring guru forced to use unstructured tools, or a strategist contemplating a legacy conversion project, you can immediately apply the techniques in this session to your daily work.

Speakers
avatar for Monique Semp

Monique Semp

Principal, Writer, Write Quick, Inc.
Monique Semp is a Senior STC member who began her career as a software engineer, and evolved to be a technical writer during the heady dot.com days of 2001. She has her own company, Write Quick, Inc., and provides an array of technical writing services, including requirements doc... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 1/2

2:10pm

Technical Editing for the 21st Century: Reconsidering Competencies in Academic Offerings
Technical editing is a field in the midst of rapid change. Competencies for many editorial positions now extend beyond text and markup; today, many newly-hired editors can expect to apply best practices in editing to digitally-born products as well as print genres.This presentation provides both practitioners and academics, insight about the challenges and opportunities for training and hiring editors. For practitioners, our session situates how students perceive technical editing as both an academic subject and a workplace task, and its perceived value when reconfigured to include multimodal practices. We also highlight
how business and industry can re-envision their connections with the academy to shape editing courses that meet real-world needs. Additionally, we explore how new editing competencies can be incorporated into existing work practices and products, and what these convergences mean for future workplace hires. For academics, our session demonstrates what assumptions students had concerning the class, as well as where they perceived their greatest weaknesses for handling the coursework to be. We’ll present ideas for more effectively structuring curriculum for technical editing to meet market demands and remedy student weaknesses in order to prepare students to take on leading edge roles
in editing.

Speakers
avatar for Laura Palmer

Laura Palmer

Department Chair, Digital Writing and Media Arts, Kennesaw State University


Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Baltimore 3

2:10pm

Advance Your Career through Self-Publishing

Writing a book gives you an opportunity to provide tangible value. It can establish your brand and increase your professional standing. Information professionals are uniquely positioned to take advantage of self-publishing because we already know how to transform source material to online and print materials and because we have editors, designers, and talented peer reviewers in our networks. While self-publishing is easier than ever, reaching your audience and making money from your book is harder for self-publishers; we must master marketing and distribution so the audience can find our book.

https://www.slideshare.net/lizfraley/advance-your-career-through-selfpublishing
 

This is a Summit+ Theater session. 


Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Fraley

Elizabeth Fraley

CEO, Single-Sourcing Solutions
Liz Fraley is a serial entrepreneur. She founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. She has worked in high-tech and government sectors at star... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

3:00pm

Exhibitor Raffle Drawings & Refreshment Break
Enjoy some light refreshments in the Expo Hall (Woodrow Wilson Ballroom) and the vendor raffle drawing for the Bingo game from 3:00-4:00 PM!

Tuesday May 9, 2017 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Woodrow Wilson

4:00pm

Collaboration, Communication, and Credibility: Building Stronger Content Teams

Starting the content conversation across departmental teams can seem tricky. In fact, it can seem impossible.

Whether you work independently, or are part of larger project team, this presentation will share some ways to better plan for content projects, reduce conflict, and improve internal communication.

Like any conversation, understanding your audience, creating a shared vision for content, and using the right approach can not only align departments, but also improve engagement for content across your organization.

This session will uncover how you can:

  • Build content leadership and community across cross-functional teams
  • Use a digital governance framework to understand organizational readiness for content strategy
  • Help frame, facilitate, and get buy-in for a strategic approach to technical content
  • Understand the requirements to build a strong case for change

Speakers
avatar for Melissa Breker

Melissa Breker

Content Strategist and Consultant, Breker Group Consulting
I'm coming to the event to meet new folks and listen to your experiences. I'm curious. I'm a communication and content strategist that works with technology, government, and non-profits. | | You can talk to me about: | * Different approaches and frameworks to support chan... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Annapolis 1/2

4:00pm

Art of Writing in Agile
Communicators are being asked to become more technical every day, learning about not just the product but also the entire business unit developing the product. As project environments change, so too should our writing. Project teams using Agile require a more flexible and innovative writing for requirements, user stories, and themes. Your advantage may be in taking a more creative approach while working hand in hand with the Agile methodology: Keep your writing simple, short and crisp.

Speakers
avatar for Shikha Saxena

Shikha Saxena

Senior Technical Writer, HSBC Technology, Pune, India



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

4:00pm

Give Readers the Power of Choice
We know content has to be created for different audiences, with different expectations. We create, manage, and deliver content to people based on *our* thoughts about their needs. Go further. Discover how to deliver content that lets users decide what to read. Based on your audience, platforms they work with, or even the products they use we can let readers create their own experience. This is a live demonstration where we create, organize, publish, and then let the user pick and choose what is most relevant.

Speakers
avatar for Bernard Aschwanden

Bernard Aschwanden

President, Publishing Smarter
What do I do? In a word: communications. I deliver value about  communications and related technology (think tools, process, DITA), across Europe and North America to organizations big and small. I am certified (Adobe/CTT) and the author of publications on publishing and single s... Read More →


Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 5

4:00pm

My Android Dreams of Electric Cats: Are You Capturing Your User's Emotive Analytics?

Chances are you’re already measuring analytics (hopefully like a boss). But ... do you know what your users feel when they read your content? Is your help documentation building customer loyalty? How can you make your company’s next marketing piece more viral? Not only do tools exist to measure your user’s emotions, but intelligent software is becoming better at emoting back to humans. Are you ready to write help and documentation for your artificially intelligent agent?Join Allie as she shares the basics of emotive analytics, how it works (and how to avoid facial recognition), current uses in industry and academia, and ideas to start laying the groundwork for the future. 


Speakers
avatar for Allie Proff

Allie Proff

Knowledge Management/Library/TechComm, Boeing
I am intrigued by information architecture and content strategy (how to organize stuff so people can find it), and teaching (cognitive principles, gamification, video instruction, and combining graphics with writing). My real passion is teaching and learning, and helping others... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Annapolis 3/4

4:00pm

Tactics, Taxes, and Trust: Lessons from the Freelancing Front
Making the move to independent consultant is exciting: you can choose your hours, projects and even your location. But starting your own business is more than coming up with a name and signing a contract—it requires juggling many plates: project management, customer service, bookkeeping, and marketing, to name a few. Chris learned some hard lessons about what to do and not do as a business owner in her first few years and will share what she’s learned (and is still learning) about running a business and managing relationships and finances.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Hester

Chris Hester

Writer, Trainer, Strategist, Red Desk Studio
CPTC trainer. STC Fellow. Fair-weather cyclist. Reluctant runner. | | I learned to code on punch cards. Ask me anything.



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 1/2

4:00pm

Gamification of Instructional Design

This session will focus on the role of “play” in online learning by exploring design-thinking methods and tools that you can use to engage your learning communities in “play.” Participants will be able to experiment with these methods and tools, and actualize “play” using Learning Battle Cards—a deck of playing cards designed to inspire and facilitate a variety of instructional design and development methods.


Speakers
avatar for Phylise Banner

Phylise Banner

Founder and Learning Experience Designer, Phylise Banner Consulting
Phylise Banner is a learning experience designer with over 25 years of vision, action, and leadership experience in transformational teaching and learning approaches within academia and industry. A pioneer in online learning, she regularly seeks out and embraces opportunities to experiment with emerging pedagogies and technologies in order to best serve learners, and to create vibrant and engaged communities of... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 4

4:00pm

The Wonderful World of Proposals
If you've seriously considered proposal writing, but not yet taken the plunge, this session is for you. It will provide an overview of proposal types, roles, tools, tactics, and strategies. We’ll look at similarities and differences between proposal writing and other kinds of technical writing. How can you sell your technical writing skills effectively to employers? What personality types and situations should you expect to encounter? And, last but not least, can you be happy in this environment? Louise will draw on her experience in sales, and technical writing and editing, as well as proposal writing, editing and management for this engaging session.

Speakers
avatar for Louise Tincher

Louise Tincher

Proposal Manager, UES, Inc.
* Talk to me about: Policies & Procedures SIG, proposal writing, working for government contractors and small companies, and career transitions. | * My passion is making organizations more productive. My super powers are creating order from chaos and managing Microsoft Wo... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Baltimore 3

5:30pm

Honors Reception
Tuesday May 9, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Cherry Blossom

7:00pm

Rough Drafts After Party

The Washington, DC - Baltimore chapter invites you to a special event at #STC17: The Rough Drafts are back! As the host chapter for this year’s STC Summit technical communication conference, the WDCB chapter wants you to join us at the party of the year featuring STC’s own rock band, the Rough Drafts.

The party will be on Tuesday, May 9th at 7 pm, immediately following the Honors Reception in the Cherry Blossom ballroom at the Gaylord Hotel.

The Rough Drafts are a rock band made up of technical communicators and friends who perform your favorite dance tunes old and new. The band has performed at summits throughout the years and has featured performers from all across the world.

This year’s band will feature STC members Rich Maggiani on drums, Stephen Adler on guitar, Richard Hamilton on guitar, and Viqui Dill on bass. They will be joined by Keith Dill, Viqui’s championship winning husband on guitar (and maybe fiddle).

As in past years, the band invites you to join them on stage to sing or play. We will be posting the set list ahead of time and we will have lyrics and chords so you can play and sing along. How else could a band of technical communicators perform if not for the documentation and user assistance?

So save the date and make plans to join the Washington, DC - Baltimore chapter and the Rough Drafts for the party of the year. http://events.stcwdc.org/event/stc-wdcb-brings-back-the-rough-drafts/

Call for musicians: Musicians who would like to join the Rough Drafts on stage are urged to contact Viqui Dill before the summit. Don’t be shy. We welcome you!


Speakers
avatar for Viqui Dill

Viqui Dill

TechComm Leader, American Woodmark
An engineering graduate from Virginia Tech, Viqui is happiest as a small group worship leader or surrounded by singing kids at Vacation Bible School. She works as a Technical Writer for American Woodmark in Winchester. | | Viqui loves being in the STC #TechComm community and... Read More →
avatar for Sean Stevenson

Sean Stevenson

Proposal Manager, EMCOR Government Services
Sean Stevenson, Immediate Past President of the Washington, DC-Baltimore chapter of STC, is a technical communicator working in business development. He started as a creative writer who taught writing on the side, and eventually realized he needed a career, not just a means to su... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Cherry Blossom

10:00pm

Karaoke @ Public House

Show off your singing skills and continue the festivities with a night of Karaoke at Public House. Ben Woelk and Michael Opsteegh are organizing the event which is free to attend, but attendees are responsible for their own food and beverage purchases.

 


Speakers
avatar for Michael Opsteegh

Michael Opsteegh

Sr. Technical Writer, Eyefinity
avatar for Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk

ISO Program Manager, Rochester Institute of Technology
Introverted leader. Member, EDUCAUSE HEISC Awareness and Training Working Group. Former STC director, current chair of STC Scholarship Committee, Associate Fellow (2017). Practice areas in security awareness, leadership development, policies and procedures, mentoring, information... Read More →



Tuesday May 9, 2017 10:00pm - Wednesday May 10, 2017 12:00am
TBA
 
Wednesday, May 10
 

7:30am

Registration Open Wednesday
Wednesday May 10, 2017 7:30am - 9:30am
Woodrow Wilson Foyer

8:00am

Continental Breakfast
Wednesday May 10, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
Woodrow Wilson

9:00am

Follow the Yellow Brick Road: A Leadership Journey to the Emerald City
Have you ever felt like your professional journey has a surprise around every bend? Have you thought about how the characters in the Wizard of Oz faced issues similar to what you face on your own journeys? How can you apply the lessons their challenges provide? Join the speaker as he journeys along the Yellow Brick Road and reveals lessons he learned about leadership from the characters he encounters along the way.


Speakers
avatar for Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk

ISO Program Manager, Rochester Institute of Technology
Introverted leader. Member, EDUCAUSE HEISC Awareness and Training Working Group. Former STC director, current chair of STC Scholarship Committee, Associate Fellow (2017). Practice areas in security awareness, leadership development, policies and procedures, mentoring, information... Read More →



Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 1/2

9:00am

How May I Help You? (Why Service is a Smart Way Forward)
What if someone told you a pill could increase your recognition, improve your reputation, and boost your career opportunities? Or that it could make you more attractive than your co-workers. And you didn’t have to diet or exercise. Would you be interested?

We don’t have that pill just yet, but there is something you can do to reap many of those benefits. Come to this session and hear why offering services is a smart and simple way to differentiate yourself and jump start your career. You will learn differences between product and service skills, hear some practical service examples, and discover how improving service can positively transform how others perceive you. Join us to be inspired, motivated, and prepared to begin reaping the rewards that service brings

Speakers
avatar for Todd DeLuca

Todd DeLuca

Technical Communications Manager, Black Knight Financial Services
Todd DeLuca has over 15 years of experience as a technical communicator and currently manages a remote team of technical writers in the US and India. His professional background includes graphic design, editing, client communication, and software development documentation. Todd i... Read More →



Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 1/2

9:00am

Novices AND Experts, Not Novices OR Expert Users
A user interface (UI) is like a joke; if you have to explain it, it isn’t very good. Like a joke everyone should understand a good UI. But, just because everyone can understand the UI doesn’t mean that all users will approach it with the same domain knowledge and familiarity. Creating an adaptable user interface that will work for novices and experts requires design and usability knowledge. This session will review the spectrum of user skills and knowledge, examine how to design for both, and cover common user interface components that can be adapted to support both novices and experts.

Speakers
avatar for Laurian Vega

Laurian Vega

Senior User Experience Engineer, Next Century Corporation
I'm a UX lead on a team of about 100 engineers, five of us are UX, where we run a suite of software that helps the government conduct their business. Currently I'm working on about 15 different tools. We design for all different kinds of users with varying needs, use cases, and p... Read More →


Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 3

9:00am

PDF and HTML5 Make Content Truly Omnichannel
A number of surveys have emphasized the existence of various output formats like CHM, WebHelp, HTML5, PDF, EPUB, etc. We often witness discussions on one format gaining traction over the others. However, there is no single winner here. While PDF continues to be important for various reasons, HTML5 is fast gaining traction. It’s not either/or between the two. In this session, let’s learn about various aspects of creating best-in-class HTML5 output from content that used to generate PDFs. We will be sharing best practices on splitting content into Topics, making it responsive and searchable, creating navigation and other miscellaneous items.

Speakers
avatar for Abhishek Jain

Abhishek Jain

Product Manager, Adobe
Abhishek Jain is Product Manager at Adobe Systems, India, where he manages the Technical Communication line of products (FrameMaker, RoboHelp and Technical Communication Suite). He is responsible for product strategy and roadmap, partner ecosystem management, and customer relatio... Read More →


Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 5

9:00am

Regular Expressions for Tech Writers
Regular expressions (regexes) may be one of the most powerful but least used technologies available to authors. Most authoring tools provide a regex option in the search dialog, but when did you use it last? A regex is a special syntax that matches on a pattern of characters. Regexes can be quite complex, but a simple regex can do amazing things. What's nice is that you can learn this language slowly on an as-needed basis, and it's [mostly] not tool-specific. Learn how to use real regexes in your daily work to potentially save considerable time from tedious search and replace operations. You'll see how to use regexes in various authoring tools as well as in scripting such as Perl or ExtendScript (JavaScript), when some really heavy lifting is required.

Speakers
avatar for Scott Prentice

Scott Prentice

Chief Leximator, Leximation, Inc.
Techpubs tools developer. FrameMaker, DITA-FMx, FM to DITA conversions, custom EPUB development ("EPUB Help"!), JavaScript, ExtendScript, PHP.



Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Baltimore 4

9:00am

Improve Content Quality with One Process Change
For almost 10 years, Rockwell Automation had 2 full-time editors for our technical communicators. With a large group of writers on multiple campuses, time limitations meant that not all of the team could be edited. There was no easy way to measure content quality or track improvement. In 2014, Rockwell Automation implemented a machine-editing program, which guides writers to create high-quality content. Along with standard grammar rules, we customized style and terminology rules specific to our company. Writers now run a tool during the content creation process. Evaluation and assistance are instant, and presented right in the document for the writer to correct. With this machine-editing tool, writers can spend more time learning about what they’re documenting and less time remembering style guidelines and looking up terms. With this process change, the company was able to improve the quality of source content, control English terminology, and gain translation speed with decreased costs.

Speakers
avatar for Lisa Adair

Lisa Adair

Content Quality Lead, Rockwell Automation
Lisa Adair has been in the Technical Communication department at Rockwell Automation for over 20 years. A Senior STC member, she’s recently transitioned from her role as Editor to Content Quality Lead. In this new position, Lisa supports existing Acrolinx users, helps bring new u... Read More →
avatar for Kathleen Ruggeri

Kathleen Ruggeri

Manager, Information Architecture and Content Quality, Rockwell Automation
Kathleen Ruggeri is a Senior STC member with almost 30 years of experience in the Technical and Marketing Communication fields for Rockwell Automation. Kathleen currently manages the Information Architects, responsible for product-level technical documentation planning, and busin... Read More →



Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:00am - 9:50am
Annapolis 3/4

10:10am

The Art of Personal Branding: How to Tell the “You” Story and Gain New Customers

If you want someone to hire you or your company, you need to be able to tell your story: who you are, what your plan is, and what defines you. There are key points to address at each point in the story in order to gain customers. Whether you’re the boss or on your own, you are constantly interviewing and telling your story.

This session is for you if you’re thinking about working for equity, starting a business, or going out on your own.

  • How to gain customers by telling your story
  • How to identify who your customer is (and is not)
  • How to identify the keys to telling your story well

I’ll give you two tactics to help you on your way, but you should bring your questions so you can get the answers you seek!
https://www.slideshare.net/lizfraley/the-art-of-personal-branding-how-to-tell-the-you-story-to-gain-new-customers


Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Fraley

Elizabeth Fraley

CEO, Single-Sourcing Solutions
Liz Fraley is a serial entrepreneur. She founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. She has worked in high-tech and government sectors at star... Read More →


Wednesday May 10, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 5

10:10am

Creating User Documentation in an Agile World
When the Agile Manifesto was introduced in 2001, it did not make any allowance for or reference to creating user content. Since then, technical communicators have adopted Agile practices and adapted themselves to Agile methodologies; however, sometimes it feels like we are fitting a square peg into a round hole, but it doesn’t have to be that way! This presentation will address ways to smooth off that square peg and adapt traditional documentation processes and procedures to fit in an Agile world. We’ll discuss pros and cons of creating content using Agile methodologies. You will see ways for technical writers to become active participants and leaders in scrum teams, and strategies for tracking documentation work using Agile tools.

Speakers
avatar for Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson

Director, Technical Writing, GE Digital
About STC: I'm a member of both the East Bay Chapter and the Atlanta Chapter, and I'm wrapping up my second term as STC Treasurer. | About life: I'm located in the Bay Area but I lived most of my life in Georgia. I love to go places (just about anywhere), try new restaurants... Read More →


Agile pptx

Wednesday May 10, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 1/2

10:10am

Git for Writers: Making it Easy
Writers without a strong developer background struggle with Git. Part of the problem is that the basic metaphors don't apply to distributed systems. There's no "bucket" of "your" stuff. Git changes your view depending on a number of factors, and once you understand them without relying on metaphors from centralized source control systems, you'll really understand what happens when you change a file and submit it to the system. Fear will become confidence. Git provides fantastic review and commenting ability, stellar forensics, and far better conflict resolution than typical technical writing tools. But you can't take advantage of these unless you can use Git with confidence.

Speakers
avatar for Mysti Berry

Mysti Berry

Principal Technical Writer, Okta, Inc.
Technical writer for 27 years, the last 15 an API doc writer. | After 10 years of XML/DITA, pivoted to Git.


Pre pdf

Wednesday May 10, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 4

10:10am

Know Your Audience (Better than They Know Themselves)
Knowing your audience is the foundation of all communications, yet technical communicators often fail because we don't understand the basics. This session will arm communicators with the tools necessary to identify segments of their audience (beyond demographic information frequently used to target messaging) by highlighting theories traditionally used for marketing and sales; this presentation will help social media managers, communications strategists, and other technologists improve engagement by developing compelling communications strategies and messages based on psychographic data, technographic data, and new media audience analyses.

Speakers
avatar for Christopher Tarantino

Christopher Tarantino

CEO, Epicenter Media & Training
Christopher Tarantino, MEP CMCP has more than ten years experience in emergency response/management and has acted in a variety of positions across the public- and private-sector, including roles at the volunteer, local, county, state, and federal levels. Mr. Tarantino is as a Sub... Read More →



Wednesday May 10, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Annapolis 3/4

10:10am

Disrupt Your Ownself: Streamlined Publishing through the Cloud with HTML5
David will showcase studies of how HTML5 and other technologies (web apps, cloud tech etc.) are enabling self-publishers to go beyond novels, forging ahead into technical communications. Self-publishing with complex technical documents using one lite-and-easy publishing stream is disrupting our expectations--it no longer has to be difficult to get your content moving.

Speakers
avatar for David Coules

David Coules

CEO, eGloo Technologies



Wednesday May 10, 2017 10:10am - 11:00am
Baltimore 3

11:00am

Closing General Session: Fix My App

The Summit’s closing general session will feature a live taping of a brand new UX web show called Fix My App. Summit attendees will witness first hand and participate in, the usability testing of a new app. The closing session will be filmed as an episode of Fix My App and will debut later in the year.

Fix My App audience members will watch as users attempt to use a startup’s new app for the first time during a usability test. It's easy to know how to use a product after using it a few times, but using it for the first time is when the complications are revealed.  After the usability test is complete, a team of user experience experts will collaborate to solve the major problems and advise the app’s creators on best UX practices for their app and why the UX problems occurred in the first place.

UX experts include:

  • Lorelei Brown - 15+ years’ UX experience at Verizon, Comcast, AOL, PBS, National Association of Realtors
  • Geoffrey Robertson - UX Research Manager at Discovery Communications
  • Vera Rhoads - IBM, independent consultant, and 13+ years teaching graduate advanced usability at University of Maryland

The closing general session will also contain remarks from STC’s newly installed President, Alyssa Fox.


Wednesday May 10, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Cherry Blossom

1:30pm

Board of Directors Meeting: Public Portion
A portion of the Board of Directors meeting is open to the public and will be in Camellia 3-4. The agenda for this public portion is as follows:


1:30-2:30 PM – Public portion of the meeting
o 1:30-1:45 PM – Welcome and introductions
o 1:45 PM – Consent agenda
o 1:45-2:15 PM – Committees, task forces, and chair approval
o 2:15-2:30 PM – Next steps for scholarship committee

Wednesday May 10, 2017 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Gaylord National Resort