Re: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?

Subject: Re: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?
From: Marcy Harbut <mharbut -at- corp -dot- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:12:09 -0700

In STC's defense, I have to say that the organization has been very useful for my career development as a technical communicator, especially when I first became a TC.

When I became a tech writer, I was leaving a journalism career. I had the reporting and writing skills, but I had to get used to a very different work environment and different subject matter. I had the added burden of carving out a new niche for tech writers at my company -- back then, the company was still in semi-startup mode. I was one of two writers among 60-70 engineers, many of whom really didn't "get" what a tech writer did. It didn't help that they lumped my department with the administrative assistants, because Documentation was perceived as not being technical (read: important) enough to have a manager reporting to the VP, as did Network Engineering and System Administration.

A few months into the job, my boss sent me to the national conference in Anaheim. I can't tell you how that conference turned me around. I felt like I was finally around people who not only "got" what I did for a living, but had good, solid advice on how I can do it better. It dawned on me that I was in an actual *profession* and could become pretty damn good at it if I just started paying better attention. I'd like to think that my epiphany has had a direct impact on my department's subsequent growth, and the increasing respectability we've garnered from the geeks, as well as upper management. (We're no longer lumped with the administrative assistants, we were finally given a decent budget, and a lot of people defer to our editorial and design decisions because we're considered the "experts.")

I've been to some STC conferences where I felt that it was a wasted effort for me, so I don't want to sound like I'm blindly singing the praises of STC. But, I do recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about a career in technical writing, or is new to the profession and isn't quite sure what all it entails.


Marcy Harbut mharbut -at- corp -dot- earthlink -dot- net
Operations Technical Editor voice: 626.296.5159
EarthLink, Inc. fax: 626.345.2658

"It would be helpful if we opened up ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).
I think it's a mistake not to. And I would urge you all to travel up there and
take a look at it, and you can make the determination as to how beautiful
that country is."

- President George W. Bush, Press conference, Washington, D.C., March 29, 2001


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems Available 4/30/01 at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001 Conference East, June 4-6, Baltimore, MD. Now covering Acrobat 5. Early registration deadline April 27.
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?: From: Hart, Geoff

Previous by Author: RE: Human-computer interaction and interface design
Next by Author: RE: Well, I Sure Won't Be in Chicago
Previous by Thread: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?
Next by Thread: RE: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads