Welcome back, JobLink!

After a long break (and many long hours for our webmaster), the JobLink is back online! Thanks to the tireless efforts of Kevin Nazareth, the JobLink has a new lease on life. In addition to changing the login format, the postings themselves have been migrated from our previous PHP webpage to our WordPress styles, for a seamless look and feel with the rest of the website.

As a volunteer-run organization, we do thank you for your patience during this downtime. A great deal of time and energy has been expended trying to troubleshoot the situation with STC head office in Virginia, which had made changes to stc.org that affected our previous JobLink login system.

Visit the JobLink and check out the postings! (The password is available to Members only. Email joblink@stc-alberta.org.)

Are you an employer or a recruiter? Posting a job is free! Email joblink@stc-alberta.org for more information.

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The March Edition of SuperScript is Now Available

Hello everyone! The latest edition of SuperScript is now available. In this issue:

  • Our Chapter President reviews the January AGM, discusses the February coffee night, describes two usability mapping programs scheduled for March and May, and announces the release of the latest version of the popular Salary Survey.
  • A member explores in further detail the upcoming usability mapping program planned for March 20, 2014.
  • A member reviews the February 27 “What Kind of Technical Communicator are You?” coffee night event.
  • A member provides a links to an MIT Technology Review list of the “Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2013.”
  • A member offers strategies about how to adapt to being the new person in the office. 
  • A member describes how quickly newly coined terms can creep into documentation and how to cope with the changes.
  • A member talks about how to set new goals for the year.
  • A member discusses the confusion and inconsistency around how businesses and organizations refer to Aboriginal people and bands.

Comments welcome to the Newsletter Editor.

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Workshop: Usability Testing to Validate Document Design and Information Architecture – May 9, 2014

Innovatia LogoSTC Alberta, with sponsorship from Innovatia, is pleased to offer exceptional member pricing for this hands-on workshop on Usability Testing. Brian Traynor, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Communication Studies at Mount Royal University has designed this workshop to get you thinking about ways that you can engage with your end-users and test your information products during the development life-cycle. You will be a test participant, moderator, and data analyst at different points in the day. The morning session will explore what goes into making good tasks for testing, common moderator mistakes, and identifying where data issues arise. In the afternoon, you will explore the types of metrics that can be gathered from test participants both during and after test sessions. You will participate in a hands-on card sort test and get a chance to see how the subsequent data might be used to support Information Architecture design options. The workshop will wrap up with a discussion on the application of various usability test methods in your own work environment.

Workshop feedback is also expected…after all, user feedback is the best way to improve!

Resources needed

Participants are expected to bring their own laptop or tablet computer (don’t forget your power cord). Handouts and electronic files will be shared during the workshop.

Program Details

  • Date: Friday, May 9, 2014.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Location:  Innovate Calgary (IC, formerly called CTI),  3553-31 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta (Map)
    • Directions: IC is in the University Research Park just north of the University of Calgary.
    • Transit: From Brentwood LRT station, walk across the parking lot to IC.
    • Parking: Free visitor parking is available in front of the building.
  • Cost: Thank you to our sponsor, Innovatia, for allowing us to offer this 1-day workshop to our members at this phenomenal rate:
    • STC members and students*: $150.
    • Non- members: $250.

* STC student members and STC members who reside more than 50 km from Calgary are entitled to a $50 rebate. Please submit a request for rebate by emailing the Treasurer.  If you are a student, send a scanned copy of your student card or proof of enrolment to the Treasurer.

Note: You do NOT need a PayPal account to register. PayPal gives you the option of paying by credit card.

Early registration rates are in effect until noon, April 28, 2014. After that date, rates will increase by $100.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

STC Alberta reserves the right to cancel this workshop at any time. If STC Alberta cancels the workshop, you will receive a full refund. In extenuating circumstances, registrations can be transferred to another registrant, provided that the registrant meets the same level of STC membership, for a $25 administration fee plus any fee difference, if applicable. Refunds are available (less a $75 processing fee) up to (noon) April 28, 2014 (closing date for early registration). No refund or credit is available if you cancel after April 28, 2014. STC Alberta does not grant refunds for no-shows. If you want to cancel or transfer a registration, please contact the Treasurer.

Workshop Schedule

Corrected Schedule Image Edit

Note: For the provided lunch, if you have any dietary restrictions,  email Programs@stc-alberta.org indicating how we may accommodate you requirements.

About the Presenter: Brian Traynor

Brian Traynor, Associate Professor in Information Design, teaches courses in Information Architecture, Usability, and Project and Content Management for the Faculty of Communication Studies at Mount Royal University. His research interests include user satisfaction measures and the attribution of blame by users. Brian has over 25 years industry experience centered on technology and education management. Brian is an active executive of the IEEE Professional Communication Society. He is also a Standards Council of Canada contributor to ISO/IEC Systems and Software Engineering documentation standards. (Back to Top)

About Innovatia

Innovatia is a Knowledge Management company that is exceptional at what they do: connecting people to knowledge. Founded in 1999 with offices across North America and globally, Innovatia’s over 500 professionals deliver top quality solutions to their clients. Innovatia delivers knowledge management services in three areas: Learning Solutions, Documentation, and Technical Support. These solutions span the entire solution set from custom design and development through to delivery and support. Additionally, Innovatia offers a host of applications designed to help facilitate the management of your processes, your content, and your customer service. (Back to Top)

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Bilingual Technical Writer

Contact Information

Description

Our client has a gold mine situated in Burkina Faso and is looking for a bilingual technical writer with experience writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Minimum Experience Required

  • Five (5) years of experience writing SOPs in the mining, process plant, maintenance, or heavy vehicle maintenance industries.
  • Written and spoken fluency in both French and English.
  • Willingness to travel to Burkina Faso and work on-site there for at least six (6) months.
  • Physically able to perform site-wide SOP generation.

As this is a project based in a French-speaking country where all SOPs will be developed in both English and French, bilingualism is essential. Mining sector experience is desirable.

The client would like to get started as soon as the right candidate has been found. Travel, lodging, meals, and amenities will be provided.

Job ID 8569

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New Heights: Goal-directed Audience Analysis: Who’s Using your Content? – Apr 12, 2013

The New Heights annual workshop is STC Alberta’s premier educational event. We bring in a noted speaker for a day-long, intensive session on a topic of interest to our broad Alberta audience and provide attendees with materials, breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a first-class educational experience. You will come away from the workshop with a good appreciation of a tool or concept you always wanted to know more about, or a deeper knowledge of something you already work with.

New Heights: April 12, 2013

Topic: Goal-directed Audience Analysis: Who’s Using your Content?
Speaker: Judith L. Glick-Smith, MSCM, Ph.D

Have you ever wondered:

  • What do my users need to do their jobs?
  • What is my best strategy for providing my users with the best user experience?
  • What are my cost limitations?

If so, then this New Heights workshop is perfect for you. We are bringing in Judy Glick-Smith to guide us through audience analysis, and she will help us answer these questions and more.

About the Workshop

Recently, the university where I teach changed to a new online system, touting its “usability”. Even the “help,” which you have to use because the system is NOT usable, states, “The intuitive content manager…guides you through the process.” Number one, I couldn’t even find the words “content manager” on the screen. Number two, if it’s so intuitive, why does the help developer need to tell me that? It obviously isn’t if I had to use the help to figure out how to set up a simple file structure for the course I am teaching.

This is an example of a software product development effort that either had no preliminary audience analysis (for the system or the help) or the audience analysis was not done very rigorously – definitely not user- or goal-centered.

In technical communication, if we want our communication to be useful to our readers and users, we must do audience analysis for the content that we are developing. And, sometimes, we are asked to do audience analysis for the people who are developing products and systems. The process is the same.

This workshop will teach you the process of audience analysis using a readers’ and users’ goal-centered approach. You’ll learn each step of the process and then apply what you learned to real-life examples.

Workshop Objectives:

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Develop a plan for conducting user-centered, goal-directed audience analysis.
  • Execute and adjust the plan, based on your findings.
  • Create an audience-task analysis document that can be used by content, product, and system developers.

About the Presenter, Judith L. Glick-Smith, MSCM, Ph.D

Judy Glick-Smith is a Fellow and Past President of STC. She is STC’s 2006 recipient of the President’s Award and she is the original architect of STC’s Leadership Community Resource (LCR). She currently serves as a member of STC’s Nominating Committee. She has been a technical communicator, entrepreneur, and business consultant since 1983. She has been involved with many other professional societies, including the American Society for Training and Development and Toastmasters International.

Judy is President of MentorFactor, Inc. MentorFactor focuses on technical communication services, organizational development consulting, business analysis, change management, conflict management, and transformative strategic planning for both organizations and individuals. Judy especially enjoys teaching people the art of flow-based decision making.

Judy also teaches in the Department of Communication at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA.

Judy has a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has a Master’s of Science in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University and a BBA in Accounting with a minor in Information Systems from Georgia State University.  She is trained in the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture.

Workshop Details

  • Date: Friday, April 12, 2013
  • Time:
    • 8:00 a.m. Registration and breakfast
    • 8:30 a.m. Workshop starts
    • Break (snacks)
    • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
    • 1:00 p.m. Workshop resumes
    • Break (snacks)
    • 4:30 p.m. Workshop finishes

Note: If you have any dietary restrictions, please email Jeanne Gonnason when you register.

  • Location: Innovate Calgary (formerly CTI), 3553 31 Street Northwest, Calgary, AB (Interactive Map)
  • Directions: Innovate Calgary is in University Research Park just north of the University of Calgary
  • Public Transportation: From Brentwood LRT station walk across the parking lot to Innovate Calgary
  • Parking: Free visitor parking is available in front of the building.
  • Prerequisites: None: This workshop is aimed at all levels of experience. If you are bringing your laptop, don’t forget the power cord! Wireless internet access is available.
  • Cost: See Registration Rates below.

Registration Rates

Register online for Alberta STC’s workshop now! Our rate is well below comparable daily workshop fees.

Regular rate: $325* for STC and affiliate members; $375 for non-members

* If you are a student in a communication program, you MUST present your student ID at the workshop to receive a $50 rebate.

* If you live more than 50 km from Calgary, please pay the full fee and email the Treasurer for $50 reimbursement.

The workshop includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the breaks. If you have any dietary restrictions, please email them to Jeanne Gonnason.

Questions?

Contact Jeanne Gonnason, New Heights Manager.

Past New Heights Workshops

  • New Heights 2012 - “New Heights: “Modern Editing: Improving Product Quality”. Presenter: Linda Oestreich.
  • New Heights 2011 - “The Treasure and the Hunt: Content as an Extension of User Experience”. Presenter: Rahel Anne Bailie.
  • New Heights 2010 - “Instructional Design”. Presenter: Bernard Aschwanden.

Edmonton Spring Coffee Night – Apr 3

Let’s get together and celebrate spring and being technical communicators! This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with others in your field and to learn what other technical communicators in Edmonton are doing.

  • Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: Block 1912 Cafe, 10361 – 82 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB (map)
    There is parking in the area and ETS buses run along 82 Ave in both directions.
  • Cost: Buy your own coffee.
  • Registration: No need to RSVP, just come out if you can.

For more information about the event, contact Deanne Wilson, Edmonton Director.


Cyber Symposium: A Professional Development Event for Editors and Writers – Apr 12-13, 2014

The Calgary Association of Freelance Editors (CAFE) would like to invite friends and affiliates to Cyber Symposium 2014. This event allows participants to create their own online professional development experience. Participants can choose from any or all of the eight dynamic webinars scheduled for this year’s event!

CAFE is delighted to offer AMPA, STC, and the students and instructors of the Professional Editing Extension Certificate program at Mount Royal University member rates for these webinars. Register early to avoid disappointment. CAFE expects this event to sell out.

Program Details

  • Dates: Friday, April 11, 2014 and Saturday, April 12, 2014
  • Time: 9:00 to 3:30 p.m. (MDT)
  • CostMembers and Affiliates: $25.00 per webinar or $150.00 for the full symposium. Non-members: $35.00 per webinar or $225.00 for the full symposium
  • Symposium Details, Schedule, and Registration: Eventbrite
  • Contact: Calgary Editors 
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Technical Writer

Contact Information

Description

Our client has 174 procedures that average 5-pages.  They are looking for a Technical Writer to rewrite and format the procedures.  They are for internal employee use.  The procedures cover environmental health safety, safety management systems, risk management, and emergency response.  The client is in oil and gas, and facilities construction.  They are looking to start April 1 and be completed by mid-July.  The work can primarily be completed off-site but may require some onsite meetings.  It can be remote but preference will be given to local candidates.  It requires samples for consideration.

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Senior Technical Writer

Contact Information

Description

Reporting to the Director of Information Development, the Senior Writer designs and develops Policies, Standards, Guidelines and Procedural information assets to support clients within the Oil & Gas Sector.

The Senior Technical Writer possesses and applies expertise to interview SMEs and conduct research necessary to produce accurate, comprehensive, effective and concise information assets for various audience types.

Location: Calgary, Alberta
Employment Type: Contract

Ideal Candidate

  • Possesses a strong background in designing and developing work processes-related information assets for the Oil & Gas Industry
  • Demonstrates structured writing competencies
  • Has experience in a Microsoft Word authoring environment
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and customer facing skills
  • Has experience working with remote team members, and leveraging best practices and enabling technologies to do so effectively

Responsibilities

  • Analyzes source content
  • Designs information for conciseness, accuracy, effectiveness, and eliminates non-essential content
  • Organizes and facilitates Working Sessions and Review Sessions with SMEs, ensuring focus and timely results
  • Interfaces directly with multiple stakeholders within the client base
  • Manages multiple information assets and delivery schedules in a dynamic environment
  • Adheres to Quality Assurance practices prior to distributing information assets to the clients

Required Skill Set

  • Strong customer-facing written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in facilitating Working and Review Sessions and gaining consensus quickly
  • Professional consulting skills and business acumen to interact with clients and SMEs, managing outcomes to negotiate a win-win for all involved
  • Ability to identify risks, impacts, and mitigation strategies, and to clearly communicate such to Program/Project Managers
  • Structured writing skills/competencies
  • Comfortable with software applications and technology in general, especially database concepts
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and a variety of PC tools and applications
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet aggressive timelines
  • Ability to lead and mentor others
  • Post-secondary education required
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Technical Writer

Contact Information:

Description:

This position requires an individual that has experience writing technical documentation for software products. The successful candidate must have strong technical background in the IT/Software industry and be able to produce quality content across multiple media types.  Building and developing both marketing and training material is also required.

Qualifications:

  • strong technical background
  • excellent communication skills
  • self-motivated individual with the ability to work both alone and on project teams
  • ability to work in an environment that supports honest and open communication
  • attention to detail and ability to critically review content
  • ability to learn complex technical information quickly, and to describe it in simple, accessible language
  • strong problem solving and analytical skills

General Responsibilities:

  • manage multiple projects and documentation deliverables at once
  • work with both the software and marketing teams to produce quality content across multiple media types
  • continually improve all documentation and associated processes
  • develop a general understanding of each of the products you are responsible for via self-directed study and cross-training from members of the software team
  • use Subversion or other software to manage the versioning of technical writing deliverables
  • provide and deliver training material as needed
  • provide web and video content for our software products
  • create and adhere to documentation standards
  • accurate estimates for all work
  • sales and software support as needed
  • promote innovation and continuous improvement initiatives

Summary:

This is a key position in our exciting and growing company. The right individual will play an important role in our success.

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Coffee Night: What Kind of Technical Communicator are You? Feb 27, 2014

In a profession with as many different roles as there are titles, it’s time to check in with each other and ask the question: What kind of technical communicator are you?

Join us in Calgary for a Coffee Night revival. It has been years since we’ve had a Coffee Night event in Calgary (they’ve always been a popular event in Edmonton), so mark your calendars for this free event.

Choose a beverage of your choice and converse with Technical Communicators who have specialized expertise such as editing, management, instructional design, user assistance, and more.

If you have a special Technical Communication role and would like to talk about what you do, contact Ruth Maryniuk programs@stc-alberta.org

Program Details

  • Date: February 27, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Discussion to start at approximately 7:15 p.m.
  • Location: Second Cup Kensington, 338 10 Street NW, Calgary, AB (Map)
    • Plenty of free parking is available along the streets after 6:00 p.m.
    • Transit: Walk from Sunnyside LRT
  • Cost: Free, but registration is encouraged. Purchase your own drinks. A selection of cookies and squares will be available.
  • Registration: Online
  • Contact: Ruth Maryniuk programs@stc-alberta.org

 

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