Events in 2019

Behind-the-Scenes Networking: The Secret to Today’s Job Search

Date: Monday, November 11th, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: online-web conference

According to several sources, 70-80% of jobs are not posted, but are filled through networking. So why are we still spending all our time applying online instead of talking to employers? You’re a professional communicator—now’s the time to put those skills to use and highlight your personal brand. Join and learn more how to make your job search game strong!

STC Toronto Monthly Brunch Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Come join STC Toronto for brunch!

Our Featured guest this month is STC Toronto’s Program Manager, Phoebe Yu.

Phoebe Yu, STC Toronto’s Program Manager

Phoebe has years of writing experience as a freelance journalist. Her interest in educating people through writing, collaborating with others and simplifying complex information have led her to explore the technical communications field. She’s currently registered in the Technical Writing program at Humber College and a contractor for a non-profit as a Research Assistant.

Get to know more about Phoebe and meet other technical writers at the Pickle Barrel at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Venue: The Pickle Barrel Grand
Website: The Pickle Barrel Grand
Address: 3401 Dufferin St, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, ON M6A 2T9
Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

Microlearning Uncovered

November 19, 2019, 11:30pm – November 20, 2019, 12:30am

STC TechComm Roadshow 2019

Date: Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: online-web conference

Dear TechComm friends,
To kick-off the 2019-20 STC Competition season, we are delighted to host a Joint Virtual TechComm Roadshow event on October 15, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. EDT. The online event is FREE but you must register to get the web conferencing information.

What is the STC TechComm Roadshow? A virtual stage to honor recent top awardees of the STC TechComm Competitions

  • Be inspired. Check out winning strategies and trends. Ask your questions and takeaway great ideas.
  • Understand Competition benefits and think about submitting your best work.

Confirmed Speakers

  • IEEE – Janet Dudar, IEEE Pulse (informational)
  • Hewlett Packard – Lisa Harlan and Jamie West, HP Notebook Accessories Flyer, (user support)
  • Information Builders – Frances Gambino and team – iWay and Omni Information Center (Redesign), (informational)
  • KVH – Mike Nelson, Setting Up Tracking Avoidance Zones to Prevent Service Interruptions – (instructional video)
  • Salesforce – Phil Choi and Katie Augustus, Quick Start: Einstein Analytics Learning Map (user support)
  • SSC Advent – Tim Schuman, Supporting MiFID II Regulations (user support)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) – Shane Torbert and team, TEKNOS (informational)

Presenters and teams will show their work, discuss their backstory, challenges, learning, and planned improvements.

STC September Social – Games at Snakes and Lattes

Sept. 25, 2019

Six members of the Toronto chapter made their way to Snakes and Lattes Annex for games night. It’s a pleasant coffee shop on Bloor Street West with a wealth of boxed games to play. We had student members, a seasoned gamer, and members of the executive.

Our gaming skills were fortified by snacks, drinks, and artistically decorated lattes. First we played Cards Against Humanity, a card game which rewards the twisted mind and provokes laughter at absurd answers to weird questions. This helped us to get acquainted.

We progressed to King of Tokyo, a board game that’s a dice-driven strategy game with amusing monster-movie characters. Luckily for us, Mike Fowler was able to guide us effortlessly in how to play.

In addition, we did a little networking. A good time was had by all and we will be doing this again. If you missed it, come to the next edition!

Webinars in 2019

STC Roundtable Panel Discussion: The Strategy for Career Success

Tuesday, May 14 2019, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Alyssa Fox will host an online panel discussion with experts Alisa Bonsignore, Craig Baehr, Andrea Ames, and Mark Clifford. They’ll focus on the importance of professional development from various viewpoints based on their roles and experiences and how it benefits employees, organizations, and the discipline of technical communication as a whole.

Through a limited-time promotion via STC Roundtable, this webinar is free for STC members! Click here for more detail and to register.

Effective Communication During Times of Change

Wednesday, June 19 2019, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Our personal and professional lives are subject to constant change. We move to another city, we change employers, we get a promotion – and these are only the “small changes” that we experience directly. At a macro level, the entire industry we are part of may be changing, as a result of economic trends, new technologies, or political and social shifts.

As technical communicators, our main goal is to stay relevant. To accomplish this, it is important that we (a) recognize the changes we encounter, (b) assess their communication-related aspects, and (c) adapt our communications quickly and appropriately.

This webinar provides a framework for evaluating the communication-related impacts of a change, and provides specific techniques for how to adjust our communication content and style to stay on top and maintain relevancy.

  • Student Members: $29 USD 
  • Members: $59 USD 
  • Non-Members: $99 USD 

Click here for more detail and to register.

Courses in 2019

Technical Editing Foundations

22 May-26 June 2019 (Wednesdays) | 10:00-11:00 AM EDT (GMT -4)

In this 6-week course, you will learn:

  • What technical editors are and why we’re needed.
  • The “hard skills” and “soft skills” that technical editors should possess.
  • How to identify passive voice and bloated sentences, as well as how to fix them.
  • What style guides are and how we use them, as well as how we might use other resources.
  • How to mark up text using proofreader marks.
  • What some popular editing environments are, and the basics of how to use them.
  • What levels of editing are and how to identify the scope of work.

The intended audience for this course is primarily technical editors who are new to the field and students who are considering entering the field. Seasoned technical editors who need a refresher or who never formally studied this topic may also benefit from this course.

  • Student Members: $295 USD
  • Members: $595 USD
  • Non-Members: $995 USD

Click here for more detail and to enroll.

Introductory Markup and Scripting with HTML and CSS

4 June-9 July 2019 (Tuesdays) | 2:00 PM-3:30 PM EST (GMT-4)

This six session course will introduce participants to introductory markup and scripting with HTML and CSS. The course will also introduce students to readings, resources, and tools available to help develop basic coding skills through practice.

Each session will feature a different topic (HTML Syntax, Working with Text Editors, Tables and Semantic Markup, Form Building, Integrating HTML and CSS, CSS Syntax, Working with Positional CSS) and will also challenge students with weekly practice assignments to help them develop their coding skills. Students also will be encouraged to present their work in progress and receive constructive feedback from the instructor and their peers.

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the wide range of skills, methods, and techniques used basic content markup and scripting for the Web. The course is also designed to prepare students for more advanced or specialized study in other topics related to markup and scripting in Web development.

  • Student Members: $295 USD
  • Members: $595 USD
  • Non-Members: $995 USD

Click here for more detail and to enroll.

2019 STC Summer Patio Social Event Recount

Shonna Eden
Vice President – STC Toronto Chapter

2019’s STC Summer Patio Social took place on the top floor of the Hemingway’s patio in downtown Toronto this August 18, and was attended by TechCommers from a range of backgrounds including those just starting out in the world of TechComm, seasoned vets and everything in-between. Attendees enjoyed delicious appetizers provided by STC Toronto on a stunning patio while sharing tales of the strange and varied world of Technical Communication. 

Press Enter to Continue

Book Review by Jane Aronovitch

Press Enter to Continue is the clever title of a book written by Joan Francuz, a friend, colleague, former STCer and now author—in her own right, for what do we do, in our profession, but write books, tomes, pages, testaments and scripts of various sorts for our clients, just not for the general public in most cases.

When Joan autographed my copy of the book, she added “…and Ctrl S to save” after the title. That’s quintessential Joan Francuz and gives a taste of her witty style. While the book is historical—comprehensively so, but distilled to perfection—it is also chatty and full of personal treasures and stories too. In fact the book reads like Joan is talking to you, which makes it even more engaging. All of which makes this history of writing through the ages both personal and universal, as Joan discovers and exemplifies this “character trait—some call it a flaw—that compels people throughout history to sit down and write everything they know.”

And so it is that we learn of Joan’s love of gardening, her family, various jobs, travels and homes. But the meat of the book is the wealth of information on how scribes came to be and how they fashioned and used the tools of their trade through the ages.

With Joan’s deft touch and skill it all comes to life—from the Sumerians, to the Greeks, Romans, so-called Barbarians, and Renaissance men (I’m sure they had women too!); from symbols to characters to alphabets (first uppercase only, then lowercase) and the introduction of numbers and publishing; from all of these to the effects of religion, commerce, patents, railroads and more, including telegraphy and photography and how they influenced the dissemination of information. And all the while Joan relates to the material anecdotally, personally or with modern day comparisons. This is no dry history text!

A section entitled “Then people became data” introduces the digital age and brings us to “the time called now.” The book concludes with the thought that in every age people had a need to document the world around them. Press Enter to Continue carries on this tradition in exemplary fashion. It is a well researched piece of work documenting the history of our profession, with a bit of humour and personality thrown in for good measure. It is well worth the read!