STC Tech Comm Brunch – February

Thanks to everyone who attended our February networking brunch! Organizer Rob Hanna and STC President Rob Cundari shared valuable knowledge with tech comm newcomers and experienced professionals alike. 

We discussed a slue of relevant topics, including:
•    Cultivating positive relationships with engineers.
•    The pros and cons of contract vs. full-time employment.
•    Being part of a team vs. being a lone writer.
•    Content management systems.
•    How to thrive as a company’s first technical writer.

Our monthly networking brunches provide a fun forum for local technical communicators to share advice and experiences with like-minded professionals.  Join us for our next one on Saturday, March 24, at Moxie’s Yorkdale at 11 AM. RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – January

Thanks to everyone who came out to our networking brunch! Thanks also to Rob Hanna for organizing this special monthly event and to STC Board Treasurer James Bousquet, who came down from Waterloo to welcome our own new Treasurer, Vanitha Krishnamurthy.

We had a diverse crowd of 17 technical communicators, from current students and recent grads to seasoned professionals. We shared experiences from various industries and areas of specialization, including: software, transit, finance, instructional design, and translation. We also enjoyed getting to know each other personally and exchanged business cards to stay connected.

Weren’t able to make it today? Save the date for our next brunch! Saturday, February 24th. We look forward to seeing you!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – October

What a great turnout at our monthly brunch on October 28th! We joined our Community Director – Mona Albano – for a delicious morning at Yorkdale’s Moxie’s Bar and Grill. We welcomed back some familiar faces and met some new members.

Our discussions included what it means to be a Certified Professional Technical Communicator, integrating previous skillsets as technical communicators, the future of the industry, and a lot of fun on the side.

STC Toronto would like to thank Rob Hanna for organizing the brunch, and look forward to seeing everyone at our next event! Make sure to stay up to date on all our events by subscribing to the STC Toronto mailing list, or following our social media.

Dashboards for Technical Communication

On October 10th, we joined Elia Scher of Dundas Business Intelligence to learn about using dashboards as a medium for technical communication.

Information is valuable only when it’s understood, and making it understandable is a role for technical communicators. Dashboards captures the big picture of critical information on one screen, is the online equivalent of a one-page document, and eliminates scrolling.

Elia describe the stages of a dashboard project and the many ways in which we can convey information. Dashboards must use the concept of key performance indicators, use the principles of visual design, and be interactive to provide the maximum amount information in a small area.

Attendees at this event found the information valuable and timely. We look forward to hearing from Elia Scher again!

Get Certified – What and How

Professional certification sets a standard for skills, knowledge, and performance across the industry. STC’s Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) program can help you validate your skills and knowledge, differentiate you from others in the hiring process, be a method of advancement, or allow you to command higher pay. The annual training ensures you stay current, learn new skills, network, and stay engaged in the field. Why do employers look for professional certification in their current and potential hires?

  • Professional certification provides a hiring baseline.
  • Employers want their hires to stay current and continue to grow in the profession.
  • Employers can use achievement of professional certification as a requirement for advancement or pay increases.
  • Certified professionals with proven knowledge and competency contribute more to an organization.
  • Certified professionals provide evidence that an organization’s technical communication team is more qualified than that of its competitors.
  • Knowledgeable workers result in better communications.

The CPTC is a rigorous three-tiered certification program, and many successful certificants have taken training from a CPTC Accredited Trainer. The first tier is the Foundation Certification, where you must pass the exam. Once you have passed, you qualify to apply for the second tier (Practitioner Certification) and the third tier (Expert Certification). Here is what you need to know about the exam:

  • The test is 50 questions, closed book.
  • Test takers will have 40 minutes to complete the test under a proctor.
  • STC is working with a U.K.-based firm, APMG International, that specializes in professional certification administration, following ISO 9001 standards.
  • The textbook you will require: Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth Edition (ISBN-10: 0134419391)
  • Upon passing the exam, you will be issued a certificate and entered into the STC certification database. Your name will also appear on the STC and APMG websites.

We had the opportunity to join accredited trainer Beth Agnew on September 30th and October 1st for a CPTC Foundation exam prep class at Seneca College.

Chris Hester and Alan Houser taught the exam prep class online on October 12th and 13th. Exam prep courses focuses on the nine core skills of technical communication, topics in the exam, the exam format, and sample exam questions.

Below are upcoming training courses offered by our accredited trainers. All courses include an opportunity to take the exam at the end of the course.

November 7-8, 2017

Online: CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class with trainer Jamie Gillenwater.

November 13-14, 2017

Toronto, Canada: CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class with trainer Alan Houser.

Visit STC – Certification for more information about the STC Certification program.