A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

STC Puget Sound

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Certification for Technical Communicators: The Time is Now

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) has been debating certification for technical communicators for over 37 years in one form or another. Despite many attempts locally, regionally, and nationally to move toward establishing a certification process for the profession, the issue remains on hold.

Jacobson, Peggy. STC Puget Sound (2004). Careers>Certification


The Man Behind Clippy

Clippy's behavior bugged me, but I was so taken with his facial expressions that I always kind of felt bad sending him away. Anyway, Clippy took a back seat in later versions of Microsoft Office, so I hadn't thought about him in a while, when STC Secretary Erin Lowe off-handedly mentioned that she actually knew the man who invented Clippy. I was very excited to hear this, and Erin graciously agreed to arrange a meeting so that I could talk to Clippy's inventor about the creative process behind designing a user experience like Clippy.

Dickson, Andrea with Erin Lowe. STC Puget Sound (2007). Articles>Interviews>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


Should You Pay for a Résumé Writer?

People who obtain a professionally written resume are (hopefully!) ensured of several things. Primarily, they are ensured that there are no glaring NO!s on the resume like misspellings, misused words, lack of focus, lack of discernible achievements, etc. Additionally, a reader other than oneself is an absolute requirement when it comes to knowing if ones resume is understandable by others.

STC Puget Sound (2007). Articles>Resumes>Business Communication


Technical Communication Has a Bright, Exciting Future!   (Word)

What did Henry Ford do? He learned from other people’s experiences as well as his own. He took risks. He saw failure as a lesson, and he applied everything he learned to perfect the product, the process, and the policies that shaped the American automobile industry. In short, he was a great innovator. And, because he was so willing to share the lessons he learned, he became an inspiration to many others. The field of technical communication has a bright and exciting future because we’re innovators, just like Henry Ford. We work constantly to perfect the product, the process, and the policies that shape our profession. Technical communication work is being performed in more diversified environments than ever before, with experience, skills, and talents that vary widely. We know that there will always be a need for trained people to explain new technology, processes, and products so audiences can better understand or use them, so our future is bright and exciting. Technical communication enjoyed sustained growth for the last eight years of the 20th Century, but times are different now. We entered this new millennium with high expectations for continued success only to have our hopes crushed by tragedy as America was thrust into uncertain times. We’ve learned that 2002 is going to be a lean year and that many companies have fewer people to do more work. To prepare for the future, there are a couple of things I think technical communicators should do.

Laurent, J. Suzanna. STC Puget Sound (2002). Articles>TC>History


Technical Writers in the Corporate Structure

High-tech companies often make the common mistake of viewing technical writers’ sundry backgrounds, skills, and personal strengths as miscellaneous and peripheral to the business. But it is nevertheless a mistake. What technical writers do contribute—or can, given the opportunity—spans all of these functional groups.

King, Marylyn G. STC Puget Sound (2007). Articles>Writing

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