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Next Meeting:

October Meeting:
October 8th, 6:30-8:00

Remedial Documentation and the Contract Technical Writer

Speaker: Bruce Poropat

Remedial Documentation and the Contract Technical Writer
Tech writers who work contract jobs soon notice that many clients should have had a tech writer much earlier. Instead, they built complex systems from sketches, messy tables—even verbal descriptions.
Key information becomes scattered—some of it in only in the heads of employees who have moved on to other projects or contractors about to leave. Your phone rings, and soon you’re waist-deep in a remedial documentation project. This presentation discusses how to:

  • Identify and meet client expectations
  • Find and evaluate messy notes, speadsheets, and tangled diagrams
  • Reach reluctant or elusive SME's
  • Use tools to see-for example-how an application uses web services, databases, and other resources

Even tech writers who work full time for a single company may find themselves called in on the tail end of a project to create documentation after the fact. Remedial documentation projects present great challenges—but there’s lots of work for those with the patience to handle them.

Click here for more info and sign up...

WritersUA Central
October 20-21 – Chicago

Whether you are supporting consumer software, enterprise or government systems, or mobile apps, the WritersUA event is a great opportunity to learn and network with your peers.
Two days of educational sessions, networking, and socializing. All the event details are on the conference web site. Registration is open.

User Assistance Tools Survey
in Progress

The annual User Assistance Tools Survey is now in progress.
The survey is designed to give you information drawn specifically from the user assistance community. Please consider contributing your experiences. Results will be publicly available on the WritersUA site.

February 9-11, 2016 – Seattle

If you are interested in bridging technical communication with the field of user experience, ConveyUX is a great opportunity. This annual Seattle event features 3 days, 30 speakers, and over 40 great sessions about usability testing, interaction design, and content strategy. 

Joe Welinske Webinar

How to Craft Your User Assistance to Accommodate a Variety of Interaction Types.

For those who missed it, have no fear, click here!

Letter from the President

Opportunities to advance your career abound with participation in your local STC chapter. If you are a new college graduate searching for a fulfilling career, someone who wants to transition to a career in technical communication, or a seasoned technical communicator, there are many benefits to involvement in your local STC chapter.

Here are the top five reasons that I’m involved in my STC Sacramento chapter:

  • Education. Knowledge IS power. Technology and processes are constantly evolving. STC Sacramento is dedicated to ensuring that you have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the field. Our monthly meetings present internationally known speakers on the current trends in the field of technical communication. Every meeting I have attended has provided me with at least one great idea that I use immediately on my projects.
  • Personal enrichment. Gain leadership skills or practical experience managing a web site, writing newsletter articles, or promoting the chapter through social media. The STC Sacramento chapter provides an encouraging environment for you to add experience to your resume. For example, a gentleman who was a new graduate in English from UC Davis was the STC Sacramento web master for one year. His redesign of our web site was the catalyst for launching his professional career.
  • Networking. Expand your professional and social network. In-person networking is as important as online networking. The Harvard Business Review surveyed their subscribers on the impact of in-person meetings. They found that meeting someone face-to-face was the most important factor to building long-term relationships. The person you meet at our meeting may be your ticket to a new job or may know the solution to a work problem you have been struggling with.
  • Mentoring. Pair up with an active member of STC Sacramento. We are technical writers, editors, content developers, web designers, instructional designers, translators and documentation specialists and are all passionate about what we do. We work as contractors, full-time salaried and part-time employees in high-tech, government, banking, biotech, insurance, and pharmaceuticals and think our role as communicators is the most important role in our companies. We offer informational interviews and portfolio review. Our goal is to ensure the success of all people in the field through advising and advocacy.
  • Community. Be part of the largest organization dedicated to the field of technical communication. Choosing a membership in the national STC organization offers:
    • discounts on educational webinars
    • access to the STC Body of Knowledge
    • advanced access to job postings in the STC Job Bank
    • on-line access to STC publications
    • access to the STC Salary Database

I joined STC when I was between jobs many years ago and became actively involved in the Sacramento chapter as a volunteer for the STC Summit in 2011. I find my membership in STC to be invaluable both professionally and on a personal level.



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STC advances the theory and practice of technical communication across all user abilities and media so that both businesses and customers benefit from safe, appropriate, and effective use of products, information, and services.


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