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ISTC Annual Survey Trend Report 2011-2014 out now

Since 2011, the ISTC has conducted annual electronic surveys, covering a broad spectrum of questions, from academic qualification and training, through employment status, title, experience to remuneration and type of work carried out.

The next ISTC annual survey, planned for early 2015, will be updated and therefore no year-on-year comparisons will be possible post 2014. The ISTC has therefore decided to publish a survey trend report for the surveys conducted 2011–2014.

You can log in to the surveys page here on the ISTC website to read the report.

Report on Southern Area Meeting, Tuesday 5th August 2014, Winchester

A good number of us met at the Royal Oak in Winchester, in what is believed to be the oldest bar in the country, to hear Yuri Kolber talk about life in the cloud, and why the cloud matters to technical communicators.

He explained the different kinds of cloud available, ranging from IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service, where the cloud provider makes the servers available, and you do the rest), through PaaS (Platform as a Service, where the provider also provides and maintains the operating system) to SaaS (Software as a Service, where hosted software applications are also supplied, and you only need to add the users and the data).

I was fascinated to learn that some large cloud data centres have over 1 million servers, cover an area the size of a football field, and that 20,000 servers can be located in a big metal box the size of a shipping container, because each server is just a card in an array of servers.

The number of connected devices has now exceeded the number of people in the world, and with the Internet of Things well under way, the cloud is here to stay. Apparently, Yuri is looking forward to a day when the cloud can offer FCaaS (Frozen Custard as a Service) too.

Yuri’s slides are here, if you would like to know more.

Southern Area Meeting, Tuesday 5th August 2014, Winchester

The next ISTC Southern Area meeting will be in Winchester on Tuesday 5th August from 7pm.

Eran Kolber will talk to us about life in “the cloud”. The “Cloud” is something that is already playing a major role in shaping the work environment of technical authors and others in the industry. The rate of “cloudization” will increase dramatically over the next few years. Essentially, you can run, but you cannot hide. Eran will explain what “the cloud” is, why it is inevitable, and what the implications are for those of us working in the documentation profession.

The venue is the Royal Oak, entrance on Royal Oak passage (between High Street and St Georges Street) and also on St Georges Street (postcode SO23 9AU). We have reserved the lower bar (which is supposedly the oldest bar in Winchester).

The event is free, and is open to ISTC members and non-members. But if you are planning to come, please register on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/southern-area-meeting-winchester-5th-august-2014-tickets-11995720523 so we can let the venue know how much space to reserve for us. You’ll also find directions and parking information in the Eventbrite listing.

See you there!

Southern Area Group Meeting 13th May 2014

The Southern Area Group met at the Keep in Guildford on 13th May 2014, for a very interesting talk by Graham Armfield about how to develop websites using WordPress.  WordPress has evolved from a blogging platform to a true website development tool, and now powers 20% of the world’s websites.  The turnout was high, including several non-ISTC members and also some folks who weren’t even technical communicators.  If anyone who wants to know more, Graham has posted his slides on SlideShare here:

West of Scotland area group meeting 3 June 2014: meeting report

The June meeting was quieter than our recent meetings, with only a couple of attendees. Nevertheless, we had interesting discussions about topics such as the importance of effective product management in facilitating documentation work, the challenges involved in trying to produce meaningful documentation metrics and what it’s like to work in organisations where colleagues may be based in different countries or continents.

Summary by Katja McLaughlin