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Cambridge

Organisers: Derek Cooper

Email: cambridge_areagroup@istc.org.uk

If you are a Technical Communicator who lives or works in or around Cambridge, the Cambridge Area Group will be pleased to welcome you to our group.

The group gives networking opportunities to meet other Technical Communicators for support or to swap ideas and experience. Working as a sole Technical Communicator can be difficult and it’s good to get together with others that share a common experience.

The group aims to extend our professional knowledge and skills with talks from industry experts along with demonstrations on tools and techniques.

You do NOT have to be an ISTC member, all are welcome, and we aim to keep most of our events free of charge.

We also have the Cambridge Technical Communicators LinkedIn group for discussions, news and announcements.

Meeting announcement 26th January 2016 – Re-scheduled

26th January 2016 19:00 – 20:30: Ten downsides to DITA and how to avoid them

Venue: ARM, 110 Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NJ

Speaker: DARREN MITCHAM has now found his true vocation in life after a shaky start designing switched mode power supplies. For 16 years he has been a senior technical communicator with a modern forward-looking American semiconductor company. Technical communication is his job, his hobby, indeed his whole life. Darren advocates keeping one eye looking forwards and one eye on the past. New innovations come and go. Sometimes they even catch on in a big way. After living in various places across the UK, Darren currently lives in High Wycombe with his cat, his lodger, his classic cars, and a Hammond organ.

Abstract: Note – This is a rerun of the presentation that Darren gave at TCUK 2015 in Glasgow.

Most of us hear over and over again all the positive aspects of a DITA-based publishing system: reusing content is good because it reduces overheads and in a global economy our localization costs will plummet. How many of you have braved implementing one, and what is the reality of such an implementation? Darren is a senior technical communicator at an American electronics company, Altera. They have travelled down this bumpy road during the last three years, and Darren will share with you the pains experienced and, more importantly, some ideas to make the transition smoother.

Please register your interest through Eventbrite : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/darren-mitcham-presents-his-tcuk-2015-talk-ten-downsides-to-dita-and-how-you-avoid-them-tickets-19447028586

 

Meeting announcement – September 16th

16th September 19:00 – 21:00 : Source Control for Technical Communicators

Venue: ARM, 110 Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NJ

Speaker: Marjorie Jones — Before becoming a technical author, Marjorie was a software engineer who regularly wrote more than her fair share of documentation. Eventually, she realized she preferred writing about software to writing software, and the rest is history.

The more structured content she develops, the more parallels she sees between software engineering and document engineering, and the more convinced she is that techniques to manage the complexity of the former can also help with the latter.

She and her husband are owned by two Schipperkes. In her spare time she likes wine, walking and sitting in fields in a camper van.

Abstract:

Software engineers have long used source control to manage the complexity of their source files. Do technical communicators need it? What advantages does it bring?

This presentation describes the features of source control and the benefits for technical communicators. You will learn how it can help manage your documentation files and how to use it effectively. You will also learn about some common source control tools.

The information in this presentation will be useful if you already use source control and want a better understanding, or if you are thinking about using it and want to know more before deciding.

Please register your interest through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/marjorie-jones-presents-her-tcuk-2015-talk-source-control-for-technical-communicators-tickets-18511841416

Dates for 2014 Cambridge Group meetings

Here are the dates for 2014’s evening meetings. Some are provisional and some change, and some are in course of preparation,  so check in frequently for the latest information.

August

12th Aug 19:00 – 21:00 : Clouds – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Venue: ARM, 110 Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NJ

Speaker: Yuri Kolber — Regional Director | Platform Value Evangelist | Microsoft / Director – Training & Professional Services | OnTarget Communications

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, one can run, but one cannot hide.

Please register your interest through Eventbrite  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/edit?eid=12368136429

September

3rd Sept 19:00 to 21:00 : Document Engineering: lessons for technical communicators from the field of software engineering

Venue: ARM, 110 Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NJ

Speaker:
Marjorie Jones — Before becoming a technical author, Marjorie was a software engineer who regularly wrote more than her fair share of documentation. Eventually, she realized she preferred writing about software to writing software, and the rest is history.

The more structured content she develops, the more parallels she sees between software engineering and document engineering, and the more convinced she is that techniques to manage the complexity of the former can also help with the latter.

She and her husband are owned by two Schipperkes. In her spare time she likes wine, walking and sitting in fields in a camper van.

Abstract:
You have your content strategy, you’re using topic based authoring, and a structured authoring tool. You’re probably single sourcing for multiple products and output media. Suddenly you find yourself drowning in a sea of conditions, variables and snippets. And there’s documentation for previous product versions that still needs to be supported and updated.This session will look at the software lifecycle and the parallels with the modern structured authoring process. We’ll see practical examples of how best practices and techniques borrowed from software development can help organize and structure your content components, avoid errors and ensure quality, efficiency and maintainability.

Please register your interest through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/document-engineering-lessons-for-technical-communicators-tickets-12523053791#

 

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