The conversation at this quarter’s ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting covered a wide variety of topics:
- The value of attending the ISTC’s annual conference this coming September
- Tools and technologies for topic-based authoring
- Building XML transformation systems from scratch versus off-the-shelf solutions
- Communication and note-taking systems for working with engineers
- Information security policies and how they affect the work of a technical author
- Working in small and large departments
- Remote working practices and tools
- Career development options
The group also discussed the outline proposals made at the previous group meeting by Dr John Lynn from Glasgow Caledonian University for a degree course containing a technical writing component. We were keen on hearing more from Dr Lynn on the progress the concept had made at a future meeting.
We also reflected on the very pleasing fact that each of the most recent West of Scotland group meetings had been comprised of distinctly different groups of people, often including newcomers. On that note, we were pleased to be joined on the night by a new member, Ben Bruce of SAS Memex. Welcome, Ben!
Summary by Graeme West
We were planning a Document Hackathon on the 19th June. However we didn’t get an organiser to come forward, so I’ve decided postpone the event to later in the year. However if you are still interested in helping with the organisation of events please get in touch at Cambridge_areagroup@istc.org.uk.
The next ISTC meeting will be held on Thursday the 27th June.
The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communications to talk about the latest news and trends in communication, and to meet other communication professionals.
Venue: Le Monde, George St. Front bar area by the entrance.
Please sign up for the event at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/6689876601/estw to help us anticipate numbers.
The Technology Strategy Board have just released their 2013-14 Delivery Plan, the first ‘full-speed ahead’ year of the 2011-15 National Strategy for Business Innovation.
Of particular interest to ISTC members will be the launch + initiatives of the 7 ‘catapults’ – industrial clusters comprised of an academic institution/s + industrial infrastructure + government programmes & funding. Each catapult will drive national initiatives, while being focused in one lead city, as judged most propitious :
– High Value Manufacturing, seven partner centres around the UK (admin : Swindon)
– Cell Therapy, Guy’s Hospital London
– Offshore Renewable Energy, Glasgow
– Satellite Applications, Harwell
– Connected Digital Economy, London
– Future Cities, London
– Transport Systems, to be announced.
Every catapult, and their constituent parties, many of them new entities, will be needing document & media origination, management and maintenance.
If you are not already involved, a good starting point is :
Inspired by the Cambridge group’s Style Guide clinic we will be holding a clinic for Release Notes.
This will be held on the 6th June at MadLab (in the trendy Northern Quarter of Manchester) from 7pm – 9pm.
In this clinic will look a various types of release notes how they vary from company to company and try and answer the following questions. How vital are they? What exactly should we put in them? How long and detailed should they be? How can they be distributed? Does anyone actually read them?
If you plan to attend we encourage you to bring along a copy of some of your own release notes so we can compare them with others. Bring paper copies or a copy on a memory stick. Talk us through them and we will compare them with others. The idea is that, after plenty of questions and discussions, by the end of the evening we may have made some interesting observations and conclusions.
Further Details and booking can be found at eventbrite here: http://nwtcgjune2013.eventbrite.co.uk/#
If you are contributing by bringing your own release notes please make sure you get a “I’m bringing mine ticket”.