Monthly Archives: March 2016

How to Be Acquired? Surviving the Transition – 7 Apr 2016 [Meeting]

In this talk, Meg Miranda of Cisco Systems, Inc. will share her experiences managing two teams from startup through corporate acquisitions and provide some tips that can help you and your teams survive the transition with grace.

Both acquisitions were of software companies by traditionally hardware companies, Meg will describe the challenges that you can encounter during the transition. Meg will also share suggestions for how to manage similar transitions, including what to avoid, how to work with stakeholders, and how to manage risk.

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President’s Message – 2016-Q1

One of the best things about reviving the Devil Mountain Views is this opportunity to connect with EBSTC members I may never get to meet in person. I want our chapter to live up to everyone’s expectations, whether you prefer virtual participation or our lively educational dinner events at Mimi’s Cafe. Here are a few ways every member is empowered to drive our strategic direction.

  • Get informed and cast your vote in chapter and national STC officer elections
  • Read our Leadership Council meeting minutes and offer feedback
  • Volunteer to be a reviewer for the new EBSTC Chapter Handbook (email me)
  • Join Past President Lori Meyer in shaping our 3-year Strategic Plan
  • Submit a newsletter story to Managing Editor Ashwini Tharval

Thank you for your support of our chapter and our profession,

Liz Miller
EBSTC President

Editor’s Message – 2016-Q1

EBSTC’s Community Service Project

Since 1998, EBSTC has been running a technical literacy project with the goal of introducing students to basic technical writing techniques. The driving force behind this is T. R. Girill, STC Fellow. In our feature story this issue, T. R. tells us how he received some unexpected help from supporters near and far. If you are interested in learning more about the technical literacy project, visit our website.

Also in this issue, you can read highlights of two recent events:

  • Touchstone Awards Dinner (Touchstone is a regional technical communication competition sponsored by the six Northern California STC chapters)
  • TC Camp (TC Camp is an unconference for technical communicators, which means the afternoon topics are determined by the attendees at the time)

If you are interested in writing a newsletter article, a dinner meeting report or a book review, we welcome your participation. Please contact me with your ideas.

Ashwini Tharval
Managing Editor, DMV

Touchstone 2016 Awards Dinner Honors Technical Communication Excellence

The Touchstone technical communication competition honored excellent work in technical communication with an awards dinner on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The event was held in conjunction with the STC Berkeley Chapter’s annual party.

Twenty-three entries won awards. The two Distinguished entries and nine Excellence entries are eligible to enter the STC International Summit Awards. The results of that competition will be announced at the STC Summit in Anaheim in May.

The Distinguished winners are a book from Microsoft Press and a style guide from Salesforce. The book, Adaptive Code via C#, describes best practices and software design principles for producing code that can adapt without breaking, and also provides an excellent introduction to working in an agile environment. The Salesforce style guide sets out voice and tone guidelines for the use of presenters in the wildly successful Salesforce Trailhead modules.

While primarily focused on work done in northern California, this year’s competition also included entries from the Pacific Northwest after that region’s competition encountered difficulties that made it unviable.

Touchstone’s platinum sponsor, Adobe Systems, provided a generous cash contribution to support the event and a one-year subscription to its Technical Communication Suite to use as a door prize. Other vendors contributed door prizes as well.

The Touchstone judges volunteer many hours of work to evaluate entries and give feedback to the entrants. Each year, in a random drawing, one of those judges wins up to $250 toward that year’s STC dues. This year Christopher Muntzer won that prize.

The STC Northern California Technical Communication Competition, rebranded as Touchstone in 1996, has been recognizing the work of Northern California technical communicators since at least the early 1980s. Nobody remembers exactly when it started, but in 1990, under the directorship of Corinne Stefanick of the East Bay Chapter, it generated a large surplus, which the sponsoring chapters agreed to use to fund a new scholarship, named for Dr. Kenneth Gordon, who had recently died after many years as a local champion of STC. Proceeds from the competition still go in part to fund the Gordon scholarship. Each year the scholarship awards several thousand dollars to outstanding students in Northern California technical communication programs.

Originally, management of the competition moved from chapter to chapter among the five Northern California STC Chapters. These chapters still sponsor the competition and share in its proceeds, but management since 2005 has remained with the Gordon Scholarship Committee, chaired by Patrick Lufkin.

For more information, visit STC Touchstone.

Richard Mateosian and Patrick Lufkin