Optimism, Voting, Problem Solving

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STC TC Communicator
Published by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication
February 2018, Volume 4, Issue 6

Ask the Right Question
John Hedtke

STC Fellow John Hedtke will join us in person to share a simple – and perhaps surprising – change that we can make, TODAY, to open up new career opportunities, bring in more business, and set ourselves apart as go-getters.

Of course, if you don’t really want a more satisfying and successful career, then you should skip this meeting.

Wilder Foundation
451 Lexington Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55104

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Presentation begins at 6:30pm

Register with Bookwhen

John has served in several roles at STC including Nominating Committee member and regional Director/Sponsor. John owns and operates JVH Communications, a company that provides writing, consulting, and training services to private and government clients.

He also runs a blog for people who want to become authors at http://tradebookauthor.com.

When not otherwise occupied, John plays the banjo, tells terrible banjo jokes, writes magazine articles, and writes slogans for a button company.




Movers and Shakers Spotlight: VP Candidates at STC

Member Election Window: February 26th through March 9th, 2018

Pam Estes Brewer

Pam Estes Brewer is a technical communicator, educator, and management consultant. She teaches in Mercer University’s School of Engineering and directs the online Master of Science Program in Technical Communication Management as well as the Mercer User Experience Lab. She also consults in the development and training of effective virtual teams.

A Fellow in STC, Pam’s STC membership spans 25 years. As part of her service to STC, she has managed the Academic SIG, served on the STC Summit program committee as a reviewer, track manager, and program co-chair, chaired the Gould Committee, and worked on the TC Body of Knowledge. 

Pam received the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching, the STC President’s Award for her work with students and young professionals in STC, and the Distinguished SIG Service Award. She also helped found and coordinate four years of the STC Academic SIG Pre-Conference in partnership with the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication.

STC serves as a hub for networking and ongoing education; no other organization serves such an over-arching role in the field. As a board member, I will focus on two primary areas of development for the Society: continuing to develop our professional status and building bridges forward and across our field.

In order to develop professional status, I will actively support

  • building the professional body of knowledge
  • professionally certifying practitioners
  • publishing an award-winning magazine and journal
  • increasing our ability to share knowledge with universities as they prepare professionals
  • gathering metrics that measure return on investment (ROI) when organizations invest in technical communication
By pursuing these paths to professional status, we can provide a strong ROI for every STC stakeholder.

In addition, to developing our professional status, I strongly support increasing opportunities between industry and academy, international collaborations, and communication between STC staff and membership. Such bridges will strengthen and grow our Society and increase our ability to represent membership in the global market.

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to STC’s future as part of a valued, global profession.

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/pamestesbrewer/
Email: brewer_pe@mercer.edu


Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk has been a Technical Communicator for more than 20 years. Ben is the Program Manager in the Information Security Office at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A frequent presenter at regional and international conferences, Ben mentors Introverted Leaders within and outside of STC. Ben is also a former co-chair and current member of the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council Awareness and Training Working Group.

Ben’s Society-level service includes a term (2013-15) as Director and Chair of the Community Affairs Committee. Prior to his Board service, Ben developed a team to serve STC community leaders in his role as Outreach Lead of the Community Affairs Committee. Ben is currently the STC Scholarship Committee Chair. 

Ben Woelk is an Associate Fellow and the most recent recipient of the STC President’s Award.

Locally, Ben has served STC Rochester in many positions including president. Currently, Ben is the vice-president and Spectrum Conference co-chair. Ben also built STC Rochester’s student mentoring program and served as webmaster for many years.

Ben holds an Advanced Certificate in Technical Information Design. He is also a Certified Professional Technical Communicator (Foundation), an Approved Trainer for the CPTC, and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).  

Goals include:
  • Build STC by communicating its value and by serving our members
  • Identify prospective members and develop plans to attract and retain them
  • Understand what our current members want and need
  • Provide meaningful engagement and leadership opportunities for our current and future members
  • Foster health and longevity by being responsive to the needs of our members and prospective members
  • Be and remain relevant in a rapidly evolving profession
  • Lead the profession by providing valuable resources and building expert practitioners
  • Have a profound impact on our careers
  • Honor and serve our longtime members

I am thrilled to be on the ballot for Vice President of STC. I’ve found that my membership and experiences gained in STC have had a profound impact on my career and growth as a leader. I’ve had the opportunity to serve our local chapter, help chapter leaders across STC through the Community Affairs Committee, and help redefine our vision as a previous member of the STC Board of Directors. I’d like to continue my service to STC as your Vice President.

The role of the Board is to be strategic. However, it’s also important to be pragmatic. We will use what works while maintaining continuity with the vision and mission of STC. We must maintain a strategic focus while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

I recognize that building for the future could mean significant structural changes to what membership means and how the office supports the Society. Yes, we need to be able to discard less-relevant initiatives that are not working. I also recognize that we may need to reinstate specific initiatives to ensure we represent the profession.

Your vote matters. Many times only a few votes separate candidates.

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/benwoelk
Twitter https://twitter.com/benwoelk
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ben.woelk
Website https://benwoelk.com


The STC Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the preliminary slate of candidates for the 2018 Society election: 

  • Jane Wilson to automatically succeed from the office of Vice President
Vice President
  • Pam Brewer
  • Ben Woelk
  • Kirsty Taylor
Director (any two)
  • Ramesh Aiyyangar
  • Alisa Bonsignore
  • Todd DeLuca
  • Mak Pandit
Nominating Committee (any two)
  • Jackie Damrau
  • MK Grueneberg
  • Li-At Rathbun
The Society election is scheduled to open on 26 February and close on 9 March 2018. To be eligible to vote, members must have paid their dues by 1 February 2018.
Recap of January's STC TC Meeting

Git and Github for Documentation
Ann Gentle
Anne’s presentation explained how Git and Github is used for documentation. Git is a command line tool and Github is a web interface for Git repositories. Technical writers use these tools to collaborate with developers via simple markup and source code repository functionality (e.g., branch, pull, push, commit). Writers curate contributions by everyone, including developers, and provide writing consulting expertise to coach good writing skills. Docs are treated like code and valued like code. Using CI/CD practices, docs are published automatically after review and merge. See the book, OpenStack Operations Guide (PDF), written by Anne and her team in 5 days using the above practices.
Developer advocate, Anne Gentle, works at Cisco DevNet in Austin, Texas, where she serves as Developer Experience Engineer and elected member of the OpenStack Technical Committee. OpenStack is a set of software tools to control networking resources of a datacenter with a dashboard or OpenStack API. OpenStack, the software to control clouds, is compatible with many popular enterprise and open source technologies. Anne also spoke about Rackspace Cloud, a set of cloud computing products and services from Rackspace, and GitHub Enterprise for code browsing, code review, issue tracking, and wikis.

If you want to learn about unique development tools and techniques to author technical documentation within a collaborative framework, then read Anne Gentle’s book, Docs Like Code.

​Click www.docslikecode.com  



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