Welcome to the STC Houston MiniConference page!

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, we will have a full day of learning. There will be workshops, breakout sessions, and networking.


8:30 am     Registration
9:00 am     Opening and Announcements
9:30 am    

Editing: Foundation for a Quality Product presented by Linda Oestreich

Your Organization’s Content: A Workshop About Sharing Content Across Silos, Content Strategy, and Content Engineering presented by Alyssa Fox, Paul Mueller, and Alan Porter

12:00 noon     Lunch
1:00 pm    

Breakout Session 1
Teaching Technical Writing to Engineers: What Works? presented by Noel Atzmiller

Teaching Technical Writing to College Students presented by Yvonne Wade Sanchez

2:00 pm    

Breakout Session 2
Developing Workflow-Based Help presented by Cindy Pao

Common Sense DITA presented by Erika Frensley

3:00 pm     Adjourn


The MiniConference will be held in the Blinn College Student Center at the Blinn College Campus in Brenham, Texas. For a campus map, go to https://cdn-map1.nucloud.com/nucloudmap/index.html?map=310


$25 for STC Houston Chapter members
$40 for non-STC Houston Chapter members (affiliated with no chapter or another chapter)
$60 for non STC members (not members of STC)
$10 for Students (current students enrolled at a college or university)


MiniConference Registration
Lunch option

Session Descriptions

Technical Editing: The Foundation of a Quality Product

Linda Oestreich

Learn how you can survive in a world where technical editing often is ignored and devalued, how to be seen as a professional, and how to add value to your company while you maintain integrity, skills, and passion for your work. The workshop includes discussions and exercises to help you embrace levels and types of edit, toolbox contents, attitudes for success, quick overview of copy and comprehensive edits, and basic principles that we’ve often forgotten. Editing is all about quality in a product. Learn how to do it better, sell it to your bosses and clients, and be proud of the job you do.

Your Organization’s Content: A Workshop About Sharing Content Across Silos, Content Strategy, and Content Engineering

Alyssa Fox, Paul Mueller, and Alan Porter

In “The Content Strategy Imperative,” Alyssa Fox addresses how strong and relatable content is business-critical to your organization. But do your plans and processes reflect that? Join us in discussing the current state of content in organizations, how content strategy can help, and some practical steps for getting started. 

In “Intro to Content Engineering,” Alan Porter discusses how content engineers bridge the divide between content strategists and producers and the developers and content managers who publish and distribute content. But rather than simply wedging themselves between these players, content engineers help define and facilitate the content structure during the entire content strategy, production and distribution cycle from beginning to end. This session will discuss the role of the Content Engineer and introduce the six disciplines of a content engineering practice.

In “Content Across the Enterprise,” Paul Mueller describes common content types used throughout many companies and how good design and strategy can increase return on investment in valuable content. This high-level overview sets the stage for in depth discussions about delivering content when the user needs it and designing that information effectively.

Teaching Technical Writing to Engineers: What Works?

Noel Atzmiller

Teaching technical writing to engineers can be challenging. These highly intelligent individuals require an approach that goes beyond grammar rules and guidelines. Training session content and techniques must focus on the engineers’ common characteristics. Experiences from leading multiple training sessions to engineers and their feedback have revealed some lessons learned to facilitate this approach. These lessons are applicable in technical writing training sessions for many documents.

Teaching Technical Writing to College Students

Yvonne Wade Sanchez

Yvonne will provide information regarding the decision by UHD to change their BS in Professional Writing degree to a BS in Technical Communication. Yvonne will also discuss her experience teaching technical communication to students in multiple disciplines (e.g., computer science, criminal justice, etc.).

Developing Workflow-Based Help

Cindy Pao

Often, our online help is organized by user interface elements, menu commands, tasks, and reference information. In this presentation, we will look at a different way of organizing the information by workflow. The finished help includes not only the classic elements, but also shows the user how they will put the software or hardware to work in the field.

Common Sense DITA

Erika Frensley

DITA is a powerful method and development tool for creating documentation, and in its full form very complex and developer oriented. However, DITA shouldn’t be that scary. Erika Frensley will discuss how she uses DITA to create online and printed documentation, and really how much writers need to know to create good, basic documentation. The shift isn’t as scary as it seems!