On Tuesday September 16, 2008 at California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB) the School of Information Technology and Communication Design (ITCD) hosted a panel discussion on “Effective Technical Communication”.
Kate Wisdom is a CSUMB lecturer on creative writing, technical communication and digital culture. She introduced Jean Forrest from the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) who moderated panelists Reed Anderson, DJ Cline, Dave Davison, Ryan Koon, and Jim Wrona.
Dave Davison and Jim Wrona are HP EDS contractors with extensive experience in technical communication. Reed Anderson and Ryan Koon are CSUMB ITCD majors just starting out. All of them work for the DMDC. DJ Cline is president of the STC Silicon Valley Chapter and writes about the origin and impact of emerging technology, business and media.
Good communication skills can inform, instruct or persuade. The skills are in two groups. Gathering information requires listening and reading. Giving information requires writing, illustrating, speaking and presenting. The content needs to be simple, clear, accurate and relevant.
People skills require practice being courteous and patient to avoid misunderstandings and build relationships. The better you communicate the more likely you are to be hired or promoted. Technical professionals who can find a solution and explain it have the keys to success.
I was impressed with the students I met, they seemed to have the right mix of people and technical skills that any recruiter would be a fool to miss. It was funny after all these years to be back in a college computer room full of Macs encouraging people to learn about technical communication.
Here are some pictures including a panorama of this amazing class.
Copyright 2008 DJ Cline All rights reserved.