Sept. 24, 2009 STC Andrew Davis Preview

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Please join us for our September meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2009 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Hacker Dojo located at 140 South Whisman Road in Mountain View. Please note that this meeting is free of charge and that food will not be provided. Attendees can bring food to eat to the meeting.

The meeting topic is What’s Next? Glimpsing the opportunity beyond the impasse with Andrew Davis.

If you’re feeling insecure about your professional prospects, you’re in good company. The world has changed, your cheese has moved  as in the book “Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life” by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. It is high time to face facts: most high-tech technical communicators have become commodities, purveyors of expensive and increasingly unvalued services.

Globalization, a shrinking economy, impatient customers, and increasingly lean, “do-more-with-less” companies are now the norm. Especially in high tech, product quality deteriorates but users seem to care only about initial cost. Meanwhile, technical communicators have become passive and disengaged from their audience, their compensation rates are trending downward, job security has become a joke, and true professional advancement is rare. Job satisfaction is the exception rather than the rule.

My view is that high-tech technical communicators’ best option is to apply their skills to other industries and focus on helping customers generate profits. I have some specific answers to the ‘where from here’ question, but the list is far from complete and I hope to catalyze (with insights, anecdotes, hope and, yes, fear) a productive discussion about how to respond to the marketplace’s challenges.

Speaker: Andrew Davis runs Synergistech Communications, a recruiting firm that since 1995 has matched talented technical communicators with staff and contract opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Andrew is also a former Technical Writer of system administration and software developer documentation for companies such as Oracle (documenting relational databases on minicomputers), IBM (UNIX hypertext authoring tools), Informix (Windows database tools), Network Equipment Technologies (PBXs and routers), and Verity (enterprise text search tools). He’s well-connected in Silicon Valley’s software and telecommunications documentation communities. He also recruits technical trainers and instructional designers, medical writers, and user experience (UX) professionals.

Synergistech is currently doing on-demand recruiting, namely ’speaking when spoken to’ rather than marketing its services actively. Most of its efforts are focused on developing a web-based job-seeking product for SF Bay Area technology workers.

Advance reservations are requested, please email our Reservations Manager if you plan to attend.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.