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TechCommGeekMom’s 2015 – A Year in Review

One goal this past year was to go to conferences I hadn't attended before. Going to Ireland for the IEEE ProComm in Limerick, Ireland was definitely something new!
One goal this past year was to go to conferences I hadn’t attended before. Going to Ireland for the IEEE ProComm in Limerick, Ireland was definitely something new!

It’s that time when another year closes, and another year is about to begin. With that, one tends to review what’s happened in the past year–for better or worse–and have either resolutions or goals of what they want to achieve for the next year.

When I originally started thinking about how this year went, I initially thought that perhaps it wasn’t that great a year. But when I carefully considered what some of my initial goals for 2015 were, I realized that I did fairly well.

One of the big changes that I wanted to make–which I highlighted in my blog last year, was that I wanted to attend some different conferences than I had attended before. I definitely did that this year! I attended the IEEE ProComm in Limerick, Ireland, and gave a workshop there. I went to my first “un-conference”/camp in Philadelphia this past autumn. I also attended Information Development World in San Jose, CA.  I still went to the STC-PMC Conduit conference in Philadelphia in the spring as well, since that’s a fairly local conference, too.  So, four conferences in a year, and three of the four were something new? I’d say that’s pretty good.

I also decided that I was going to take some course work to help me enhance my skills. I successfully completed the Mini-MBA course in Digital Marketing at Rutgers University in the spring. It was informative, and I found the “digital” part of the course easier than the “marketing” part. I don’t know if this makes me a content marketer now, but it puts me on better footing in understanding it.  I also attended a great workshop on how to become an independent consultant that I enjoyed and learned a lot from.

In an attempt to set off on my own, I did launch my own business this year, Dair Communications. It’s still up and running, but it really hasn’t taken off this year. This was a success and a downfall at the same time. I haven’t stopped wanting to get this off the ground more, but the last few months have not been conducive to making that happen the way I would have liked. It happens.

The job front has been a bit more…challenging. I’ve worked at three different places this year with varying results. If I learned anything from being with these three jobs, it is learning what works and what doesn’t work for me in forwarding my goals and needs. It helped me determine how I want to go forward in the next year, and helped me better understand my own strengths and weaknesses.

So, was 2015 a good year? Overall, I’d say it was fairly good. Not the worst year or the best year, but there was more good than bad. Is there room for improvement and growth? Always! My goal this year was to not be a “pudding brain”, and I think I took some good steps to ensure that wasn’t the case.

What does 2016 have in store for me? Good question. Time to figure that out, and set some new goals.


Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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