How to Be an Amazing Tech Comm Job Applicant: Tips from a Tech Comm Hiring Manager | TechWhirl

Veteran tech comm hiring manager Richard Rabil offers some tips on how to stand out from it the competition when applying for a technical communications role.

Source: How to Be an Amazing Tech Comm Job Applicant: Tips from a Tech Comm Hiring Manager | TechWhirl

This is an interesting article. I’m posting it so that I can not only share this with all of you, my techcomm colleagues, but also for myself. At some point, I need to renovate my e-portfolio, and I need to figure out how to raise my game in a smart way.  So, this is for my own reference, too.

What do you think of the recommendations in here? Include your comments below.


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How to Build Work Culture for Remote Teams

Remote teams might seem isolated and lonely, but our teams are closely knit and anything but alone. Here’s how we create company culture at our remote software company.

Source: How to Build Work Culture for Remote Teams

I found this article interesting, because in so many ways, I think it exemplifies the kind of remote work environment most of us wish we had–and should have.  The oft-heard criticism about remote working is that if you aren’t there, people forget about you. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, and sometimes, it isn’t.  It’s a good thing when you want to have no disruptions, work head-down, and get the work done.  It’s not so great when you need some of the social aspects, such as sharing frustrations openly about a project with another person, or having a brainstorming session.  As a remote worker, you often feel forgotten about if you aren’t part of an already remote situation, like what’s described in this article. The article describes how it SHOULD be–and I read it like it was a fantasy, even if it’s the reality of the Skillcrush workers.  That’s the kind of environment that I want to work in as a remote worker. I want to be able to work from home and still feel connected with my co-workers when I do have to collaborate with them. I don’t want to be left out of either events or even just department decisions, especially if they affect me directly. And this applies even if you are the remote worker, and everyone else is at “the office”.  Remote workers often get the short end of the stick in this regard. Yes, we like the flexibility and privacy of working from home, but we aren’t hermits (or at least most of us aren’t).

Skillcrush–if you can use a technical communicator, contact me. I would love to be part of your corporate culture.

What do you think of this article? Is this a good benchmark for remote work culture, or is there something better? Include your comments below.


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BBC – Future – Do you have a secret British accent?

Do you have a hidden Hugh Grant or Highland Scot inside? Take our quiz and we’ll pinpoint which part of the UK you most sound like you’re from – even if you’re not British.

Source: BBC – Future – Do you have a secret British accent?

Related to my last post, a fun quiz to see if your dialect matches up with a region of the UK.  For me, I got the East Midlands, which is cool since I got to visit that region during TCUK last year, and liked the area very much. 🙂

What kind of results did you get? Post your results and comments below.


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BBC – Culture – How Americans preserved British English

Americans today pronounce some words more like Shakespeare than Brits do… but it’s in 18th-Century England where they’d really feel at home.

Source: BBC – Culture – How Americans preserved British English

This is one of those fun articles about English linguistics. I always find it interesting to read about the evolution of English in the former colonies. My father would say that he spoke the “King’s English”, and OMG, if you heard his accent, well, I don’t think they necessarily talked like him like they do in South Philadelphia these days (and his accent has softened after living in Central New Jersey for the last 50+ years as compared to my cousins in Southern New Jersey closer to Philadelphia).  We also have to remember that even within the United States, there are many variances. Heck, within New Jersey, one of the original 13 colonies, there’s lots of variance.  But reading about “OP” for Shakespeare and other pronunciation features make you wonder how the written word and the rhetorical words have divulged. I mean, we can still read things (sometimes with a little difficulty) from authors from centuries ago, but how would it have sounded in comparison to reading the words?

Ah, language evolution never stops.

What to you think of this article? Include your comments below.


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Why working from home should be standard practice

And if your boss is on the fence, here’s a compelling case study — from economics professor Nicholas Bloom — to show her.

Source: Why working from home should be standard practice

An interesting study of why working from home can actually work, even if you aren’t in favor of it or want to work from home.  Take a look.

What do you think of this study? Include your comments below.


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Chatbots are not the future of Technical Communication

And suddenly every tech comm and content strategy conference seems to be about getting your content ready for chatbots. Makes sense if you are a conference organizer. Chatbots are sexy and sex sell…

Source: Chatbots are not the future of Technical Communication

I’ve had the chance to meet Mark Baker and chat with him, and Mark is not a guy known for mincing words. That said, as I read this article, I was feeling a bit relieved that, while I didn’t have the depth of knowledge on the topic as he’s outlined here, I didn’t think chatbots were really that much of a tech comm thing either. I mean, yes, I understand where many are coming from in respects to thinking that it is, but in the near future, I really don’t see it happening. It doesn’t make sense. My gut says that we are still figuring out how to apply single-sourcing to a variety of instances, even at large global corporations, so we’re not even close to getting into chatbot and AI and machine language translations that can understand the nuances of spoken language. We’re not even close–not really. My Amazon Echo doesn’t understand most of what I ask “Alexa”, and it’s not because of my New Jersey accent.

I have fallen into the trap of following some of the trends that Mark describes as being the new thing hyped at conferences and such, and finding that a) it wasn’t for me, and b) it’s something that certain industries aren’t looking for.  Marketing departments don’t want technical communicators as their content marketing strategists. They want marketers. So who’s to say that those in AI want technical communicators to figure out chatbots? I have to agree with Mark–I don’t think this is a good match.

What do you think? Include your comments below.


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Worker Who Sent False Hawaii Alert Thought Threat Was Real, F.C.C. Says

This is a great read as to why technical writers and technical communicators are greatly needed!  Not everyone is trained on how to write clear instructions, as evidenced by this occurrence, as noted in this article.  As I write this, I’m in the midst of writing up a series of “How-To” documents for my department, and I’m reminded of including every details clearly, cogently, and concisely. I’m including screenshots highlighting buttons and links, and explaining all sorts of other details to ensure that the reader can follow each detail easily and correctly.  From this article, it doesn’t sound like the “midnight supervisor” provided clear directions.

Another win for being a proponent of technical communications!

What do you think? Include your comments below.


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