Technical Communication

This is a blog where I want to share my experiences as a Technical Writer. Just like we experience many things in life which we wish to record somewhere. Likewise, I wish to share them here.

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Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ever willing to talk about Life & its ingredients. My other hobby horses are - Philosophy, World History, Historical Places, legends from the old and the list continues... I love poetry especially urdu poetry. I admire urdu poets like Mirza Ghalib, Iqbal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Qateel Shifai, and Sahir Ludhianvi.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Society for Technical Communication, India - 6th Annual Conference Competition Winners

Society for Technical Communication, India - 6th Annual Conference

STC India's 6th Annual Conference 'Paper Proposals' Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners whose paper proposals have been selected for presentation at the STC India 6th Annual Conference 2004.

Given below is the list of winners and their topics.

For more information please refer to schedule.

  • Akanksha Malik, QAI India - Shaping your career as a Technical Writer/Instructional Designer
  • Amandeep Singh Sandhu - The Open Source Movement and India: Where are our Documents?
  • Debjani Sen and Roger Dearth, BMC Software - Creating Context Sensitive Help Using Single Sourcing
  • Edwin Skau, Hughes Software - Research Techniques
  • Francisco Abedrabbo and Pavi Sandhu, Oracle - Technical Writing in India: Tips for Succeeding in a Global Economy
  • Hemanth Basrur, Hewlett Packard - Use of XML and Open Source to achieve Single Sourcing
  • Indranil Poddar, Cognizant - Redefining Value: Technical Writer as Subject Matter Expert
  • Kiranmayee.P, iSoft - Approach to Documentation Maintenance
  • Melanie Doulton, Kanbay - Do Online Indexes increase the usability of Documentation?
  • Mohd. Qais Mujeeb, VisualSoft Technologies – Impact of Accessibility on Technical Writing
  • Paresh Naik, vMoksha - Using DFSS Tools for better Technical Writing Process and Deliverables
  • Rajeev Jain, Clovis Solutions - API Documentation, Trends and Opportunities
  • Rahul Prabhakar, Oracle and Saravanan Manoharan, think3 Designs - Exploring different genres of Technical Writing and its allied fields
  • Roshini Krishnamurthy, Computer Associates - Documentation Estimation
  • Uday Chava, Microsoft - Introducing the LongHorn Help System
  • Vijay Tase, Peer Technical - Intellectual Property Rights and Technical Communicators


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STC India's 6th Annual Conference Theme Competition Winners

"Technical Communication in India: New Heights, Better Sights" has been selected as the theme for this year's conference.The Winner is Frederick Menezes.

Other themes worth mentioning are:

"Technical Communication - Changing dimensions & perspectives"
Neel Kamal & Qais Mujeeb

"Emerging vistas - New paradigms in technical writing"
Suresh Purushothaman

"Educating, Enhancing, Empowering"
Jayanthi Krishnan

"New Paradigms: Redefining Technical Writing"
Suchitra Govindarajan

"Envisioning new dimensions to Technical Communication"
Adeeba Khatoon and Niranjan.P

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

STC India 7th Annual Conference Theme Competition Winners 2005

I N D U S - STC India Newsletter :: Nov-Dec 2005
STC India Annual Conference Theme Competition Winners

Rachna Ganguli won the first prize for the theme “Making ‘Written inIndia’ a Brand,” followed by Mohd Qais Mujeeb, who won the second prize for the theme “Enriching Audience Experience through Multi-dimensional Communication.” Competition attracted an overwhelming response and there were themes with thoughtful and interesting ideas that address the issues and learning needs related to the various aspects of technical communication. The panel of Judges gave individual ratings to each of the entries and the winning entries were chosen based on highest ratings.

Prizes will be presented to Rachna and Mohd at this year’s STC India annual conference.

The above paragraph has been taken from STC India Diary.
(http://www.stc-india.org/indus/112005/diary.htm)

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It was really good to have got this honor from STC India. I just penned down my thoughts on the future of Technical Writing and it got appreciation from other more experienced peers in Technical Communication.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fourth STC Learning Session, Hyderabad

Date: August 21, 2005

Time: 11:00 AM to 1 PM

Venue: Virtusa India Private Limited, Hyderabad

Topic: Section 508 Guidelines for Technical Writers

Speaker: This time, it was Me......


In the session, I touched upon the following areas:

  • Accessible Documentation: What and How?
  • Assistive/Adaptive Technologies
  • Accessibility Testing
  • Section 508 Guidelines and Checklists for technical writers, content writers and web-designers
It was attended by about 20 technical writers. After the session, we had a good discussion over the upcoming STC Annual Conference. With plans to have more sessions before the Annual Conference, we concluded the session.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Third STC Learning Session, Hyderabad

Date: May 7, 2005
Venue: Nokia India Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad

Topic: Internationalization for a Global Village

About the Speaker
Gurudutt R. Kamath is a technical writer and trainer based in Mumbai. He has 20 years of experience writing user manuals/online help. He has conducted several training programs for companies such as L & T Infotech, Aptech, and CSC (Noida). He has been published in Intercom, Indus, and several other STC publications. His DocuMentor column in IT People/Express Computer has encouraged many to take up technical writing. He was the Founder President of the India Chapter of STC and the Founder Owner of the TWIN mailing list. He has contributed several articles on technical writing in the Indian press. His views have been published in the Indian press and on several Web sites in the form of interviews and quotes.

The Session

Gurudutt R. Kamath talked on the different dimensions of :

  • Internationalization: Rationale for Internationalization
  • Writing for the International Market
  • Formats for Internationalization, and
  • Writing for Translation
The session gave a good introduction of the concepts of Globalisation, Internatinalisation, Localisation and Transaltion of Help Documentation.

Things I learnt
For every lecture I attend, i try to get some one-liners which can help me recall the lecture whenever I need it. The one-liners for this topic are-
  • Internationalization is nothing but making a software product/application - “World-ready”.
  • Use of Global English helps in making a product - Internationalized which can be Localized later.
  • Rule: A sentence should convey only one meaning across the globe.
  • Making a glossary of terms for local languages would help in Translation and Localization.
  • There should be consistency and ease of tranlation in the Glossary.
  • Localization is making the software product/application "locale-specific".
  • Truly global applications should be culture-neutral and language-neutral.
  • Locale-specific factors include - Culture, Language, Script, Currency, Calendar, Date, and Address format.
  • Culturally sensitive or locale-dependent objects should be identified and separated from the source code.
  • Separating locale-sensitive elements from other code allows easy translation.
  • The examples used should be International/Local, as required.
  • Use of Semiotics (the study of signs and symbols, what they mean and how they are used) is important.
  • Visual Information should be used carefully as different cultures may perceive different colors, signs and pictures, differently.
  • Appropriate Styles, Guidelines and checklists should be used during developing an Internationalized or Localized product.


Here's a link to a presentation on Internationalization which i prepared and presented at my organization. You will need to download the presentation to your machine to view it. Have a look at the presentation and mail me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Second STC Learning Session, Hyderabad

Date: April 17, 2005
Venue: Computer Associates International, Inc, Hyderabad

Topic: Graphic File Formats

About the Speaker
Uday Chava is a Hyderabad based Technical Writer. He is currently working with Microsoft. He is an active member of STC and is the Program Manager for the Seventh STC India Annual Conference to be held in Hyderabad.

The Session
I couldn't attend this session so I am forced to leave this section without any useful information.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The other side of Job interviews

One day, a friend of mine asked me whether i was interested in helping some students, prepare for job interviews. I said that i didn't have any experience in interviewing people. He promptly replied, "That's where you have a learning opportunity." He told me that they were providing this service, free of cost. It was just to help those students who can't pay for such training. To me, it looked like social service coupled with some exciting learning opportunity. So finally, I agreed and was therefore, invited as a panel member for the mock interview session.

This mock interview session was organised by the students organisation in the premises of Munsif, a daily Newspaper in Hyderabad.

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On a lazy sunday morning, I had to wake up at 9 am (too early for a sunday) and get ready. I was there at destined place, by 10:30 am. When I entered the training hall, my friend -Asif was giving a presentation on "Interview Process". The presentation was very comprehensive and it covered most of the important aspects. It reminded me of my college days at ICFAI Business School, when and where, I was exposed to such sessions.

After the interview, started the mock interview session. I was assigned to a group of nine students who had just completed or were about to complete their B Tech/BCA/MCA. Each of them gave the interview, one by one and the rest became a part of panel members so that they could analyse each other and learn from them. It provided a wonderful opportunity for them (as well as me) to watch the interview process from both sides i.e. interviewer and interviewee. I was given the Resumes of all the candidates and an evaluation sheet to rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 - lowest, 5 - Highest) on the following parameters -
- Appearance
- Body Language
- Career Focus
- Eye contact
- Communication Skills
- Clarity of Thought
- Domain Knowledge
- Attitude
- Honesty

After the mock interviews, all the panel members gave a general feedback to all the candidates, explaining what was lacking and how to fill those gaps. As for me, I believe that personal feedback can help an individual improve better so i requested the group of students allocated to me to meet me for their individual feedback. It was a wonderful experience in that it helped do some introspective thinking and suggest a couple of things to myself. In trying to teach others, I was benefited no less. True, as they say - Knowledge increases after sharing it with others.

~ Qais

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

First STC Learning Session, 2005 - Hyderabad

The first STC learning session at Hyderabad, for the year 2005, was conducted in the premises of Computer Associates on February 13, 2005. The topic of the session was - PROJECT DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATION (PDS) - TECHNICAL WRITING.

The session was attended by about 20 technical writers from various organisations including Microsoft, CA, Nokia, Ocimum and VisualSoft. The session was co-ordinated by Vasanth Vaidyanathan, the Hyderabad STC City Representative and Saraswathy Janani(Technical Writer, CA).

The speaker was Sreedhar Karri - an experienced Technical writer from the Computer Associates itself. His experiences include writing copy for ad agencies, developing web content, co-ordinating training and knowledge management functions, and product documentation. He has a passion for copy writing and a flair for training. He is a graduate in Engineering and pursued a program in Mass communication.

The topics included in the session were-
- Product Development Context
- What is a PDS?
- Understanding PDS sections
- User profiling
- Effective Documentation control
- Localization and Internationalization

The objective of the session was to discuss the relevance of a project documentation specification in a product development life cycle. The session was very interactive and technical writers from various organizations gave inputs according to their organizational practices. Overall, the session was helpful.