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

Pretty much depends on who needs to be addressed...

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.