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August 20, 2018

Attending TCUK 2018!

It’s been a while …

I bought my ticket yesterday (Sunday) so that I can attend the TCUK (Technical Communication UK) conference in Daventry from the 25th to the 27th September.

I have only been to one before and that was in the outskirts of Glasgow in 2015. I went there there armed with approx 30 credit-card sized USB memory cards. I had copied onto each one a preview beta of my Word Toolbox. By the second day I had ran out of the memory cards and had to resort to bits of paper with a few Dropbox links printed on them!

I attended quite a few of the courses and picked up a lot of information whilst I was there, including my first steps in WordPress!

This time I’m paying for it (well, OK, ‘Mee Docs Ltd’ is paying!) whereas previously it was my then employer.

I will be travelling down on the Monday afternoon so that I can get up early on the Tuesday as there are lots of talks to attend.

At each time slot, there are usually three separate talks. Each one was looked at and I worked out which ones would be most applicable to myself and future career prospects etc. 

For some of the slots I’m probably going to regret not being able to split myself in two and attend two separate courses at the same time, but c’est la vie.

Courses picked

If there are no cancellations, the following are the ones I’m hoping to attend:

Tuesday:

  • ‘How tech writers can improve UX’ by Hollie Hamilton
  • ‘Git(Hub) for Technical Writers’ by Robert Kratky
  • ‘How to write in plain language’ by Frances Gordon

    Also mingling and catching up with people from the ISTC forum that I haven’t seen in a few years, especially my ISTC editor, Katherine. She has the ‘fun’ job of de-mangling my VBA articles for the Communicator magazine. I reckon I must owe her a fair few glasses of vino by now ūüôā

Wednesday: 

  • ‘Using Text, Images and Video in Technical Communication’ by¬†Ferry Vermeulen
  • ‘Polymathing 365’ by¬†Eran (Yuri) Kolber
  • ‚Äė”Docs as code” without any code’ by¬†Zsuzsa Nagy
  • The TCUK18 keynote talk on ‚ÄúCreating great customer experiences through outstanding technical support and content‚ÄĚ by¬†Ciaran Dunne

    Then it’s the Gala Dinner, prize-giving et al.

Thursday:

  • ‘From Docs to Bots: Find Your Passion & Get a Career Makeover’ by Toni Byrd-Ressaire
  • ‘If variety is the spice of life‚Ķ’ by¬†Alison Peck
  • ‘No final frontier: unleashing our inner Tech Comms polymath’ by¬†John Kearney
  • ‘The Value of the Polymath Communicator’ by¬†Alisa Bonsignore
  • 13-20 – 14:00 … still working out which one of the three to go to as all sound very good
  • 14:20 -15:00 … same problem .. which one to pick …
  • ‘Working with third-party content. What are the challenges?’ by¬†Jennifer O Neill

    Then head home back to Stockport …

The ‘to do before I go list’

Polo shirts:

I’ve got a month to source some printed polo shirts in different colours in order to “pimp out the company name” whilst I’m there.¬†

The logo is near enough complete – barring any last tweaks from my other half (Eleanor) and two former colleagues (Kate and Steve): all three have already given their feedback on the earlier design(s).

The (almost finished image for the back of my polo shirts for TCUK 2018. Some words may yet change …

Considering it was based on a smartphone photo of a sketch that had been scribbled onto a tiny post-it note whilst on a train journey back home, I think it’s looking great.

The conversion from post-it note to its current look was all done by Stuart Josephson. I met Staurt at one of the Digital North shindigs last year.

If you need a creative person to steer your ideas (original ideas scribbled onto post-it notes are optional) then I highly recommend Stuart. His work portfolio can be found here.

Business cards:

The current contract I am on runs until the end of March next year. In December you are asked if you want to renew it for another year on top.

In my head, paying for lots of new business cards when I’ll be available again (in either 6, or maybe, 18 months) is probably a bit too much like looking in a crystal ball.

Then again, I might just get a few done as the current ones are really out of date and look like the generic VistaPrint layouts that they are. Decisions .. decisions ..

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