February Social: Hopmonk Tavern in Novato

It’s definitely time for another get-together!

Let’s meet for a techcomm social at Hopmonk Tavern in Novato on Thursday, February 9 from 6-8pm. We can chat about techcomm and other important topics. All are welcome!

Please RSVP to <info2@northbaycommunicators.org>.

February Social: Hopmonk Tavern in Novato

Please join us for a techcomm social at Hopmonk Tavern in Novato on Tuesday, February 9 from 6-8pm. If you’ve got questions about the techcomm profession or related tools or technology, we encourage you to join us!

August Meeting: API/Software Authoring Environments

Join us Tuesday, August 11, 2015 in Petaluma at 6pm for a round table discussion on API/software authoring environments. Topics may include discussions around the effective use of lightweight environments such as Google Docs and Wikis, or how (or if) certain authoring environments are more suited to specific types of APIs.

Anne Gentle (www.justwriteclick.com / @annegentle) and Tom Johnson (www.idratherbewriting.com / @tomjohnson) have agreed to join in remotely to offer their perspectives and experience, but this is a round table, so we look forward to input from all!


Audio stream (1.5 hours) or download 60MB ZIP.

Chat log from the discussion. Scroll down for many links and references!


May Meeting: Consulting Pro/Con Round Table

Join us on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Petaluma at 6pm, for a round table discussion on the pros/cons of consulting. We’ll discuss various options for running a techcomm consulting business, as well as whether it’s a good idea at all. We can draw from the first-hand experience of a number of our members, and hopefully address those questions that you’ve been concerned about.

Should be a fun and informative meeting! Please join us and bring your questions and experiences to share.

March Social: Hopmonk Tavern in Novato

Please join us for a techcomm social at Hopmonk Tavern in Novato on Tuesday, March 10 from 6-8pm. If you’ve got questions about the techcomm profession or related tools or technology, we encourage you to join us!

February Meeting: Making Yourself Marketable in 2015

Join us on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, in Petaluma, for a presentation by Andrew Davis.

Making Yourself Marketable in 2015

I envision this presentation as a mashup of the detailed job search advice I’ve offered over the years — preparation, resumes, portfolios, applying, interviewing, and negotiating — with lots of room for candidates’ Q&A and, if I’m asked, even some advice for hiring managers and other recruiters.

As anyone who has spoken with me realizes, I serve the more technical and software-centric end of the local tech comms job market. I am proud that I’ve helped motivated souls enter that sphere and get good at serving it, creating stable and lucrative careers. My comments will, however, also benefit those who’d prefer to avoid authoring API references and writing code samples in Python. I can’t promise stability and bidding wars, but I do promise attendees the keys to a much more confident and efficient job-seeking experience.

You may leave actually looking forward to your next job search.

I’ll keep the focus squarely on marketability, so will redirect questions about LinkedIn and ageism, my two most recent speaking topics, to those presentations’ slide decks and speaker’s notes viewable from my LinkedIn profile.

Slides from Andrew’s presentation:

Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis has recruited technical content developers in the SF Bay Area since 1995. He is a former software industry Technical Writer and has a reputation for both understanding and championing the role of content development.

Andrew enjoys helping those who communicate complex information get ahead by recognizing and refining their value to technology companies. He’s candid and connected and, just as importantly, he likes to help tech industry workers achieve their goals and achieve independence from intermediaries.

Andrew ran Synergistech Communications during the Internet Gold Rush years and has recently returned to solo recruiting mode. He remains focused on recruiting great technical content development talent for discerning local technology companies. Join him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/synergistech) to learn more.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @synergistech.

December Social: Pub Republic in Petaluma

Join us on Tuesday, December 9 at 6pm for a holiday social! We’ll be gathering at Pub Republic in Petaluma!

>> Map to Pub Republic.

October Meeting: Growing Your Tech Pubs Group

Join us on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 for an informative, interesting, and insightful presentation by Rebecca Firestone.

Growing Your Tech Pubs Group

How do you know when your documentation team needs to grow, and how do you make it happen? As a lone writer who’s not accustomed to dealing with upper management, this can be a huge challenge. Rebecca Firestone, Senior Technical Writer at Zep Solar, Inc., faced this problem earlier this year. She had to convince her own management that there was more work than one person could do, and that they needed to create a second job position. Not being a manager, she had no idea how to frame her arguments as a value proposition. She asked a few other professional Tech Pubs managers and HR recruiters about staffing and various ways to allocate resources. A lot of it is knowing which questions to ask, in order to choose an approach that will best fit the company’s unique situation. In the end, however, the first hurdle was convincing people to create a new position. Rebecca will share candidly what ultimately worked and how she successfully persuaded her company to create, and fill, a second position.

Rebecca Firestone

Rebecca is an award-winning technical writer, content developer, course developer, and trainer with 20 years’ experience. Since 2012 she has worked as a Senior Technical Writer at Zep Solar in San Rafael, CA, where she is responsible for product documentation for Zep Solar’s patented photovoltaic rooftop mounting systems. In the past, she worked with various Bay Area architectural design firms, creating over 90 full-length articles for two blogs: The Architect’s Take (thearchitectstake.com), and Green Compliance Plus (greencomplianceplus.com). Prior to moving to architecture in 2006, she spent 15 years producing documentation and training materials for complex enterprise software applications. As a trainer, she developed and delivered industry-specific hands-on courses for the Arbor/BP telecom billing platform. Rebecca has a keen interest in the effective use of graphics for effective communication, and has created product brochures, presentations, and video storyboards to showcase products and projects. She has also worked with supply-chain analysts to create business articles and white papers on a variety of OR/MS topics such as the use of expert systems for supply-chain optimization.

August Roundtable/Social: Hopmonk Tavern in Novato

Please join us for an informal roundtable discussion at Hopmonk Tavern in Novato on Tuesday, August 12 from 6-8pm. The proposed topic of discussion is “best practices and pitfalls of being an independent contractor”. If you’ve got questions or answers, we encourage you to join us!

July Meeting/Social: Pub Republic in Petaluma

Join us Tuesday, July 8 at 6pm at Pub Republic in Petaluma!

>> Map to Pub Republic.