TechComm 201

Leah Guren, Owner/Operator, Cow TC

Overview

Click here to read this course's FAQs.

This is a more advanced course that moves beyond the basic theory in TechComm 101. The focus is on soft skills, such as estimating and managing technical communication projects and working with SMEs; and technical skills, such as advanced editing, professional tool concepts, and Help Authoring concepts.

Prior successful completion of TechComm 101 is a prerequisite for this course. If you have not successfully completed TechComm 101, you can still register but you must have existing knowledge of everything covered in that class.

Learning Objectives
  • Develop a method for estimating and planning TC projects
  • Learn and implement proper tool usage concepts (tool agnostic)
  • Create consensus and improve editing through style guides and advanced editing techniques
  • Learn how to write (and prepare) for localization
  • Understand Help Authoring from a user perspective (tool agnostic)
Sessions and Work Requirements
  • Six weekly 90-minute online lectures
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • Final exam
  • Final work project
Intended Audience
  • Graduates of TechComm 101
  • Experienced TCs who want to move into group or project management
  • Experienced TCs who want to brush up on skills

Remember: Currently, our courses are not "go at your own pace." You should plan to attend and participate in the majority of the live sessions at the designated times.

Session Descriptions

Session 1—Project Planning and Management

The need for managing our own projects; creating work plans and timelines; working with SMEs; dealing with project details.

Session 2—Tool Usage

Casual users vs. professional users; styles and templates; avoiding local formatting; correct style dependencies; basic automation; graphic insertion.

Session 3—Style Guides

Types of style guides; building from scratch; gaining consensus; connecting to P&P content.

Session 4—Global Issues

How L10N, I18N, EFL, and EU directives relate to your work; reducing localization costs; guidelines for writing; guidelines for graphics; working with localizers.

Session 5—Online Help

Intro to Help concepts; best practices (HAT agnostic); planning Help projects; balancing feature-based and task-based content.

Session 6—Advanced Editing

Outlining; review cycles; mechanics (change tracking, etc.); big picture; fine-tuning; working with the style guide.

Presenter Biography

Leah Guren entered the field of technical communication in 1980. Her experience as a writer, editor, tech pubs manager, and consultant allowed her to develop a variety of technical communication training programs. Leah trains new writers for this field, as well as conducting seminars and in-house training for TCs of all levels, engineers, and managers. Her clients include many of the top high-tech companies in Israel.

Leah is best known for her ability to bring dry theory to life, illustrating rules with real life examples and providing clear, practical guidelines which can be applied by writers of all levels and experience. An Associate Fellow with STC, Leah is a regular speaker at STC and other international technical communication conferences, and has served on STC's Board of Directors. For more information, see Cow TC (www.cowtc.com) or contact Leah.

What They're Saying

"The course is extremely useful and relevant to the Technical Communication expertise. I recommend this course to all TCs who plan to develop in this direction."

"I wanted to again thank you for two very good and informative classes through STC [TechComm 101 and 201]. I now feel better armed to enter the TC industry!"

"STC’s online Technical Communication 201 course equipped me with knowledge I would otherwise gain only with serious research effort and years of experience. Instructor Leah Guren provides a broad perspective, concise information, and a wealth of professional experience. And, just like the TC 101 course, this course teaches current industry practices for a reasonable price. Thanks, Leah and STC!"

"Useful course. Leah is very good at putting things into a structured context that makes them easier to see clearly and associate with the actual tasks involved with the job. Very straightforward and functional approach, and very useful to me."

"'In TechComm 201, Leah prepares her students with the practical skills needed to excel in any career, but with a technical communication focus. I was able to immediately apply all of the lessons to my current job, and noticed an instant improvement in my time management and organization. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their turnaround time for deliverables and have a better understanding of how to effectively manage their projects."