22 April 2015, 5th formal, FCSH

Looking back at what Technical Writers @ Lisbon has achieved in the last two years, we surprised ourselves with the interest and quality of the presentations at our formal events. However, only a handful of people attended each presentation, and few people attended all of them.

Professor Rute Costa accepted our challenge to reach new audiences, mostly by reusing old but good presentations, suitably updated. She invited us to talk to a mix of students at FCSH (the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the New University of Lisbon).

The multipurpose room 1 at the Research and Development building was practically filled to capacity, with over 40 people. The audience consisted of students of either Translation or Terminology Management, at different levels ranging from undergraduate to PhD candidate. Sadly, we failed to secure some photos.

As usual, the presenters were prepared to speak either in Portuguese or in English, depending on the needs of the audience. The decision to speak in Portuguese was made minutes before Rui started to talk.

The 5th ReportThe event started with Rute Costa welcoming everyone. Then, Joaquim Baptista briefly introduced the community Technical Writers @ Lisbon and explained how the attendees could intervene both by asking questions and by leaving comments in the public notes, which would be published in this report.

Rui Diogo Serra was the first speaker. As a product manager, he explained the complex processes used by Anubis Networks to develop and support its products, where different kinds of documentation play important roles.

Joaquim Baptista explained all the different tasks that a technical writer can do, actually a summary of the tasks he did during his work at Altitude Software. This vision forms the basis for his new consulting business.

Daniel Bofill explained the complexity of SISCOG products, especially their customization. He added details of the proposed project to systematize all documentation. The project was given the go ahead earlier in the same day.

We had several interesting questions after each presentation, although not the level of interaction previously seen in other formal events. Being the first presenter, Rui took most of the questions, enabling Joaquim and Daniel to tailor their presentations somewhat.

21 persons returned their public reports. The honesty of the comments is expected, and greatly appreciated. In fact, the main benefit for presenters is learning from the interaction. Again, the first presenter took most of the heat, while the last presenter got the most praise.

As promised, I created a 26-page report with the slides and the public comments from the audience. I also took the opportunity to answer some of the questions raised by the audience.

I would like to thank Rute Costa and all the attendees for their attention and their questions. We certainly felt welcome.

The invitation

Greetings to all technical writers, and to everyone interested in technical communication!

We will expand the goodness of this group to a new audience at FCSH, with a new format: a formal meeting that mostly reuses previous presentations.

Formal Meeting:

  • Wednesday, 22 April, between 18h00 and 21h00 (be sharp).
  • FCSH (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas), building ID, floor 0, room “multiusos 1”.
  • Avenida de Berna, 26 — 1069-061 Lisboa.
Rui Diogo Serra, Anubis Networks
Rui presented his work at Anubis Networks on October-2013. Since then, Anubis Networks was bought by BitSight, an American company. Rui will update his presentation with fresh insights on working with his new American colleagues.
Daniel Bofill, SISCOG
Daniel presented his work at SISCOG on October-2013, and updated the presentation on May-2014. Daniel has been working on a business case to manage all SISCOG content centrally, and he will update his presentation accordingly.
Joaquim Baptista, consultant
Joaquim presented his work at Altitude Software on June-2013, and updated the presentation on May-2014. Joaquim has recently started an independent consulting business, and he will explain the skills that an experienced technical writer brings to the market.

The participation is free, but subject to room capacity.

Thanks to our sponsors for all the support: CLUNL (room), APCOMTEC (marketing), EuroSIGDOC. And special thanks to Prof. Rute Costa for welcoming this event.

— Joaquim Baptista, EuroSIGDOC vice-chair, px@acm.org

PS: Feel free to extend this invitation to friends and other interested parties. More interesting participants will improve the learning experience for everyone.

PPS: Note FameLab 2015, a friendly competition to communicate science topics to a global audience.

PPPS: Note that you enter the building directly from the street; you do not enter through the main gate of the campus. Security will be expecting us. If you are old enough, you may recall this entrance as being the “DRM” (Distrito de Recrutamento Militar de Lisboa). However, the building was renewed completely.