Some of our STC Chicago members recently paid a visit to York High School students via Zoom for our fourth annual Tech Comm Panel. We thought you’d like to hear about it from the students, so we held a contest for the best summary article. The article below, by student Ben Boxall, is the winning article. He is a high school senior, taking an honors class in technical writing with dual credit at College of DuPage. In addition to his article being published here, it was also published in the April edition of our newsletter Byline, and he received a Certificate of Achievement from the chapter. Congratulations, Ben!
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) recently held a Zoom question and answer session with York High School’s technical writing students. These seniors have been studying the process of technical writing and communication throughout the school year.
Technical writing involves drafting and creating varying means of writing, such as instructional materials, guides, reports, and many other information-based pieces. This style of writing is extremely popular among STEM, technical, and occupational fields. The simplification of information is important to provide understanding between the many professions within companies.
After having studied this process for a few months, students were given the opportunity to speak to those who practice technical writing in their actual career to obtain a greater understanding of its importance.
The first technical communicator introduced was Adam Evans, a senior technical documentation manager at Strata Decision Technology. The company creates software for the medical industry, where Evans creates the documentation for the software. Evans has a degree in technical writing and explains his passion for his field, given the opportunity to work with a variety of different people.
Next was MaryKay Grueneberg, a senior user assistance developer who works for SAP, a global corporation which works in a variety of industries. At SAP, Gruenberg does technical writing for many different products, having a company working with diversified industries. Grueneberg also told the class how she enjoys working with many international teams, despite having to deal with different time zones.
Third was Linda Kelley, who happened to be a graduate of York High School. Kelley is a senior information developer at Synergex, a company which sells a programming language. Kelley explains how she works within the marketing and development departments, often using her technical writing skills to aid in problem solving and to simplify information to make the product easier for clients to use.
Last to be introduced was Lynne Williamson, who also worked at a subsidiary of SAP, SAP Fieldglass as a technical writing manager. This company works on a software product to help external workforces and temporary workers, where Williamson writes about the software product used. She also talked about her previous experience working with other companies as a technical writer.
These four technical writers gave the students a great insight into the importance of technical writing in the real world, speaking on the ups and downs of the jobs, the variety of companies they have worked for, and the day to day life on the job. Students were given the chance to speak to each writer in breakout rooms to get more personalized Q&A.
The Society for Technical Communication can be found at www.stc.org where more information is provided on the field of study, along with courses, certifications, and much more.