Today, the first full day of the annual STC Summit, marks the 64th year that STC (the Society for Technical Communication) has been in business.
Hmm…What if I Photoshop all of the STC staff and directors’ faces into this image?
Which brings to mind a Beatles lyric:
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?
The “Will you still need me?” question is especially relevant as STC — a 20th century organization — copes with flat membership numbers and attempts to navigate the changing professional landscape of the 21st.
As I’ve said before, I think the technical communication profession — and the people in it — still do need STC. But the reasons are changing, and have been changing for some time. As a result it’s not a sure bet that STC will remain relevant over the next few years. Continue reading
Now that STC has relaunched its CPTC program, it’s worth asking: is certification for technical communicators an idea whose time has come?
Full disclosure: I studied the certification question in depth as a member of the STC board of directors in the mid 1990s. Soon after I left the board, the leadership decided not to go ahead with a program. (My own position was neutral.) When STC launched the original CPTC program about 5 years ago, I wasn’t involved in the decision or in the deliberations that led up to it.
Will anyone want certification?
At the recent STC Summit conference, someone asked me whether I plan to pursue a CPTC certification. I said no, because I don’t think it would benefit someone with my experience and reputation. However, If I were a young professional trying to make a name for myself, I might very well feel differently. Continue reading