Unconference – TC Camp 2019

Join our Unconference and use the day to talk about everything techcomm!

Two days of learning–technology, concepts, and skills with the best technical communicators in Silicon Valley. TC Camp is an Unconference, where techcomm leaders gather to learn and grow.

This is an event for the elite, for the people who want to be known as the movers and shakers. The people in techcomm who want to be the ones who can handle anything–by themselves, through their networks, and through their capabilities.

And they’re all here to work together to make everyone better!

What’s New This Year?

If you’ve never been to camp before, know that this is YOUR TC Camp. TC Camp is what you make of it.

The main event is the FREE Unconference. There is absolutely no cost to attend the main event. See the schedule…

However, if you want a little help getting your brain going early on a Saturday morning, you can add an optional morning workshop — Dawn Stevens (Taxonomy), Jessica Parker (Website Generators), or Mark Thompson (Collaboration) — for only $40. If none of those strike your fancy, you can always attend Matt Sullivan’s Adobe workshop for FREE. Learn more…

If you’re looking to expand your skills in the hottest growing techcomm sub-speciality, you can also add optional the Pre-Camp API Day for only $140 for a full day of training. We have new instructors with a brand new class! Learn more…

Keynote: The Future of Illusions

At most companies, marketing and technical communications rarely unite even though both professions create content. Also, rumors abound that new technologies, such as chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) might reduce the necessity of both roles or increase internal struggles for their funding. Learn how content created by Salesforce is displacing the future of these illusions. 

In this keynote, attendees will learn:

  • How to solve competitive content requirements across teams
  • How to reuse content to build memorable customer experiences
  • Why different teams across a huge company are creating content together
  • Why techcomm professionals should market their knowledge and curtail their quirks

Keynote speaker: Gavin Austin

Gavin Austin, Salesforce

Gavin Austin is a Principal Technical Writer at Salesforce, where he’s been writing a variety of content for over 14 years. He helped Salesforce radically change its content strategy in 2015, and he has delivered a number of highly-rated talks at Dreamforce, Intelligent Content Conference, Information Development World, Write the Docs San Francisco, University of Washington, Blue Shield of California, CA Technologies, Agile2013, WritersUA, LavaCon, and more. In his spare time, he runs (and somehow finishes) 100-mile ultramarathons. He also loves burritos.

The Amphitheater! (AKA Lightning Talks)

Remember when camp was camp, and we had no fear performing in silly skits? TC Camp does. The Amphitheater is an informal opportunity to get up in front of your peers and try something new, share your expertise, and gain confidence as a speaker. Learn more…

Dedicated API Track!

Because so many people propose and vote on API topics, we’re going to dedicate one table to those topics. We’ve got someone who will curate and choose those topics, as well. This year, you can get down deep into API doc specifics because you’ll have four sessions dedicated to the topic!

Dot-voting and electronic voting!

Unconference sessions are determined by the attendees on the day of the event. Usually we do this with dot voting during the lunch break. You can vote electronically too — only registered attendees can vote, so don’t worry! You can vote now or vote later…

TC Camp 2019 Sponsors

Without our sponsors TC Camp is not possible! Please help us thank them by visiting their websites. They keep this event free.

Camp Ambassador

Adobe’s Technical Communication group delivers best-in-class tools, systems and services aimed at facilitating the end-to-end process of creating ground-breaking content, managing content effectively and efficiently using cutting edge systems, publishing content seamlessly across media and devices, and achieving greater business success.

Adobe’s tools and solutions help deliver contextual, consumable and actionable content while offering highest return on investment.

With the convergence of marketing and technical content across enterprises – Adobe’s new-age solutions will empower your organization to create valuable experiences that build your brands, drive demand, and extend the reach and ROI of customer-facing content, pre-sale AND post-sale.

Camp Scout Leader

Docforce is the platform that enables Writing as a Service. It is an advanced collaborative content creation and consulting platform designed to bring on-demand professional technical writing services to companies of any size on a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription Basis.

JustSystems is a leading global software provider with three decades of successful innovation in office productivity, information management, and consumer and enterprise software. Since 1999 content developers have turned to XMetaL Author Enterprise for the best combination of easy-to-use authoring and tool customizability.

Comtech has been helping clients produce better technical content since 1978. Comtech strives to answer your information development questions. Whether you’re looking for consulting services or you need to train your team, Comtech can help.

Camp Ranger

Camp Conservationists

Camp Counselors

TC Camp Volunteers

When called to serve, these people jumped to our aide! Without them, there’d be no TC Camp.

Everyone who participates in the organization and planning of this event is an unpaid volunteer. If you value this event and want it to continue to happen, please consider being a volunteer next year.

2019 Organizing Committee
Li-At Rathbun
June Harton
Elaina Cherry
Wendie Ruano
Claire Lundeby
Scott Prentice
Liz Fraley

Unconference Agenda – TC Camp 2019

Friday, 26 April 2019

Be sure to bring: business cards, portable device, and your laptop!

Time   Pre-Conference Activities
9:00API Training Class
Location: MLK Library, Room #255
(Venue Information, Parking and Campus Maps)
6:30Networking Dinner
Location: Flames Eatery
Across from the library below the 4th Street Garage

Once inside the Library: Go up the escalator. Make a slight right and proceed forward to the glassed-in area. That is where you will find the registration table and room #255.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Be sure to bring: business cards, portable device, and your camp spirit!

Once inside the Union: Go to the 2nd Floor and follow the signs to the Ballrooms. The registration desk will be outside the door. If you signed up for a workshop, we’ll direct you to the right room after you check in.

Time   Unconference Activities
8:00Morning Registration and continental breakfast
Location: SJSU Student Union, Ballrooms A,B,C
(Venue Information, Parking and Campus Maps)
8:30Morning Workshops
Adobe Ambassador Workshop
Ballroom A
Collaboration Workshop
Room 3A
Taxonomy Workshop
Ballroom C
Website Generators Workshop
Room 2A
10:30 Unconference Registration and break
Location: SJSU Student Union, Ballrooms A,B,C (Venue Information)

Unconference General Session and Keynote with Gavin Austin of Salesforce.
Ballrooms A,B,C
There will be 4 time slots.
Each time slot has 6 tracks
Session Matrix TBD
Amphitheater Track #1
API Track Track #2
Unconference Track #3
Unconference Track #4
Unconference Track #5
Unconference Track #6

Ballrooms A,B,C
Camp Minimalist
TechComm Bowl

Thank you, closing, and wrap up
Ballrooms A,B,C

Note: If you decide you want to attend a different workshop than the one you signed up for on the day of the event, we will allow you to switch to the new class, as long as there are seats available.

Amphitheater – TC Camp 2019

Remember when camp was camp, and we had no fear performing in silly skits? TC Camp does. 

This year, we’re testing a new Unconference track that will provide short speaking opportunities. We’re calling it: The Amphitheater

The Amphitheater (cAmphitheater?) is an informal opportunity to get up in front of your peers and try something new, share your expertise, and gain confidence as a speaker.

We’re hoping to get a mix of veteran and first-time speakers, and think it’s a great way to let us hear more from each other.

The Amphitheater track has 5 and 20 minute speaking slots and will run alongside the regular Unconference sessions.

Speaker selection will be first-come, first-serve or chosen by lottery from all the entries. Start brainstorming what you could bring to camp!

Don’t miss out!

Pro tip: you aren’t strictly limited to traditional techcomm topics!

Taxonomy Workshop – TC Camp 2019

Sort it out! What Legos and Information Taxonomies Have in Common

Looking for a single piece of content on a web site is often compared to digging in a giant bucket of legos for a single unique piece – an often frustrating and futile endeavor.

If those legos are sorted by certain distinguishing attributes, such as color and size, the odds of finding a particular piece increase dramatically. As a result, companies often take a “lego-block” approach to their information taxonomies.

However, the sorting of lego blocks is child’s play, compared to the intricacies of sorting technical content – the distinctions are not always as visible as color or size and attributes that are that obvious may not be very useful in a search. Nevertheless, there are lessons we can learn from the “lego-block” approach.

In this workshop, Dawn Stevens draws parallels between sorting legos and sorting technical content and provides suggestions for going deeper when the Lego model falls short.

When: 27 April 2019, 8:30 am – 10:30 am

Workshop Leader: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services

Dawn Stevens is the president of Comtech Services, specializing in information development, instructional design, and management consulting. With 28 years of experience, including 17 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.