conference schedule

June 2 | Manggha

8:00 - 8:50 | registrations
9:00 - 9:15 | warm welcome
9:15 - 9:55 | Ray Gallon
Technical Communication, Marketing, and Truth

Summary: The convergence of social media, remote working during and post-pandemic, consciousness about global warming, new technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, and an increasingly heated social, geopolitical, and economic climate (witness the war in Ukraine), impose on us the need to think not only about how we help people use technology better, simplify their lives, and all the rest of our traditional mandates. We need to think about trust, and how we build trust. We are supposed to write truths, not opinions, but when knowledge (about Covid, for example) changes radically from moment to moment, how can we know we have the truth? How can we combat fake news and panicked rumours? What is our responsibility? How do we guarantee traceability of information when machines are making decisions in code that humans can’t read? This talk will take a look at how the complex interactions of forces inside and outside our domain of practice affect our lives and work. It will examine what we did right and what we did wrong in the pandemic, and propose how we can ensure a better world from our modest posts going forward.

Bio: My story is long and complicated, because, as Pawel noted at my last SOAP conference, I’m an “old man.” But to keep it relatively short, I got into tech comm as a journalist who also had an interest in the new field of computers, way back before the flood. I’ve been in the industry for some 30 years, after a good run as a radio producer/journalist, ending as the manager of New York City’s public radio station.

As a tech commer, I’ve worked in major companies and in startups, have been a writer, a manager, a content architect, and an editor. I am passionate about technology and how it can be used humanistically, and I care deeply about ecological and ethical aspects of our profession. I want the world to be better for my three grandchildren, one of whom is so interested in how things work, at 3 years old, that I am sure she may become a technical communicator one day.

 

10:00 - 10:25 | Naomi Papoushado
Well a robot didn’t write this! Writing successfully for AI

Summary: AI. ML. Deep learning. There are the buzzwords, the different technologies, the different ways to “make the magic happen”…and then there are the different reactions to what this “thing” is and how it’s going to change our lives.

My talk will delve into the world of artificial intelligence, look at what AI is, uncover exactly why it is so challenging to write for, and share my experience and some pointers gleaned from hard-learned lessons in writing for different types of AI at Gong.

 

Bio: Hi! My name is Naomi Papoushado, and I have over 20 years in the hi-tech industry in various versions of “maker of product content”. I also enjoy mentoring up-and-coming UX writers with the UX Writing Hub. I’m currently working at Gong, where I’m actively dedicated to making customers smile through words. I live in Israel with my 2 cats and 3 kids, like eating hummus, and I need to avoid any more traffic violations until at least 2025. I’m an introvert, and I love true crime podcasts.

 

10:30 - 10:55 | Tomek Nowicki
Training as Code

Summary: “Your software has been updated!” While for some, those eager to play with new features, it is good news, for others, those who hate the user interface changes, not so much. For technical training content owners, it always means more work. I will try to answer a couple of questions: Is it possible to align and automate technical training content updates with a continuous software deployment cycle? Can we create slides, lab manuals, and lab environments with automated scripts so that changes can be updated rapidly? And finally, what does “as code” buzzword have to do with it.

Bio: IT Specialist and Technical Educator with 15 years of experience in different positions from the Web Application Developer, through Technical Project Manager to Technical Enablement Architect. What does the Technical Enablement Architect do? TEA designs and develops virtual sandboxes that allow technology users to test configurations in a controlled environment. I’m passionate about how information technologies impact our daily life and how IT can be used to streamline boring tasks so we have more time for interesting ones. What do I do after work? I actually go off-grid: camping, hiking or just forest bathing.

10:55 - 11:20 | coffee break
11:20 - 12:00 | Rahel Bailie
Content Operations: Finding and fixing production inefficiencies

Summary: Technical communicators are being asked to do more with their content, and respond to more complex business demands. Content production is expected to run like a well-oiled machine. With the adoption of new channels, there is a risk of fragmenting content into an increasing number of silos, making content maintenance a nightmare. How do we climb out of our old process ruts to make our lives easier and deliver content to meet business needs?

You will learn about the principles of content operations, the benefits of a better operational model, and the key aspects of being able to deliver content to multiple outputs.

The presentation will cover:

  • What makes an operational model, in general and for content.
  • How content strategy becomes content operations.
  • Common operational models in techcomm, and how to improve them.
  • Examples of how companies have operationalised content.
  • Starting points for your own journey into ContentOps.

Prior knowledge: Responsible for managing content production or influencing processes and operating budget.

Bio: Rahel Anne Bailie, a content operations consultant, uses her knowledge of technical and editorial content aspects to address complex content problems. She develops content strategies for efficient content operations, building robust systems for scale, personalisation, and effective content delivery.

 

12:05 - 12:45 | Andrzej Kubik
A place for documentation in a modern Product

TBD

12:45 - 1:55 | lunch break
1:55 - 2:25 | Lance Cummings & Jacek Ławrecki
The Rise of the Creator Economy (and what that means for workplace content)

Summary: Since the advent of Web 2.0, maker culture has been on the rise, allowing people to create and distribute direct to audiences online. As social media platforms grow, so has the creator economy – an economy driven by creators. During the pandemic, the creator economy grew by 41% and continues to grow. This presentation will explore important aspects of this economy and the implications for creators in the workplace.

Bio Lance: Lance Cummings is an associate professor in the Professional Writing program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he researches and teaches writing in technologically and linguistically complex environments. Many of his current publications look at the interrelationship between technology, writing, and cultural history, and can be found in journals like Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization, Computers and Writing, and Res Rhetorica. Dr. Cummings has more recently been exploring how the rise of the creator economy has changed digital writing.

Bio Jacek: Jacek Ławrecki is an international public relations strategist with 20+ years of professional experience. His focus is media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. He believes in ethical approach to communications, which takes its roots in the values of individuals and companies.

Since 2012 he has been working for Fortum, a leading European energy company. He is in charge of communications in Poland, serving also as the company’s spokesperson. He has also coordinated communications activities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. 

Jacek is also active as a freelance communications consultant. 

Between 2002 and 2012 Jacek was in charge of corporate, product and internal communications at pharmaceutical companies: Novartis and AstraZeneca. He also worked with public relations agencies.

His true love, however, is aviation. He holds a private pilot license and whenever he can, he combines his work and passion. 

Jacek Ławrecki is a graduate of Warsaw University, MA in applied linguistics as well as Warsaw School of Economics, MA in communications.

2:30 - 3:10 | Barbara Kardel-Piątkowska
Does home-office kill our productivity?

Summary: I’d like to talk about what we see as the biggest obstacles for our productivity in home-office or what makes our productivity hit the records – it turns out that even our brain works differently in this new setting and our cognitive functions are changed. We will check how many of us discovered a shift in our productivity level at work. As a conclusion, we might come to some solutions for our teams to increase productivity.

BioI’m a graduate in information science and English language. I used to work in a university library, helping students in their information research but then moved to the translation business. While it’s a very interesting industry, I felt I have little influence on what I actually write, so I pursued a technical writer career. I’m now creating documentation for machines in the food industry as well as technology for electric vehicles. As a humanist, I always see the people behind the documentation, that’s why I’m trying to have an insight into how they work and organize their workflow.

 

3:15 - 3:40 | Charlotte Claussen
In a changing world, step back and stay the same!

Summary: A lot has changed for all of us during the last few years. We have had to change our habits, both at home and at work. We have had to learn new ways of working, new tools, and new ways of interacting with colleagues and friends. Last year’s Soap! Conference theme, the future of content, is more relevant than ever. We keep pushing ourselves to adjust to changing environments, evolving technology, and new requirements. How do we keep up? I say we stop chasing trends and tools and focus on the things that don’t change. For example, it used to be best practice to have a good index with your manual or helpfiles. Now we have better search, we can interlink content, and we have much better mechanisms for presenting information where it’s needed, making indexes obsolete. These are huge changes, but it’s really just different ways of improving findability. Let’s discuss how we can filter out the noise and focus on the knowledge and skills that were relevant before the pandemic, that were just as relevant during lockdowns, and that will stay relevant in the future.

Bio: Charlotte Claussen is a content design consultant with experience from startup, agency, and corporate environments. She has always been interested in how people know what to do with stuff, and why they sometimes get it wrong. 

In her work, she is motivated by helping people, and she enjoys the challenge of reducing the cognitive load for users while meeting business needs.

3:40 - 4:05 | coffee break
4:05 - 4:35 | Jarod Sickler
Power, Simplicity, and the Content Conundrum

TBD

4:40 - 5:40 | S.U.P.E.R G.A.M.E

As you already know, we’re introducing more fun to soap! this year. And we call it S.U.P.E.R. G.A.M.E.! We’re currently looking for applicants. What does it mean? It means that we’re looking for soapers who are joining soap! 2022 IN PERSON and want to have a chance to join us on stage.

What is S.U.P.E.R. G.A.M.E.?
It is an incredible, super game based on Family Feud or in Poland – Familiada. The format is very simple and will be explained in detail to all our contestants.

Who can apply?
Anyone who’s joining soap! 2022 IN PERSON. Just go to https://lnkd.in/d36GFpFB and fill in the form!

When and where does it take place?
At Manggha, the beloved soap! venue, on June 2nd, 2022 at 4:50 PM. It’ll last ~60 minutes.

What does applying mean?
When you apply, you become part of a group from which two 5-person teams will be formed. That means that applying doesn’t guarantee that you’ll play in S.U.P.E.R. G.A.M.E.

How much time do I have to consider this incredible opportunity?
We accept applications till May 20th, 2022, 11:59 PM CET.

How do you select contestants?
Based on your response to the last question in the application form

5:40 - 6:00 | Closing ceremony

June 3 | Manggha

8:00 - 8:50 | registrations
9:00 - 9:10 | warm welcome
9:10 - 9:50 | Agnieszka Zygmunt
Will values save our world?

Summary: During the last research and design of a new service for one of the clients, I crashed into the wall – the sudden entry into the new reality was such a big blow to both employees and their clients that basing on the traditional approach of thinking about looking for solutions was insufficient

Putting the project aside and working on our cooperation, we focused on values – both given and needed for all recipients, which turned out to be a bull’s eye for the project itself.

I would like to share this simple discovery more broadly, with an incredibly effective end result, where thanks to the matching of promises and values (both possessed and expected), it is possible to more effectively and accurately define potential solutions in –  let’s be honest – new types of services that changed because of the pandemic must of take into account not only the solution of the problem, but a whole range of “soft” solutions.

Bio: For years, Agnieszka performs analyses, conducts research and experiments, designs services. Collecting experience in working for users from different continents and a wide range of industries, she takes a holistic view of the design process accounting for all factors that may affect the final user experience. In her work, she combines her analytical skills with a high level of empathy, love of science and business knowledge. An academic knowledge freak who believes in the possibility (and necessity!) of combining commercial realities with academic methodology and ethics. Fascinated by the integration of various fields in design activities, mutual learning and creating new research methods and approaches. On a daily basis, Lead Senior UX Researcher at 10Clouds, where she specializes in UX Research & Service Design (especially in the Product Discovery phase) and lead team of UX Specialists.

9:55 - 10:25 | Paweł Kowaluk & Michał Skowron
Is tech writing in Central and Eastern Europe growing? This talk contains only facts

Summary: The world is now more open to remote work and that gives us, technical writing professionals, more opportunities than ever before. If I want to work remotely, which countries should I look into? And what if I want to relocate? Or what if I want to look for writers for my team? 

ITCQF compiled statistics about technical writers employed in countries across Europe. Come to this talk to learn about which countries have the most writers, which ones have the most job offers, what the salaries are and how the markets have grown or shrunk. You can also learn where the growing trends have been the most rapid.

Simply put, you will learn:

As a technical writer, where you can find  the most offers and how much you should expect to earn 

As a hiring manager, how hard and how expensive it is to build a team in a specific country

 

Michał:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michalskowron/

Bio: Michał is a committed proponent of content delivery automation who prefers smart documentation building to traditional typing. He worked as a tech writer from 2012 to 2020. Currently, he takes care of documentation tools at Guidewire Software and serves as a  board member at ITCQF. He is also a co-founder and co-host of the “Tech Writer koduje” podcast.

 

Paweł:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pawel-kowaluk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PawelKowaluk 

Bio: Paweł has been in the tech writing industry since 2008. He has worked as a tech writer, manager, project manager, consultant, salesman, instructor, and doc tools developer. Currently, he does technical writing for Guidewire Software and serves as a board member at ITCQF. He is also a co-founder and co-host of the “Tech Writer koduje” podcast.

10:25 - 10:55 | coffee break
10:55 - 11:35 | Shumin Chen
Sustainable Content Powered by Simplified Technical English (STE)

Summary: As a technical communicator, how often do you struggle to translate complex ideas into brilliant content? Have your subject matter experts wasted too much time in writing ineffective documentation that includes the likes of user guides, release notes, policies and procedures, requirements, API documentation, reference manuals, and white papers?

How can you transform technical subjects to straightforward ideas accompanied by a few long overdue ‘aha’ moments?
Sustainable content makes for a strong and positive impact, especially when implemented over a period of time. Substantial cost-savings in human and machine translations are easily achieved by simplifying your technical English content. This is because when sentences are simpler and less ambiguous, they become easier to read and less expensive to translate.

What qualifies as sustainable content and how does Simplified Technical English (STE) drive this change towards efficient content management, re-use, and ultimately sustainability?

Speaking from Singapore, I will ‘be’ in Kraków to answer these questions and open the floor for more pertinent questions related to the future of content writing in a shrinking world.

 

Bio: Since 2006, Ms Shumin Chen has been working as a consultant with customers in various industries worldwide: aerospace & defence, banking, consumer products, healthcare, IT, medical, and fitness equipment. She has helped many companies with their documentation needs, based on standards where possible, and is widely regarded as a leading expert in ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English training, aviation documentation and multilingual documentation. 

Ms Chen now heads the ASD-STE100 training arm of Shufrans TechDocs. In her current role, Ms Chen continues to focus on the practical implementation of international standards to facilitate the efficient creation and management of multilingual documentation. She received her professional on-the-job training in the field of STE.

Ms Chen is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, German, and Polish. She has a background in Life Sciences and received her BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the National University of Singapore.

11:40 - 12:05 | CJ Walker
Content's part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Summary: Information 4.0 is content’s part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The one where robots take over automation and production of content. Will robots be able to take our jobs? Where will we find work in this post-human-automation world?

I think the future is bright in our field. If you prepare for what’s coming. And keep preparing. I’ll tell you why and give you three take-aways to help safeguard your career as a human working in information.

12:10 - 12:40 | Kasia Lelonek
Virtual Insanity - How the Pandemic Put Us All in the Same Boat...and Where Are We Sailing?

Summary: Whoever has gone through the pandemic, they have not come out of it unscathed by the notion of “going remote”. Be it a clerk, a corporate worker, or a teacher – at some point we all landed in the same place, insecure and unsure how to pursue our careers and duties. The learning industry was faced with a serious challenge – how to cater for the needs of geographically dispersed students? How to create virtual classrooms where such a notion has never existed before? How to create a rapport with remote audience without seeming too forceful? How to keep the audience engaged without becoming a nuisance? During this talk I’ll answer these questions and try to foresee what the future of the learning industry looks like in these difficult times.

Bio: I’ve been in the learning industry for over 9 years now, first as a Training Content Developer, then an Instructional Designer, and now a Manager. My career allowed me to get to know amazing, inspiring, and creative people and also changed my personal life. What about me as a person? I’m a ridiculous foodie! I can be bribed at all times with Ritter Sport Alpine Milk chocolate or good filter coffee. I unwind reading books, tending to my fifty plants, or binge-watching drama series.

12:40 - 2:00 | lunch break
2:00 - 2:25| Darren Fennessy & Lluís Cavallé
Achieving a high score while onboarding new writers in the post-covid era

Summary: 2020 and 2021 saw a vast change to the landscape of how we all interact in the professional world. The global Covid-19 pandemic not only changed how we work together, but also hiring and onboarding new team members. However, with great challenges comes human ingenuity and innovation: our approach to onboarding had to change to a fully remote workforce. In this talk, we want to share our experience of how our team helps new collaborators to successfully integrate with us. We invite you to a pinball game, where you can discover the excitement of onboarding colleagues in a remote environment. Come with us, insert a coin and let the machine start the game with hidden missions, rewarding (symbolic) prizes, shiny lights, sounds, and (hopefully) useful tips that you can apply in your teams!

Bio Darren: I started out as a web developer and spent 8 years doing this. While doing web development work I grew to love documentation, which I was creating along with all the web projects I worked on. I made the jump to being a full-time technical writer 7 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I am currently a technical writer working for Red Hat in Waterford City, in the beautiful sunny South-East of Ireland. I write for the Red Hat 3scale API Management documentation to deliver the very best for all our customers.

Bio Lluís:  I have spent more than 15 years working as a translator and interpreter. Technical documentation and localization were my main fields of expertise. This led me to start producing actual technical documentation for software projects. At some point, I realized I was doing more writing and editing than translating. So here I am, as a brand new hire in Red Hat which I joined to help document Integration products like Red Hat 3scale API Management. The best part of it is that I can do it remotely in Barcelona, where I live with my wife and 2 kids.

 

 

2:30 - 3:10 | Anu Granroth
Modularising content in a crazy schedule without proper planning

Summary: A couple of years ago, a customer asked us to create HTML user guides for them and we said yes. Little did we know what was to come. The schedule was crazy – they gave us two months. The customer had selected the tool to be used, and gave us one-hour training to it. We also received one ready-made linear user guide to be modularised and reused between three products in three different user guides, and a list of 50 languages in which they wanted to publish the user guides. The project was doomed to fail. I want to tell you what all went wrong and what we learnt. The story has a happy end, though, and I can also tell you where we are now with the project.

Bio: Anu Granroth is a Senior Project Manager at Etteplan Finland Oy. She has been working in technical communications for 20 years. Up until August 2021, Anu was a CEO and co-founder at Adina Solutions, a company operating almost in all fields of technical communications. Etteplan purchased the company, and now at Etteplan, Anu manages both operational customer documentation projects as well as development and improvement projects for Etteplan customers. Recently, she has been working in the area of localization strategy development as well as in terminology management. In addition, she has given several technical writing training sessions during past years.

 

3:15 - 3:40 | Anna Yatskiv
How to make sense of any API documentation mess

Summary: Why to improve or change something if it is still working? Does a change always lead to positive results? I’ll share our team’s experience of totally breaking the old processes and approaches to UI and API documentation development as well as maintenance processes. You’ll see how we got the new  API reference documentation look, and as a result a better user experience. Can it be as straightforward as it sounds?

Bio: Anna was an English teacher and translator. Her technical communicator’s path started the day when one of her students approached her and asked to help with a User Guide review. Since then, Anna has been in tech writing for almost 9 years in three different domains: Healthcare, IoT, and Finance. She does love making difficult things less complicated and is into martial arts and hiking.

Connect: LinkedIn

3:40 - 4:05 | coffee break
4:05 - 4:45 | Gosia Pytel
Why eLearning ISN'T the future of education

Summary: During the (ongoing) pandemic, people not interested in online education/eLearning needed to upskill themselves to understand the shift that was happening. Classes moved online, or were given in a hybrid way. For a lot of people, it was a change for the good. But is online education really the future of education, as various sources started to report? Even though I love eLearning, I’m not a fan of this statement. Let me show you why, and how we can turn this saying around for our favor!

Bio: Hi, I’m Gosia, a teacher by education and an innovative optimist by choice. I’m a certified eLearning Instructional Designer, focused on designing and optimizing online learning solutions (mostly for IT, as I have a strong IT Knowledge Management background). In my work, I heavily draw from the tools and techniques offered by Design Thinking and UX design. As a certified Design Thinking Leader, I facilitate methodology workshops, teach problem-solving and creativity, and coach business and educational organizations in innovation. In my free time, I travel the world, read books and watch TV, share random facts about Poland (where I’m originally from), and have fun learning new things.

4:50 - 5:15 | Rafał Pawlicki
The future starts today and I can prove it

Summary:Can we predict the future? We don’t have to – I’ve just come back from there and I can prove it.

You  may find it to be interesting, because I’ve seen you there (or then). I’ve seen technical writers, and their new roles. I’ve seen developers and… they were all able to write docs that are readable by humans.

Technology has changed tremendously. Everything is becoming more automated and more connected. All content-based mechanisms working together to make our lives simpler.  

I was able to travel back and give this talk, only because you will have listened to me in June 2022, and after my talk, you prepared yourself and defined the future that I want to talk about now.

So please, listen to what I have to say now, so we don’t disturb the timeline.

Bio: For over 10 years, Rafał has worked as an engineer, gathering secret knowledge about software development, collecting technical skills, to finally become… a documentation manager.

In Ringier Axel Springer TECH, he takes care of a documentation process, builds a knowledge base and provides tools for developers who write the docs.

5:15 - 5:30| Closing ceremony
5:30 - on| After party @ T.E.A. Time,
Dietla 1 Street