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I live in rural Vermont and telecommute to a software company in NYC. Even
though I am miles and hours away from either the New England or NY Metro
STC chapters, I am still involved in both.
I like to say that what you get out of an organization like STC is directly
proportional to what you put in. This is my 45th year as a tech writer and
I still get a lot out of my STC participation (it's not just for nOObs): I
manage the NE chapter's mentorship program and for the NY Metro chapter I'm
a Lead Judge in this year's competitions and for a few years previously I
helped set up chapter programs and speakers.
It's easy to say you're not getting value for your money if all you're
doing is paying the dues and not doing anything. I feel I get more than my
money's worth: I get to see how other companies are doing their
documentation by reviewing competition entries. Over my years of judging,
Ive seen several ideas that I have adapted to my work and seen how they
made it better. As a mentor, I have worked with numerous new (and some
not-so new) writers to find out where they should head their careers and
how they can make a difference, and I feel wonderful when I see them still
in the business years later. It's almost as good as teaching tech comm
So ... if some of you feel that STC is a waste of money ... maybe for you
it is. For me it's an altruistic opportunity ... by doing something for
someone else, I'm surprised at how good it makes me feel.
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