Friday, 4 October 2013

Reflections on TCUK 2013



So it is a week after the most excellent Technical Communication (TCUK) 2013 conference. It was a chance to learn some new stuff, revitalise some old stuff and meet a load of people across a wide range of writing disciplines. I found the “commercial proposal” sessions especially useful in that I tend to do quite a bit of it these days, on both sides of the customer-bidder fence. I especially enjoyed Kai Weber’s exposition on “meaning” – a blast to my old PhD days and re-invigoration of social constructivist principles (and sharing our views of reality, which were mostly convergent). His session was so nicely contained that I failed to heckle him with any awkward ontological questions. The same could not be said about the “Agile” session – and to this moment I fail to have a reasoned answer to how on earth you pay for a project run in an Agile way, without giving the writing team a pile of blank signed cheques (which is great for the writing team). 

My paper about the risks and opportunities to be found writing in the Energy and Resources sectors was well received, with no fewer than two in-the-pipeline journal articles as spin-offs. What surprised me most was that although my study was small-scale, that the emergent findings seemed to resonate far and wide with people who work in other sectors, even as far away as software. Anyway, the presentation slides are available on opal-flame here and a full unedited academic-style write up will be available soon.

On a tangential note, I am glad to be back in the realm of home cooking (and jam making). Three days of English chain hotel food leaves a substantial lump in one’s stomach. I’m sure if Sir Paul McCartney stayed at a Marriott, we would have never got the fabulous song “Yesterday”. Think about that one and don’t eat the scrambled eggs, ever.

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