In Utah, technical writers abound but are hidden. Utah probably has at least 500 technical writers spread out across companies all over the state (most in Northern Utah), but communication among the technical writers is sparse. The community is a little disconnected.
One value the STC provided in Tampa, Florida, was a sense of community in the local region. Sure the presenters were sometimes boring, but at least you got to know other technical communicators around you. That alone was worth the STC membership.
Here in Utah, things are a bit different. We only have STC meetings during the school year (not during summer). And during the school year, we're only having meetings every other month. Although this frequency is a little surprising, it's not hard to understand when you go to the meetings and only 6 to 7 people show up.
Despite the lack of community in the Salt Lake City area, there are plenty of technical writing jobs here. Utah has a growing number of new IT companies, and I see on average 1 to 2 new job postings each week. Additionally, Utah State University has a strong undergraduate program in technical writing.
I want to get a better sense of community in the Utah area. It's valuable to build professional relationships, to know who's who, and where. To try to encourage a stronger sense of community, I created a Utah Technical Writers social network. (This group is on Scott Abel's The Content Wrangler Community Ning site.) So far, 15 people have joined it. When you join the social network, you can type a brief profile about yourself.
If you're a technical writer in Utah, please join the social network (it's free). Here are instructions on how to join:
You know when you've been successful when you see your photo in the group.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.