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Utah Technical Writers Group -- Finding the Technical Writing Community in Utah

by Tom Johnson on Sep 1, 2008 •
categories: technical-writing

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:

  1. Go to Utah technical writers group page.
  2. Click the Sign Up link.
  3. Complete the required fields and then sign in.
  4. Click the Join Utah Technical Writers link.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.