MadWorld 2014 is right around the corner! Join us at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego April 13-15, 2014 for MadWorld 2014, the premier technical communication and content strategy conference for technical writers, documentation managers and content strategists.
At MadWorld 2014, you’ll be treated to inspiring educational sessions, fun events, and all the networking you can handle.
We’ve put together a stellar cast of speakers just itching to share their knowledge with you, so let’s get to know one of them, shall we?
Currently serving as the Documentation Team Lead for N-able by SolarWinds, Patrick Calnan has extensive experience in working with MadCap Flare and other help authoring tools. During his career, he has worked with browser-based applications, telecommunications, and security software. Based in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa, Patrick is a self-admitted “MadCap fanboy” and is looking forward to sharing his experiences and the lessons his team has learned in working with various MadCap Software applications.
So what was your favorite part of MadWorld 2014?
This is going to sound all “fuzzy” and soft-hearted but I really enjoyed the sense of community and camaraderie that came from sharing experiences with folks whose day-to-day experiences are very similar to my own. There was a real spirit of generosity in the air as everyone I met at MadWorld 2013 was supportive of one another and even if we had problems with tasks that we were trying to perform, it seemed like everyone was more than willing to pitch in and lend a hand to help each other figure things out. I’ve never encountered such a sense of community at a technical conference before and it was amazing.
What Makes MadWorld different from other industry conferences?
I think that it’s the unique combination of a company (MadCap) that truly and deeply cares about its consumers mixed with a community of technical writers that has great enthusiasm for the tools and processes that they use. When you get right down to it, it’s not about the shiny features that an application has but rather about the impact it can have on a writer’s ability to do their work. MadWorld gives both MadCap and its user community a fantastic forum to share ideas and experiences to benefit everyone involved. This might sound like other technical conferences on the surface but there’s a level of cooperation that takes place which is unrivalled in my opinion. I’ve said it before that Flare made me look like a rock star but in truth, MadCap’s tools make us all look like rock stars and it’s at MadWorld that we get to turn our speakers up to eleven!
Tell us a little bit about your MadWorld 2014 sessions.
Conditional Conundrum is going to explore using conditions with Flare in what is hopefully both an educational and entertaining game-show format. There’ll be prizes to be won so I’m looking forward to getting people involved to review not only their current knowledge of condition tags but also to think about them in ways that they might not have before. I’m also going to talk about Analyzer and Pulse in two separate sessions where I’ll share some of the experiences that we’ve had using those tools and the benefits we’ve gained from them.
Excluding your session(s), which MadWorld sessions do you find the most intriguing?
Paul Pehrson’s Yeah, Flare Can Do That looks very interesting to me as I’m always looking to add additional tactics and strategies to my Flare “toolkit”. The Ask the Experts panel was also a highlight of last year’s conference for me so I’m really looking forward to sitting in on that one. I’m also looking forward to Nita Beck’s Going Solo session as while I work in a team, we tend to only have one writer per product so I’m hoping that I can learn some new strategies from Nita.
Do you plan on doing anything fun (besides MadWorld, of course!) while you’re in San Diego?
Last time I got to wander the decks of the USS Midway which was great but if I don’t get a chance to check out the zoo this time around, I’m going to kick myself. In the shins. Really really hard. Which will be quite the feat so I better get myself organized!
MadWorld 2014 is at the Hard Rock Hotel, so we have to ask you a music question. What are your 3 favorite songs in the whole, wide world?
I’m going to date myself with these and they aren’t in any particular order but, here we go… “London Calling” by The Clash, “Who Are You” by The Who, and “Burning Down The House” by Talking Heads. There are TONS of other candidates but these are the first three that come to mind these days.