Capita TI – Platinum Sponsor Interview, Sally Haywood

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Sally Haywood – Senior Localisation Engineer, Capita TI

Sally Haywood from Capita TI

Sally Haywood has been working in the translation industry for the past 20 years. She has a degree in German and Russian and a Masters in Machine Translation.
She has worked in various positions at ITR as a Senior Project Manager, Localisation Engineer and now as a Business Development Manager for Capita TI. She specialised in the management of complex software projects, and in her role as Senior Localisation Engineer, developed new workflows and technical solutions to support the Project Management team. She has a wide-ranging knowledge of CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools as well as high-level skills in InDesign, FrameMaker, Captivate and DITA etc.
Sally loves to play the piano, and she sings with Ripon Choral Society. She has 3 daughters and a very playful young dog!

TCUK: We are delighted you are joining us as a first-time sponsor this year. Can you tell us what encouraged you to support us?

SH: Earlier this year, Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI) acquired International Translation Resources (ITR) which brings together the expertise of both companies to provide the best solutions for our customers. You can read the full story at www.capitatranslationinterpreting.com. While ITR has sponsored and exhibited many times at TCUK, this is the first time that Capita TI will have a presence. For us, it is imperative to stay on top of industry trends in technical communication, new ideas, tools and technologies. We provide end-to-end solutions for our customers and need to embrace new technology. Whatever tools and technologies our clients are using for their source material, we also need to use in our translations in order to deliver a fully functional end product, whether that be localised websites, software apps, online help, technical documentation or eLearning.

TCUK is great in promoting new trends in technical communication and provides an excellent forum to swap and discuss ideas. It is great to have the opportunity to listen to presentations on case studies from a wide variety of industries, which always gives us food for thought.

We also welcome the opportunity of being able to make new connections and talk to technical communicators about issues they are facing; often we have experiences we can share from projects we have worked on.

TCUK: This year the TCUK event special focus is “From Novice to Expert – Writing Your Career Path as a Technical Communicator”. Are there any relevant trends in technical communication that apply to both novice and experienced communicators?

SH: It is clear that, as technical communicators, you need to embrace change and develop new skills that can define your role and help to develop your career.

Technical communicators need to promote their role within their company as they are now no longer responsible for producing the technical manual for a product, but also for eLearning, marketing material, technical support documentation and any other information that enhances a user’s experience.

We have seen a huge rise in the need for eLearning translations. Technical communicators need to embrace new technology and develop different ways of writing. ELearning often contains minimal amounts of on-screen text, and so conveying information in a very succinct way is essential. ELearning can include animation and voiceover, and technical writers may even find themselves having to author a script for the voiceover artist: a skill that is very different from authoring a technical user guide.

The need to be agile continues to dominate the authoring and translation world. Traditional waterfall methods of developing software applications can lead to delays in time to market and product release. We all know the challenges of creating agile content, but by communicating and collaborating with other stakeholders and embedding content creation as part of the process, your role as a technical writer or content creator will be promoted.

TCUK: You are joining us for the first time this year. What encouragement would you have for technical communicators to get them to join you this year?

SH: Get involved! It’s always great to be involved in any way you can with other technical communicators. Making new connections and meeting people face to face is a good way of exchanging ideas and asking questions about other people’s experiences. You can make contact with others who are facing similar challenges to you in their writing, and although you can read online about solutions to those issues, it’s invaluable to talk to others, to share your thoughts and learn from those who have been there and done that! You will learn just as much from talking to your peers as you will listening to the fantastic line-up of speakers.

Who knows….you might even win the quiz!

TCUK: The TCUK conference moves to a new location each year. This year, TCUK is hosted in Bedfordshire, England. What are you looking forward to most at this year’s conference?

SH: I think Bedfordshire is a great location for the TCUK conference. It’s central and easy to get to and Wyboston Lakes would seem to be the perfect venue.

We are looking forward to hearing more about this year’s conference theme “From Novice to Expert – Writing Your Career Path as a Technical Communicator” and to making new connections, as well as seeing old friends.