TCUK18 Speaker John Kearney – No final frontier: unleashing our inner Tech Comms polymath


John Kearney will be giving a presentation at TCUK18 entitled “No final frontier: unleashing our inner Tech Comms polymath”.

Photo of John Kearney

At TCUK 2015, I gave a presentation about the “Tech Comms tool box”: the set of skills we each bring from our diverse backgrounds to our professional field. It’s this array of skills that allows us to excel as polymaths, and to move beyond the comfort zone of the traditional Technical Author role.

In this presentation, I’ll be building on this idea, and sharing my experience of using my Tech Comms skills in new areas. I’ll be referring to specific examples of my work as a consultant, in scenarios where no author has ever set foot, making a difference to all stages of the software development lifecycle, from scoping through to delivery.

I also want to continue the discussion about some of the challenges we face as a profession; for example, the perception that we’re “old fashioned”, and how other job titles and disciplines seem to be claiming our territory. I believe that we should be supporting each other in efforts to bring our professional profile up to date. I hope to conclude with the beginnings of a discussion on what we as a community inside and outside of ISTC can do together to make these changes.

About John Kearney

John became a Technical Author when funding for English Literature postgraduate work dried up. 21 years later, he’s still in the same career, which probably means it was the right decision.

He’s worked for many companies across many sectors, both as a sole author and in a team environment, and is currently freelancing. John discovered TCUK in 2009, and has attended all but one of them since. When he’s not doing Tech Comms he can be found reading, shooting with a bow or a camera, volunteering at a Birds of Prey centre, or helping to run Live-Action Roleplaying events.

He can be found on Twitter at @jk1440, and that’s where he takes notes during conferences. Beware: #tcuk18 tweets are coming.

He is not as tall as some people think.