The TCLoc Team is proud to announce the launch of the new version of the TCLoc website! This improved platform is the result of a successful project led by CAWEB master’s students whose goal was to redesign not only the website’s visual aspect and content but the user experience altogether.

Since its launch in January 2017, the TCLoc master’s program has been a growing success, continuing to attract students from all over the world. Its curriculum is constantly evolving in order to offer training adapted to the most recent technological and digital advances in the technical communication and localization industry. Since its inception, the goal of the TCLoc master’s program has been to earn the recognition of professionals in the field by combining an accredited university degree with an industry certification. Indeed, TCLoc graduates not only obtain a master’s degree from the University of Strasbourg, but an international Technical Communicator (tekom) – Professional Level certificate as well, provided by our partner tekom Europe, the world’s largest technical communication association.

The new website provides students, instructors, and potential candidates with the best user experience possible. Its interface, content, and graphics have been entirely redesigned with several goals in mind. The main goal behind this project was to highlight the TCLoc community. Indeed, even though the TCLoc master’s program is taught remotely, its core values remain: communication, solidarity, and camaraderie. That’s also why we invite our students twice a year to on-campus meetings at the University of Strasbourg. Thus, a dedicated section has been created on our new website to emphasize our students, instructors, alumni, administrative team and — last but not least — our partnerships.

According to Renate de la Paix, TCLoc’s Program Director, “TCLoc addresses full-time working professionals as well as career-changers and people taking a break from their careers for further training. We offer four different study options ranging from 12 to 24 months to suit a variety of schedules. The new website explains the flexibility of the program more clearly. I’m very happy that all the relevant information can now be easily accessed.”

The TCLoc Team thanks the CAWEB master’s students and all the people who have contributed to the success of this project! 

Discover the new TCLoc website!

The TCLoc master’s is proud to announce that it has joined once again the Adobe Tech Comm University Outreach Program. Thanks to this academic partnership with Adobe, TCLoc students will have access to the Adobe Technical Communication Suite in order to gain firsthand, practical experience with these leading software tools for creating and editing technical documentation.

“With our master’s program in technical communication and localization, we seek to provide courses that give students opportunities for hands-on, practical application of the competencies they acquire during their coursework using the best tools available,” says Dr. Renate de la Paix, program director. She continues, “The Technical Communication Suite is the most popular collection of tools used by the industry for creating and editing technical documentation. In our Technical Publishing class, for example, we use Adobe FrameMaker because it allows users to publish natively across channels, mobile devices, and formats, and to create content with best-in-class XML/DITA support.”

The TCLoc master’s focuses on practical skills. By using the latest versions of leading tools such as FrameMaker, Captivate, and RoboHelp, students will be prepared for employment in the technical communication industry. Thank you, Adobe, for enabling our students to use the Technical Communication Suite free of charge for study purposes!

Before the 2019 November on-campus meeting, the TCLoc Team took a trip to Stuttgart for the annual tcworld conference, joining our past, present, and future TCLoc students at this inspiring event.

The tcworld Conference

The tcworld conference is organized by tekom Europe, the largest technical communication association in Europe with over 9,500 members. It takes place in Stuttgart, Germany, every year. The tcworld conference is the largest international event for technical communication in the world, boasting over 4,500 participants as well as over 250 presentations and workshops (in English and in German). Presentation topics cover everything related to technical communication from visual communication and user experience to augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Speakers at the tcworld conference are all experts in their field and we were happy to see that some of them are also part of our team of instructors. TCLoc’s new instructor for software documentation, Konrad Brust, gave a short, insightful talk about the localization of video games. Shumin Chen hosted a workshop on Simplified Technical English (STE), the subject she teaches for TCLoc. Jordan Stanchev hosted two workshops, “Building Your First Taxonomy for Classification of Software Documentation” and “Visualize It! Creating Graphics and Images in Software Documentation.” TCLoc’s instructor of terminology management, François Massion, gave a presentation on terminology in the age of artificial intelligence. Also, Kirk St.Amant, TCLoc’s usability and user experience design instructor, presented “The Psychology of the User Experience—Approaches to User Testing and Product Design,” which proved to be a conference favorite.

In addition to the numerous presentations at the conference, the tekom fair is also a key point of interest, hosting around 150 software manufacturers and service providers. It is the only trade fair for technical communication worldwide. The conference also welcomes universities that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees related to technical communication, setting up booths for them to present their programs. This provides the invaluable opportunity for students and educators alike to stay abreast of the most recent developments, standards, and technology in technical communication and related fields. TCLoc, an online master’s program at the University of Strasbourg, is always in attendance.

TCLoc and tekom: Bridging the Gap

This is why the TCLoc Team looks forward to this event every year: tekom and TCLoc have the common goal of bridging the gap between education and industry. tekom organizes this annual event in order to promote and facilitate the exchanging of ideas, research, and technology, thereby driving the industry towards excellence. Conversation and sharing within the industry is necessary to create and maintain standardized best practices in technical communication and related fields. Likewise, communication between industry and education is essential for the proper training and certification of technical communicators. 

TCLoc’s founder and program director, Renate de la Paix, also recognized the importance of this, motivating her to create TCLoc, which is the only online master’s program that combines a degree in technical communication and localization with the tekom certification (offered in the technical communication module, which is identical to the TCTrainNet course -professional level- offered by tekom). Graduates of the program are therefore well-equipped with practical knowledge of technical communication as well as its related fields and tools. The program (including the TCTrainNet course) is constantly being updated to stay on top of new developments and technologies in this ever-evolving industry. It’s partnerships like TCLoc and tekom that promote high quality standards in education and the workplace.

Have you been to the tcworld conference? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below and join us next year at the tcworld conference in Stuttgart, Germany, November 3-5, 2020.

Would you like to validate and increase your experience as a technical writer? Click here to apply to the TCLoc master’s program!

GALA has always shown their support for the TCLoc and CAWEB Master’s Programs, allowing students to volunteer in exchange for free entry to their annual Language of Business conference. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we announce our official membership to the association! Read more about the great resources and opportunities that TCLoc and CAWEB students can access thanks to this valuable partnership. 

What is GALA Conference?

For years, TCLoc and CAWEB students have enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Language of Business conference hosted by GALA. GALA is a global, non-profit association that unites companies in the language industry by creating connections, growing communities, and establishing professional best practices. Their annual, 3-day conference is an amazing, unique opportunity for sharing and networking in the fields of localization, translation, and interpretation (due to their partnership with InterpretAmerica).

To give an example of what their conferences are like, the 2019 conference, which was held in Munich, Germany, boasted over 500 attendees, 77 different speakers, and several different types of session formats, including short talks, interactive panels, and “KnowledgeFests”. Session categories ranged from research and technology and the future of the industry to business models and product demos, with topics focusing on the role of artificial intelligence in the language industry. In addition to the sessions, the conference also provided an orientation for newcomers, a “speed-networking”, a castle tour, and other special events. Companies in attendance included SDL, MateCat, MemoQ, Microsoft, and many more.

Opportunities for TCLoc and CAWEB students

All considered, it’s no surprise that our students make the most of this event, which turns out to be a life-changing experience for some of them. Thanks to the connections they made at the 2019 conference, CAWEB students João Antunes and Laura Jacquemin accepted job offers in the United States and Australia, respectively. Also, TCLoc student Rita Pang won the conference’s Rising Star Scholarship Contest with her article Human Problems: Machine Learning and the Language Industry, which earned her free admission to the conference and a travel stipend. Other students were able to volunteer in exchange for free entry, gaining valuable knowledge from and building relationships with established professionals from all over the world. CAWEB student Lauriane Girardeau describes the event as a great networking opportunity, organized by professionals in order to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between companies and individuals to everyone’s benefit.

Our program director certainly agrees:
“GALA membership gives our staff and students a wonderful opportunity to access the organization’s diverse e-learning resources, connect with peers, and be part of a dynamic, global community.  We look forward to sharing our knowledge and participating in GALA’s programs and activities.”

-Renate de la Paix, Program Director, Master TCLoc – Master CAWEB

As we are now official members of GALA, students from the University of Strasbourg have free access to GALA member resources, such as publications, webinars, the GALA career center, open source projects, and more. This allows students to be even more involved and up-to-date regarding new developments and opportunities in the language industry.

Year after year, GALA achieves its goal to provide an inclusive, collaborative environment for professionals in the language industry. They will continue to do so next year at the 2020 conference in sunny San Diego, California, March 15-18. The theme, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping the Future of the Language Industry”, aims to challenge out-dated methods, rethink traditional approaches, brainstorm new possibilities, and drive innovation in the language industry. Why don’t you join us next year? In the meantime, you can find out more about GALA on their website, and even access their resources online.  See you next year!

On October 1-3, 2019, Proz.com celebrated its annual International Translation Day event, inviting dozens of language professionals to hold live sessions in order to discuss topics related to the translation industry, share their personal experiences, and answer various questions. Among them, Master TCLoc graduate student Rita Pang held a special conference during which she discussed the benefits of continuing education as a language professional. If you missed the presentation and are thinking about pursuing a postgraduate program, you’ve come to the right place! 

The benefits of continuing education

Continuing education, which refers to a broad range of post-secondary learning programs, is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Indeed, there are many reasons as to why translators, interpreters, and technical writers choose to pursue such programs. In addition to obtaining more credentials leading to new career opportunities, it’s also a chance to connect and exchange with other professionals in the same field. As a result, your income flow could become more stable. Rita Pang highlights that, as a freelancer, you often experience dry periods or crazy rush periods, which are quite unpredictable. It’s only natural that you’d want to stabilize your income.

Whether you decide to go back to college for a degree program, or complete online courses (on Proz, Udacity or Udemy) or industry certifications such as the ATA’s, there are many ways to go about continuing your education in order to expand your credentials and be more sought after.  

Things to consider when choosing a postgraduate program 

In Rita’s case, she first went through a long research process to find the program that best suited her needs and expectations. Using a variety of channels, she looked for affordable, part-time programs that offered unique credentials or courses in her preferred locations of post-study work (Canada and Hong-Kong). “I can’t stress that enough, don’t forget to think about where you want to work after you finish your program, and how relevant will these new qualifications be in the places you want to work. Moreover, it’s very important that you contact the program coordinators, as well as people who’ve already done the program to ask for more details. I personally reached out to many alumnis and faculty members on LinkedIn, and received excellent advice.” 

However, if you’re a well-established professional, there are other aspects to consider before starting a new learning experience. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether a degree is absolutely necessary for you to achieve your financial and career goals. “Do I need a degree to prove that I can translate, especially after 9 years of experience and feedback from my clients? But for people who are just starting out in this industry, a degree might really help.” With that in mind, think about whether you can be consistent in your learning schedule, and maybe afford to put your career on hold for a while. Try to think everything through before enrolling in a program! 

Continuing education with the TCLoc Master’s Program 

Towards the end of her presentation, Rita listed the benefits of enrolling in her final choice, the TCLoc Master’s Program at the University of Strasbourg, France: 

  • It offers formal training in localization, translation, and technical writing.
  • It offers formal software and web language training (HTML, CSS, and PHP), which can be helpful to translators working in desktop publishing.
  • It’s part-time, remote, and taught entirely in English (French is not required).
  • It enables students to bond with like-minded individuals from different countries through small class teachings.

However, starting a new learning program is not without its challenges. “Juggling time between work and study is not easy. It can be extremely stressful and being consistent with your learning schedule is extremely difficult. TCLoc Master’s Program is remote, and requires a lot of self-discipline. You need to make sure you don’t procrastinate, and you might have to change social habits. It’s all about balance, you have to be organized and treat it like a job!”

If you’re interested in pursuing continuing education in technical communication and localization and have any questions about the TCLoc Master’s Program, feel free to visit our website and reach out to our Program Coordinators to get more information! You can also watch Rita Pang’s interview on our YouTube channel. 

They came from far and wide to receive their diplomas and gather one last time with their fellow students to celebrate and bond one last time before going their separate ways.

The ceremony also welcomed the CAWEB graduates, our sister program. The ceremony started with an opening speech by Renate de La Paix. It was then followed by Fanny Roubineau from the Continuing Education Department.

The highlight of the ceremony was the valedictorian speech. Madeleine Barois for CAWEB and Sabine Schmähl for TCLoc delivered it together. They underlined the amount of work that they had to put into their studies. Both expressed their gratitude towards their fellow students and the faculty, and underlined the quality of the programs which help them in their jobs on a daily basis.

sabine+madeleine

TCLoc valedictorian Sabine Schmähl and CAWEB valedictorian Madeleine Barois

“It is very impressive that such a relatively small team designed, built and coordinates not one but two very successful master programs that are both so multi-faceted and dynamic.”

After the new graduates received their diplomas from Mrs. Renate De La Paix, everyone gathered in the historical great hall of the Palais Universitaire to share a last drink, take pictures and exchange contact information.

renate anna

CAWEB graduate and former TCLoc website project manager Anna Maffesi receives her diploma from program director Renate De La Paix

To find out more about TCLoc master’s program, please visit the TCLoc Master’s website.

Click here to apply.

From April 10th until April 13th, current TCLoc students had the opportunity to get together on campus in Strasbourg. Students from the USA, Denmark, Germany, Qatar, Italy managed to beat the unusually frigid temperatures to find their way to campus. Besides finally meeting in person the people they’ve been collaborating with on a daily basis, students were thrilled to meet a few of their instructors and attend lectures.

On Wednesday morning, students go to meet members of the TEKOM team: Dr.Michael Fritz, Mr. Raymond Culp, Mrs. Monika Engleke and Mrs. Christine Keller. In the afternoon they moved on to listen to prof. Uta Seewald-Heeg Phd. of Hochschule Anhalt delve into the intricacies of software localization.

On Thursday afternoon, Kirk St. Amant of Louisiana Tech University gave his first lecture about the psychology of design.

Kirk's lecture
When designing products, taking biology and psychology into account is paramount

Friday was terminology day, with two lectures by Mark Childress from SAP and François Massion from DOG Gmbh. 

Saturday was a bit of a sweet sorrow, with the time of departure drawing nearer students had the chance to attend yet another fascinating lecture by Kirk St. Amant.

Many students regretted that the on-campus meeting didn’t last longer or that there were only two. For them, meeting their fellow students in person had been a time of connexion and exchange about their experiences, their projects and their dreams. It really was a moment that created a sense of belonging for all the students.

Even though TCLoc is distance-learning program, we know that nothing can replace actual human interaction.