Interchange is a tech comm conference hosted by the STC New England chapter. This is my second year attending and speaking. First off, the great thing about a smaller event like this is that it’s really easy to spend quality time with the other speakers and attendees. This year, the high-tech sector of the New England chapter really stepped up! In addition to great sponsors, there was an Interchange app for easy access to the program, and Autodesk loaned us their giant Jenga game. We were able to get it pretty tall before a spectacular crash.
It was a solid program with something for everyone, from Ed Marshall’s hard-hitting talk on writing for SDKs and APIS to my own “softer” session on Leadership Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt. I was also thrilled to see Paula Berger returning to the tech comm conference circuit – she gave me my first job in the field more years ago than I want to count. Paula talked about the challenges of international teams, something we all need to prepare for. Viqui Dill came all the way up from Virginia to talk about training and about what to do when things go wrong. She also took a lot more pictures than I did, and shared them on her Facebook page. As always, Rick Lippincott was a phenomenal host. I hope he continues to share his knowledge through other events – he’s been working on hardware documentation for a long time, and that’s a perspective we too-often leave out. He and his lovely wife also took lots of pictures, available on Flickr in two sets: Friday Interchange and Saturday Interchange. Thanks, Rick!
Secondly, I love the downtown Lowell location! The conference center sits right on one of the old canals that used to make this mill town run. It’s a few minutes walk to a huge variety of restaurants and clubs, and surrounded by public art installations.
One last thing before I left Lowell… I popped in to surprise my conference buddy Eileen Savary at her work in the Lowell Elk’s Lodge. Eileen has often been the voice of sanity on chaotic conference days, and I really missed seeing her at ICC earlier in the month.
All in all, it was a great trip, despite the snow still on the ground and my Tucson wardrobe.