PTC/User 2010 Arbortext Edition (part 1)

How the PTC/User 2010 conference stacked up for Arbortext users. Pointers to pictures and session write-ups

by Liz Fraley

Every year, PTC/User improves for Arbortext users. This was the first year we had to turn presenters away. It was also the first year we didn’t have to extend the submission deadline because there were so many great presentation submitted. For me, PTC/User is like Summer Camp. The same folks come frequently enough (every year or every other year) that you start to recognize them and look forward to finding what they’ve done personally and professionally in the last year. You grow your expertise through collaboration and personal relationships. You give back.  This year was no exception. Despite the recession, Arbortext attendee numbers were up overall (AGAIN).

My favorite two sessions were the User-to-User panel and the Formatter Shootout. Each was well attended. The Shootout grew much bigger than expected. Originally, the presentation had three technology representatives: FOSI, XSL-FO, and APP (3B2). At the last minute, we added Zarella Rendon, representing Styler. It’s always interesting to see how the other side approaches the same problem. (15% of Arbortext attendees were APP/3B2 users.)

At PTC/User, the PTC product managers attend each session. It gives them a good insight as well to hear what customers are really doing. The Shootout and the User-to-User panel were fertile ground for them to see how different customers have adopted the different technologies to what end results.

All Software is designed with particular usage in mind and, invariably, all software gets used in ways the original designers never expected. As a programmer who’s written lots of scripts that “were never meant for production”, I know first-hand how they always, always end up in production. User sessions are great forums for learning new tricks and new possibilities. And we all learned about situations where we might benefit by adopting one another’s technology. Luckily, as Arbortext customers, we have all FOUR technologies right at our fingertips!

Take a look at some of the pictures from this year’s event in our Flickr stream.

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries.