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Call for Volunteers: XML Resource Center
2003, Q4 (June 20, 2007)
By Angela Dukes, Vice President STC Carolina, and Bill Albing, Past President, STC Carolina

The XML planning committee’s web-based XML Survey demonstrated that the chapter wants more XML information and training. Thirty-six members completed the survey. Everyone reported a need to know more about this emerging technology.

Here are the key points gathered from the survey.
  • 26 were questioned about XML during a job interview
  • 7 did not apply/obtain a job due to lack of XML knowledge
  • 14 would attend multiple XML programs offered by the chapter
  • 24 displayed interested in XML training
  • 14 expressed interest in specific aspects of XML
  • 15 would pay at least $100 for an XML certificate
  • 13 would participate in an XML SIG

Survey respondents represent about 10% of our chapter’s membership. Even though results suggest that an XML SIG would be valued, it has proven difficult to find someone with the time and expertise to lead the SIG. Therefore, the chapter instead invites members to contribute to the planning and establishment of an XML Resource Center.

The vision for the XML Resource Center is to provide access to relevant online XML reference and training materials, contact information to local XML organizations, and information about XML authoring tools. The center would be researched, generated, and maintained by a group of volunteers. The center should be designed to contain XML content designed for technical writers, information such as tutorials on modularizing and managing content. Members with more advanced XML skills may volunteer to create tutorials for the Resource Center.

We intend the XML Resource Center to be aid with the professional development of fellow members and will give them an opportunity to expand their expertise. The XML Resource Center volunteers can work together to gather information for the site. By having a group of volunteers of varying expertise and experience levels working together we can make sure that the needs of our diverse chapter membership are satisfied.

At the recent 2003 Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft presented details of a radically new Help standard for the next version of Windows, known as Longhorn. The standard will be XML based, so it makes it all the more relevant and useful that we get some XML resources together. We should not think of XML as a distinct, disparate technology — it is going to underlie a lot of the content management we do in the future.

If you are interested in helping with the XML Resource Center, send e-mail to Anjela Dukes, adukes1 at nc dot rr dot com. Without willing volunteers, it cannot succeed. End of article.

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