2017 TechConnect Conference


Creating Shared Infrastructure

10:00 – 11:45 am | HUB 211A

Presenters: Brad Greer, Wilson Waldrop, Matt Weatherford, Scott Hansen, Kris Shaw

Do you have an IT infrastructure service idea about servers, storage, databases, software, asset management, monitoring, developer tools, identity, networking, virtual desktops, or high performance computing that might benefit multiple departmental IT groups at the UW? Come to this brainstorming session to share your idea, build consensus, and help prioritize efforts towards increasing our common IT infrastructure services.

Session Materials: https://docs.google.com/a/uw.edu/presentation/d/1Fkm1skBPnGOe1yOpt9St3-oe-V8wYV-6T85ziLZZU6w/edit?usp=sharing

Digital Threat: Ransomware

10:00 – 11:00 am | HUB 214

Presenters:  Cindy Jenkins, Melissa Hall

Your money or your data!

Ransomware is a very present threat to individuals and institutions: malicious individuals are trying to part you from your money by locking up your files and holding the key hostage. We will present a brief outline of ransomware and its history, some interesting outside cases and then take a deep dive into forensic analysis of the malware: artifacts the malware coders leave behind and some common practices the attackers are using to spread the ransomware. We’ll finish with a live demonstration of a ransomware infection on a virtual machine.

Making Your Websites More Accessible with ARIA: A Crash Course

10:00 – 11:00 am | HUB 203

Presenters: Jeane Marty, Nick Rohde, Peter Graff, Hadi Rangin

As a web developer and/or designer, how do you rate your skills with ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes? Do you really know how to leverage ARIA’s power to make your sites and applications as usable and accessible as possible?

In this session, we’ll cover:

  • Writing HTML that a screen reader can meaningfully understand
  • Understanding ARIA landmark roles, and how they relate to HTML5 elements
  • Using ARIA to properly describe HTML elements
  • Making hiding and showing web content understandable to screen readers (and ultimately, to their users)
  • Making web forms accessible

Aligning Skills and Competencies with Changing Tech Environment

10:00 – 11:00 am | HUB 250

Presenter:  Jim Phelps

Environmental shifts and rapid technical change are driving a transformation in the relationship between the business and IT.  This shift requires workers to develop adaptive skills and build new competencies so they can constantly realign to the most strategic needs of the University.  In this session, we will discuss the environmental and technical changes IT faces, explore the shifting competencies needed and engage in group work to understand the new skills required to adapt.

When the New Normal Isn’t a Choice: Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

11:15 – 11:45 am | HUB 214

Presenters:  Randy Coggan, Mat McBride

A sudden earthquake, fire or severe weather brings down your operations leaving your customers without the vital tools they need to do their jobs. How much the disaster affects you depends on how ready you are to face it. What do you do? You pull out your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans and get back in business! Recovery priorities are determined through Business Continuity (BC) Planning and realized as a result of Disaster Recovery (DR) efforts. The Technology Business Continuity program within UW-IT, consists of Business Continuity (the resiliency of critical business processes & their critical dependencies) and Disaster Recovery (the recoverability of those critical dependencies and services after a disaster.) Our objective in this presentation is to identify what those planning needs are and how to align them with other planning efforts within the UW. No matter what your role is at the UW, in this seminar you will learn the fundamentals of resiliency planning when “New Normal” isn’t a choice.


  • Successful recovery from disasters requires BC and DR Planning. Learn the methods used by UW-IT and how you can use them.
  • BC and DR are inextricably intertwined. Learn why you cannot have one without the other.
  • Your businesses critical processes & supporting technology are determined as part of your BC Plan. Learn how to leverage this information as part of DR Planning.

Session Materials: http://depts.washington.edu/learnit/techconnect/conference/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BCDR-TechConnect-Presentation.pdf

Getting Started with Self-Service DNS and Network Contact Management

11:15 – 11:45 am | HUB 250

Presenters:  Paul Lockaby, Richard Letts

Since the beginning of the campus network at UW, handling DNS changes has been a manual process — reaching out to the Network Operations Center and waiting a few days. A new system is coming online this year to allow self service changes of your site contacts and to your DNS data. In this session, learn how to get control of your DNS data, learn how to manage the list of people who can also manage your DNS data and who gets contacted by UW-IT when there are network problems, and then learn how to actually make changes to DNS.

State IT Accessibility: What Does it Mean?

11:15 – 11:45 am | HUB 203

Presenter:  Dan Comden

State Policy #188 addresses the accessibility of IT and impacts all state agencies including the UW. This session will describe the policy and provide resources for improving accessibility of online resources, applications as well as documents and media.

Agile Projects and Teams: A Shared Journey

1:00 – 2:00 pm | HUB 250

Presenter:  Charles Wesley

They say the only constant is change, the only question is how much and how fast. At UW Bothell, we have had plenty of both. Faced with growing demands for larger and more complex enterprise solutions on accelerated time lines, our technical teams have moved towards an Agile approach. Adopting agile values and principles, cross functional teams came together to create Agile projects. Iteratively, we expanded from pockets of agility to entire teams incorporating Agile principles. More human communication, increased visibility and transparency of process, and clarity around individual responsibility and ownership transformed the way we work. We have a long way to go before we are a truly Agile organization, however we have learned several lessons and incorporate continuous feedback into our approach.

 5 Motivational Strategies for Training Sessions that Work Better than Food

1:00 – 2:00 pm | HUB 203

Presenter:  Todd Conaway

Designed for those involved in training faculty or staff, this session identifies five strategies used to engage participants in a hands on approach to facilitating training events. They can be incorporated into any existing hour long workshop or multi day event, and each participant will with a useful web based resource. Rather than the standard PowerPoint or Prezi and a 10 minute questions and answer period at the end of your training, what else can you do? Small group work? Create posters? Paste sticky notes to the wall? As it turns out, there are a number of things you can do to make the usual show and tell more interactive and more enjoyable for faculty. The workshop is run using the hands on strategies discussed during the session. At the end of the session the participants will have created a shareable web based artifact that can also be used as a resource by those in attendance or others. The learning objectives include being able to create active learning events into faculty training, being able to create training resources that are imaginative and varied in material, and to develop more ideas to employ during faculty training sessions. This session is also a conversation, because the speaker is well aware that there are many great options others will have to share.

Session Materials: https://workbetterthanfood.wordpress.com/

Towards a UW Application Registry

1:00 – 2:00 pm | HUB 211A

Presenter:  Rupert Berk, Piet Niederhausen, Ray Polakovic

We know there are hundreds of applications in the UW IT landscape, but we don’t have an effective way of capturing or accessing that application information and the relationships between the applications. What could we do with a registry of application information and what would it take? We will consider how an app registry could support use cases such as business impact analysis, IT portfolio management, disaster recovery, threat assessment, access management, incident management, etc, in ways that we cannot today. We will also address what it might take to gather and maintain such information in the “new normal” world of constant change.

Managing Tech Change: Refactoring an IT Service or Turning Off Legacy Tech

1:00 – 2:00 pm | HUB 214

Presenter: Brian Arkills

Kill an ineffective or dated technology or enter into extreme change to fix it? This session will explore some keys to managing technology change. Brian will share lessons learned from retiring NTLMv1 at the UW and refactoring the Nebula service into the Managed Workstation service over a very short period. Some technical details will be covered to keep us concretely grounded, but the focus is on recurring stumbling points and solution patterns.

Session participants will interact on a topic to be chosen, which may include:

  • What approaches have helped you manage large changes?
  • What stumbling points have tripped you up in large changes?
  • What missing capabilities are needed from a managed workstation service?

Designing Hybrid Learning and Work Spaces in Educational Settings

2:15 – 2:45 pm | HUB 203

Presenter: Jarek Sierschynski, Scott Spaulding

This session is for all interested in learning about software design in the context of teacher education and teacher practice. Over the last 5 years we developed a software application, iBESTT (Integrating Behavior Support and Team Technology), to support educators confronted with students’ challenging behaviors in their classrooms. Given the complexity of classroom environments, the app design had to account for both rigor and flexibility. Our analysis of iBESTT use is consistent with decades of findings in the school-based behavior research literature: many educators struggle with the complexity of the support process. To address these challenges a new iteration of the app includes coaching support. A further redesign will link university teacher-ed programs with school districts. This revision will enable iBESTT to become a tool that accompanies teacher candidates through their education into their work environments, bridging boundaries between traditionally separate learning spaces, i.e., between learning, training and work. The developing software design introduced here reflects teacher preparation as a continuous process, an apprenticeship that inherently combines learning and practice.

Key takeaways:

  • The challenges of addressing offline complexity in online settings
  • The facilitation of practice through software design
  • Software design that merges learning and working spaces
  • The impact of online environments on definitions of technology, learning, teaching and work

The Enterprise Service Desk: A Shared Approach to Tier 1 Support

2:15 – 2:45 pm | HUB 250

Presenter: Cara Giacomini, Mike Houlihan, Damien Koemans

UW-IT is launching a new service, The Enterprise Service Desk, designed to meet the growing expectation that customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The UW-IT Enterprise Service Desk provides Tier 1 support for your local IT Team by resolving customer requests, providing self-service information for common tasks, reducing spam, escalating incidents to your Tier 2 team and taking customer calls and emails 24x7x365. In addition to basic Tier 1 functionality, the Enterprise Service Desk can provide additional services such as system and service monitoring and robust metrics reporting.

Navigating the Challenges of Building a Large Scale Distributed Application

2:15 – 2:45 pm | HUB 214

Presenter: Sridhar Komandur, PhD

There are a number of ongoing challenges in building a modern student information systems application that not only needs to scale for a large number of users but also meet the expectations of users and sponsors. For example, the application needs to deliver business value incrementally with each release and be flexible for changes. Hear about how MyPlan is addressing some of these challenges using ReactJS, multi-tiered middleware architecture, and agile development practices.

Session Materials: http://depts.washington.edu/learnit/techconnect/conference/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SISTechConnect2017.pdf

Looking Under The Hood: How is Canvas Being Used?

3:00 – 3:30 pm | HUB 203

Presenter: Andreas Brockhaus, Salem Levesque

Canvas is by far the most popular learning technology tool used by UW Bothell faculty. But we were faced with a significant challenge: how do we know what faculty development would be most useful if we don’t know how faculty are using Canvas? To answer that question we did a close study of 33 courses, looking at 53 different features in each Canvas course. We then graphed the data gathered from all 53 features, and from that emerged seven focus areas to help guide our faculty development initiatives.  In this session we will examine and discuss these focus areas. Be sure to bring a device (phone, laptop, tablet, etc) to be able to fully participate in the interactive portion of this session.

Enhancing Service Capabilities Via UW Connect Service Management

3:00 – 3:30 pm | HUB 250

Presenter: Jeff Balaz, Chuck Benson, Stephanie Harris, Mary Mulvihill

Engage with a panel of your customer colleagues who are using UW Connect Service Management to mature their service delivery and operational effectiveness. UW Connect is a service management application built on the ServiceNow platform that allows service teams to:

  • Use a single system of record to track customer requests and the ensuing activities
  • Organize and prioritize work
  • Deliver consistent and regular customer communication
  • Centrally manage support documentation in a knowledge base
  • Predefine request workflows for repeatable request fulfillment activities
  • Create dashboards and reports that provide historical and real-time data to help inform service improvement efforts and anticipate staffing needs
  • Focus on departmental objectives without managing a support system
  • Leverage additional process workflows including incident and problem management
  • Leverage UW systems integrations, including UW Groups and email spam filtering
  • Combine all of the above to provide excellent customer service and a positive customer experience

UW Connect Service Management is a monthly subscription-based service that allows UW organizations to use the already-configured ServiceNow platform for their own service delivery and support activities. It is a powerful tool for managing the work needed to deliver customer-focused services, and aligns with the UW Transforming Administration Program’s (TAP’s) Culture of Service Program.

Risk and Reward: Implementing a New Online Proctor System

3:00 – 3:30 pm | HUB 214

Presenter: Janet Lenart, Ashley Bond, Sharee Squires

The UW School of Nursing Online Education Team (OET) vetted seven online proctor systems, with the participation of students, staff and faculty. During this session, the speakers will identify lessons learned from the phases of vetting, piloting, implementing and evaluating the Proctorio system and share strategies used to balance a student-centered emphasis with academic integrity goals.

Session Materials: http://depts.washington.edu/learnit/techconnect/conference/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/UW_IT_PP_Final.pptx