Upcoming Events of Note

I need to be more regular about posting messages here about upcoming events. (Okay … I need to be more regular about posting messages here period. That’s another issue!) Two coming events deserve announcement here.

Policy: I intend announcements like this to be a service to readers. No one approached me to post these notices; I don’t expect to receive anything in return. (Though … it’d be nice to earn a reader or two!) I hope this helps you.

Omaha Agile Development
“A Walk Down the Agile Coach Development Path – Lyssa Adkins & Michael Spayd”
Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:30 PM
March 2013 Omaha Agile Development Group
free; some of these events include food

Lyssa is author of “Coaching Agile Teams”, part of the now-familiar (to readers of many Agile books) “Addison Wesley Signature Series”, this one with forwards by both Mike Cohn and Jim Highsmith. Lyssa and Michael are Co-Founders and Co-Presidents of the Agile Coaching Institute. At one point, there were 110 people signed up for this event. Come see your agile peers!

UNO IT Professional Academy
numerous seminar subjects
Thu Apr 4 and Fri Apr 5, 2013
UNO Peter Kiewit Institute
UNO IT Professional Academy
registration instructions at above site

I wrote about the October version of this event at Good Renewal Experience. Both presentations I saw in October are offered again.

Perhaps I’ll attend one or both of these and write a summary of my experience, much like Good Renewal Experience and Agile Myths and Ideologies Meet the Scaled Agile Framework. And perhaps someone else will attend and post their summary here! I’ll welcome other submissions; I don’t guarantee inclusion here, but it’d be great to include such work here!

Good Renewal Experience

Last week (Thu and Fri), I spent some time at the UNO IT Academy. I had a great experience. They’re a good source of professional renewal.

I attended two sessions from this version of the Academy.

Dr. George Royce (who I’ve known about for years because of his high profile position at Mutual of Omaha) taught “Lean IT – Save Money, Reduce Time to Deliver, Focus on Your Business”. His slides stepped through a number of transitions he and Mutual of Omaha have taken to complete more work with existing resources, resulting in great value to that organization. During his four hours, he asked his attendees to engage in two workshop exercises that supported their learning quite well. There was material about Lean (one of the “Agile” models), but his intent was to cover a great deal more information than that. If you need to streamline business processes in your organization and if you need to provide IT support for business processes your organization is streamlining, you might well find that a later presentation of this material will help you along. Dr. Royce did a nice job responding to the particular needs of the group I sat with. Good session.

Dr. Abhishek Parakh and Matthew Battey taught “Security Challenges and Opportunities in Cloud Computing”. I considered this an interesting session because I understand both the potential cost savings cloud computing can give us (the shared resources argument) and low tolerances to the vulnerabilities of storing one’s data in a shared environment. Going in, I expected that “someday”, our industry will find solutions to the shared storage problem. Walking out, I perceive we are much closer than I was aware to solving that problem. The hands-on portion of this session involved firing up a virtual server at Amazon Web Services and setting up Porticor, an encryption appliance, to protect all data on the AWS server. Porticor claims to “encrypt the entire data layer in minutes”; I’ll vouch for the quick setup part. If you’re an “educate myself” kind of person, I’m betting all the information to do what we did is on the AWS and Porticor web sites; it’d be a good exercise. Use the option for the smallest server on AWS (which is large enough for a SharePoint instance) and the experience should be free to you. Dr. Parakh clearly has lots to offer the data security community. Matt Battey helped us fire up an instance of SharePoint on our AWS server and use SharePoint protections to further protect data there. I deeply respect a consulting skill I see in Matt: He talked about highly technical subjects at a layman’s level and never approached making the attendees feel he was “dumming down” his discussion. He is clearly a technical expert well beyond the level at which he spoke; he expertly spoke to his audience. Well done by both presenters.

This version of the Academy was in October; they apparently run them three times a year. In 2012, their sessions were in April, August, and October. So, the next one might be in April; dunno. If you want to join their mailing list, you might consider contact with Dr. Deepak Khazanchi at UNO College of IS&T. Or ask me to send you the invitation I received for this session; I presume it’ll have all the information you’ll need for that purpose.