This past December, IST hosted the 15th annual WatITis conference (pronounced “What – it – is” for those still wondering). Over 250 IT staff from all over campus attended the conference, which had an array of sessions ranging from Microsoft Office 365 to Advanced Design Implementation and Developer Workflow.

Our keynote this year was Assistant Computer Science Professor, Gregor Richards, who enthusiastically discussed the history, current status and future of programming languages at the University of Waterloo.

The WatITis conference is made possible by the generous support of our CIO Bruce Campbell and IST. Our group of volunteers also work tirelessly in the days leading up to (and including the day of) the conference to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work!

WatITis volunteers standing by the regsitration table. Some WatITis volunteers waiting for attendees to arrive! (Left to right: Shah Chandon, IST, Darren Bondy, IST, Craig McDonald, AHS, Adam Savage, Library, Jennifer Matheson, IST

Missed the conference? Don't sweat IT

Some of the favourite sessions this year were “Rise of the machines: Understanding and hacking the Internet of things” by Terry Labach and the talk on the new “Identity and Access Management system” by Sean Mason. Look for both of these to be potential PDAG seminars later this year, in case you missed it at the conference.

We want to hear from you

After the conference we send out a survey, which you can still fill out if you haven't yet!. We are always looking to improve the conference based on your feedback. This year we tried something new by not printing booklets and having a limited number of “swag” bags available in an effort to reduce waste (which had been suggested on previous surveys). Your feedback is important to us so if you have any suggestions/feedback, please fill out the survey and let us know. We will try our best to make the next one even better!  

The most consistent feedback we do receive is that this conference is a great opportunity for IT professionals on campus to come together for a day of networking, learning and sharing expertise with their colleagues.

And what about those door prizes?! This year we had a collection of great items donated by IT service providers/vendors, including a 27” Dell monitor, AppleTV 4K, Bose portable speaker, and more! That should be enough to convince you to attend next year’s conference, right?

WatITis 2018

The 2018 WatITis conference may be months away, but it’s never too early to think about submitting a talk; we're always interested in having new speakers. A call for papers will be sent out in April (and again in June) so keep a look out for it. No topic too big, no topic too small!

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