Friday, June 18, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Science Computing – The little engine that could

Continuing the PDAG series of "Yet another faculty computing group...,” Science Computing talks about some of their current initiatives, past projects and some of their motivating and guiding principles that help them keep up with the larger groups.  If you are interested in what it takes for on-campus development to compete with commercial software vendors, please come and join us.
 

The belief in oneself to accomplish a specific task is a strong predictor of success.
 

Speaker Bio

Paul Miskovsky

Paul’s educational roots are in engineering and IT management. He picked up programming and scripting skills while working in industry before finding himself at UW. He divides his spare time between ham radios, cycling, and endless internet tech and other how-to education. Paul’s strategy is to hire awesome staff and let them follow their interests. It’s working okay so far.

Join online

Friday, June 11, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

MS Teams Update

Meagan and Theepiga will provide an overview of what’s new in Microsoft Teams.

Social Intents

Theepiga and Carol will provide an overview of Social Intents, the new centrally supported live chat tool.


Speakers Bio:

Meagan works in IST Client Services as Client Support Specialist. She enjoys solving problems and is a firm believer in lifelong learning. Outside of work she likes to watch movies and play golf.

Theepiga is a Client Support Specialist on the IST Service Desk Teams in Client Services. She loves learning and supporting others in learning about new technology. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her family and trying new things.

Carol is a Computing Consultant on the IST Service Desks team in Client Services. She enjoys helping others find solutions to both technical and non-technical problems.

This session will be recorded and a link added to the PDAG seminar page.

Join online

Friday, May 28, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

FAST Development Group

FAST (Faculty & Academic-Support Software Team) is a group of cross-faculty developers working together to improve the existing dev ecosystem at UW.

Mirko and Steve think they met discussing DevOps, Ansible and Salt at MFCF, but they don’t really remember anymore. They worked so well together on both personal and professional levels that a collaborative relationship quickly developed. Two heroes with capes working together. The idea to extend that collaborative environment across campus to create a full-on Justice League was an obvious choice.
 

Speaker Bios:

Mirko Vucicevich

Mirko is the lead developer of web-tools within the Faculty of Science. Led by client requests in Science, he tries to build local, easily-supported software with a focus on de-tangling and modernizing legacy business processes.
 

Steve Weber

Steve is an IT Specialist in Math. His background in programming and knowledge of campus infrastructure has led to several fruitful collaborations with Science. He is also a contributor to many open source projects and maintainer of VM clusters that keep multiple faculties' blood flowing.
 

This session will be recorded and a link added to the PDAG seminar page.

Join online

Friday, May 14, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Improving the way we work with Jira Service Management

In 2013 our software development team in IST began using Jira to help coordinate their work. Since then, usage of the Jira portfolio and project management (PPM) and Confluence knowledgebase (KB) software has grown organically over time, expanding from a 10-user to 2000-user license, and transitioning from a tool that we use internally to a service we offer campus wide. Groups in all faculties, and most academic support units rely on these services to manage projects and coordinate tasks, publish KBs and share documentation. In 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we piloted Jira Service Desk, the Atlassian issue tracking system, with the dream of a full-fledged IT service management system with native integration into our KB and PPM tool, to enhance our own client service and improve efficiencies in UW’s central IT department but also to provide a standardized, integrated toolset to our colleagues across campus. We are now in the process of migrating to Jira from Request Tracker (RT), as well as helping 500+ campus partners. This presentation will outline how we got here, lessons learned, and what is planned over the next year.
 

Speaker Bios

Andrew McAlorum

Andrew is the Director of Client Services in Information Systems & Technology. He previously served as the Manager of Web Development in IST and Head of Digital Initiatives in the Library, and has held roles at the University of Toronto and York University. As Director of Client Services, Andrew provides leadership and direction for the services offered by IST’s Service Desks, Customer Relations & Support, and the Project Management Office. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors from Queen’s University and a Master of Information Studies from University of Toronto.

Matthew Harford

Matthew Harford is the Manager for the IST Service Desk team. He has been working on campus since 2009, initially as student staff. When he is not helping people at work, he likes to spend his time woodworking and enjoying the outdoors.

This seminar will be recorded. A link will be added to the PDAG website.

Join online

Friday, May 7, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Overview of the Microsoft Power BI reporting and analytics platform. What it enables the users to achieve with their data, highlight the capabilities, and the use cases implemented at UW.  

Presenter: Sergey Bobkin, IST

Speaker Bio:

My name is Sergey, and I work on the data, integration, and analytics team within IST. As part of my job, I implement solutions within the Azure cloud platform, and the Power BI service to support getting data to where it needs to go and create actionable reporting. 

This session will be recorded and a link added to the PDAG seminar page.
 

Join online

Friday, April 30, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Better Know a Faculty Compute Group - CSCF

In this first of a, hopefully, long-running series, we get to know the Computer Science Computing Facility.  Who are they, what do they do, and what is a “Facility” anyhow?  We look at some of the projects they have been involved in from creating a 200TB file service using open-source tools, a multi-building redundant infrastructure, building multi-million dollar clusters, to the Odyssey of the Exam Management System and the Online Academic Tools (OAT).  Come get to know us!

Speaker Bio:

Lawrence Folland came to UW in 2003 to join the management team for the newly created CSCF, along with Jason Testart (now Director of Information Security).  He started with a team of two (Mike Patterson and Mike Gore) and now has a team of 4 research computing support staff, two web developers and a small army of co-ops supporting our various endeavors.  From November 2019 to October 2020 he took off a year to take on the role of Staff Association President, a role that was both demanding and very rewarding during the pandemic.  He is pleased to be back with his team and looks forward to the day when they can be working together in person. When not working (and there’s no lockdown), he enjoys board gaming, skiing, canoeing, geocaching, sailing, video games and drumming in a classic rock band.

Join online

This seminar will be recorded. The link will be added to the PDAG website.

Friday, April 23, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Optimizing Your Home Office Ergonomics

This will be a visual presentation designed to assist employees in setting up a home office workstation with ergonomics in mind. In a home office environment sometimes creative and innovative solutions are needed.  Frequently made common mistakes will be illustrated, and best practices shared.  Both seated and standing workstations will be discussed.

Speaker Bio

Andrew Scheifele

Andrew started work with the University in 2014, working as a manager in the Safety Office. He brings with him over 20 years of experience helping individuals with office ergonomics and has met with well over 600 University employees.  Managing the ergonomics program and conducting ergonomic assessments are one of the many responsibilities he holds in the Safety Office. In addition, he oversees accident and near miss investigations, WSIB reporting, helping injured employees return to work and supporting legislative compliance.   


Join online

This seminar will be recorded. The link will be added to the PDAG website.

Friday, April 16, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

OneDrive Migration Project Update

Mike and Stephen will provide an overview of the project to move away from on-campus file storage including: a general summary of OneDrive, the benefits of OneDrive in your normal work routine, and finally a  quick demonstration of IST’s recent N: drive to OneDrive files migration.  

Speaker Bios

Mike Cocker

Mike has worked at the University of Waterloo for 15 years. He began working as an Information Technology Specialist for Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2006. He has been working as a Systems Integration Specialist for IST since 2011. Mike has had an array of IT responsibilities over the years, but currently his focus is working for Technology Integrated Services area of IST doing workstation management and SCCM. Before working at UWaterloo, Mike worked locally in IT for several years. Mike's hobbies include gardening, hiking, and travelling.

Stephen Markan

Stephen has been an employee at the University of Waterloo for over 30 years. He is currently part of IST and is the Client Services liaison to the Faculty of Science. He also knows a thing or two about SharePoint (hint: OneDrive is really SharePoint in disguise). When not puttering with computers, Stephen putters in the garden, and organizes tabletop gaming events throughout Waterloo region via KW Gamers.

Join online

This seminar will be recorded. The link will be added to the PDAG website.

Friday, March 26, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EDT

Bomgar vs MS Teams

With an entire year of Work from Home (WFH) for much of campus, IT support staff have had to explore how to provide remote support to systems.

This seminar will explore some of the lessons learned in providing Remote Help to devices. And then focus on two of the tools available for us to see what our users are seeing.


Will Lewis will provide an overview of Bomgar (BeyondTrust) as a tool for in-depth support and troubleshooting.


Stephen Markan will provide an overview of Teams for use as a triage tool for better understanding what someone is describing. 

Speaker Bios:

Will Lewis

William Lewis is a computing consultant in Customer Relations and Support, Client Services, IST. Will led the investigation of remote support tools in 2008 which selected Bomgar as the university’s remote support tool. Will is the account representative for the Faculty of Arts and also provides support for the Office of Research.  

Stephan Markan

Stephen has been an employee at the University of Waterloo for over 30 years. He is currently part of IST and the Client Services liaison to the Faculty of Science. He also knows a thing or two about SharePoint (hint: OneDrive is really SharePoint in disguise). When not puttering with computers, Stephen putters in the garden; and organizes tabletop gaming events throughout Waterloo region via KW Gamers.
 

This session will be recorded and a link added to the PDAG seminar page.

Join online

Friday, March 12, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

Computing after a year of pandemic: working from home securely

Terry will discuss what he and his colleagues have learned over the last year about the working from home (WFH) computing security landscape. He will demonstrate the latest techniques to keep your home-based computer and data safe.  He'll also offer a few thoughts on making the WFH computing experience better.
 

Speaker Bio

Terry Labach has worked at UW since 2004 and is currently a member of IST's Information Security Services team.

He has previously worked as a system and network administrator, software developer, teacher, and a parliamentary assistant.

He dreams of the day when he can escape from his basement and listen to live blues in a bar, watch a Saskatchewan Roughriders game in the stands, or go scuba diving in Cuba. Until then, he sits at home practising harmonica and speaking Spanish to his cat.

This session will be recorded and a link added to the seminar page.

Join online

Friday, March 5, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

Currently, many departments and groups use SharePoint 2016 on premise to store documentation, collaborate on documents, keep important data about documents, and use other SharePoint features. Going forward, we will be using SharePoint Online (in the cloud). In this presentation, we will discuss the benefits and features of SharePoint Online, where it fits in the O365 ecosystem, the migration paths and process for on premise SharePoint sites, things to keep in mind for sites, and where we are at with the project. There will also be a demonstration.

Speaker Bios

Tim Farrell

Tim has worked in IT at UW for the past 41 years with the Department of Computing Services, Arts Computing Office, and IST. He currently works in IST’s Technology Integrated Services group and supports server-side applications: Active Directory, SharePoint, Office Online Server, Exchange, and the campus fax service. In his spare time Tim enjoys keeping active in all seasons, kayaking, biking, hiking, hockey, alpine and x-country skiing.

Stephan Markan

Stephen has been an employee at the University of Waterloo for over 30 years. He is currently part of IST and the Client Services liaison to the Faculty of Science. He also knows a thing or two about SharePoint (hint: OneDrive is really SharePoint in disguise). When not puttering with computers, Stephen putters in the garden; and organizes tabletop gaming events throughout Waterloo region via KW Gamers.

Connie van Oostveen

Connie has worked in various roles in IST at UW for the past 26 years, and is currently a Senior Project Manager in the Project Management Office. Connie is the project manager for the Move to SharePoint Online project, along with two other projects. In her spare time, Connie enjoys going to the gym (virtually too!), walking/hiking, gardening and spending time with her family.

This session will be recorded and a link added to the seminar page.

Join online

Friday, February 26, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST
TIS Update
Technology Integrated Services (TIS) provides services to the university-at-large in the areas of infrastructure applications, campus applications support, computing systems, storage technologies and network connectivity. This presentation will provide a brief overview of TIS, our philosophy, achievements of 2020 as well as future plans and goals.
 
Speaker Bio
Steven Bourque is the Director of Technology Integrated Services. He has been a member of Information Systems and Technology for 15 years. Steven came to the University after working for a commercial Internet Service Provider as a Sr. Network Engineer.
 
This session will not be recorded.
 
Friday, February 19, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

This seminar will be recorded. The link will be posted on the PDAG website.

IST-ITMS’s 2020, the year of “living in interesting times"

Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS) provides the central facilities used for teaching and learning, from the classrooms, to the many educational technologies, to video editing, and more. With up to 39,000 students and well over 2000 instructors making use of various in-person and online services in the two big terms (Fall and Winter), life for the team tends to be very busy. Then it got very interesting starting in late February of 2020. This presentation updates you on what ITMS does, and how areas of the group transitioned during the move to “remote teaching”, as the new mode of operating became known. While we are always close partners in our work with various academic support units, we partnered even more closely with Centre for Extended Learning (CEL), Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and the Library as part of the Keep Learning team.

Speaker Bio

Andrea Chappell is the Director of Instructional Technologies and Media Services. She first came to the University from Nova Scotia for a Masters (Computer Science, in Math), went off to Toronto to work for two years (staying in the big city for exactly 3 weekends during that time), and returned to Waterloo to start work in what became IST. Since then she’s been in six groups, in seven roles. That she can recall.

Join online

Friday, January 29, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

This session will be recorded. The link will be posted on the PDAG website.

CEL-Management Information Dashboard - Visualizing Data through PowerBI
The lack of centralized, rich, accurate and real-time management information about the online learning and professional development businesses of the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) has been a longstanding hurdle to the expansion of the unit. As a potential solution, the CEL Systems team initiated the Management Information Dashboard (CEL-MID) project in Spring 2019 to develop a centralized dashboard which feeds on multiple internal and external data sources, including the IST data lake, periodically and in real-time to generate tailored visualizations using the Microsoft PowerBI platform. The CEL-MID has five main dashboards which are Senior Management, Management, Staff, Professional Development and Public with access control managed through Grouper. Each dashboard consists of multiple tabs hosting various tailored reports such as:

  • Student Enrolment – overview, by career, by learner, WD/WF count
  • Student Demographics – citizenship status, exam location
  • Courses and Programs – course count, WatPD courses, X no. of courses (unique count)
  • Systems Projects – project progress, resource allocation
  • Course production projects – progress, resource allocation, time-on-task
  • Externally funded projects – progress
  • New reports added through fortnightly sprints based on the self-service intake form

Speaker Bios

Kanchan Dhiman is an Information Systems Analyst – Systems at Centre of Extended Learning, University of Waterloo, Canada. She is a part of the Systems support team where she leads the CEL-MID project and other initiatives such as Software Quality Assurance.

Jason Greatrex is the Support Team Manager -Systems at the Centre for Extended Learning

Ishan Abeywardena is the Associate Director – Systems at the Centre for Extended Learning

Join online

Friday, January 22, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

ISS Update

Jason will provide an overview of what has kept IST’s Information Security Services team busy during 2020 and what we can expect in the near future.

Speaker Bio

Jason Testart is the Director of IST’s Information Security Services where he provides campus leadership in cybersecurity matters and oversees a team providing services in cyber security operations, identity and access management, and cyber risk management.

Join online

Friday, January 15, 2021 — 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM EST

ERP Update

During this session, Daryl will be provide an update on some of the major projects across his team with specific emphasis on:

  • Longer term planning for Quest
  • Data environment and agile approach to supporting campus needs
  • Integration technologies
  • Update on CRM and Dubhub
  • ERP landscape at other universities across Canada

Speaker Bio

Daryl Dore is the Director of ERP within IST and responsible for leading IST efforts for Quest, HR, Financial and data systems.

This session will be recorded and a link will be provided on the PDAG site.

Join online

S M T W T F S
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
  1. 2021 (16)
    1. June (2)
    2. May (3)
    3. April (3)
    4. March (3)
    5. February (2)
    6. January (3)
  2. 2020 (32)
    1. December (2)
    2. November (3)
    3. October (4)
    4. September (3)
    5. August (2)
    6. July (3)
    7. June (2)
    8. May (3)
    9. April (1)
    10. March (2)
    11. February (5)
    12. January (2)
  3. 2019 (23)
  4. 2018 (31)
  5. 2017 (24)
  6. 2016 (28)
  7. 2015 (37)
  8. 2014 (45)
  9. 2013 (3)
  10. 2012 (3)