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Central Texas College

Computer Science Department


Advisory Council Meeting 2009

13 November 2009

MEMBERS ATTENDING

Julia Couillard, Bell County, Technical Management.


June Farmer, Senior Software Engineer, Mclane Company Inc.
Elliot Germany, Panel Specialist Inc., Director of Operations
Dale Koebnick, Metroplex Hospital MIS Director, (V-President, Advisory Council)
Steve Newberry, Director-Information Systems, Texas A&M Central Texas
Steve Sanders, IT Specialist, US Army Information Center Fort Hood Tx.
Maria Kelley, Program Analyst, Intergraph Public Safety
Laurie Zimmerman, First National Bank Texas, Vice President (President,
Advisory Council)
Mark Zimmerman, Bell County, Sr System Analyst

FACULTY ATTENDING

David Coleman
Doug Edwards

Mike Green
Tanya Gibson
Katherine Oser
Jane Perschbach
Steve Schroeder
Laszlo Eosze (acting recorder)

MEMBERS MISSING

Barbara Carver, Senior Programmer, Bell County.


Rodney Hess, Bell County, Senior Programmer.
Angela Mars, Central Texas College, Coordinator, IT Education & Training
Kevin Gunn, Director of Information Technology, City of Killeen
Marilyn Hall, Senior Programmer, Bell County
I. WELCOME

The advisory council meeting was called to order by Laurie Zimmerman at 9:15 a.m.
She welcomed all members and then turned the floor over to Dennis Ford. Mr. Ford
read a statement from Mr. Grazinski apologizing for his absence due to a
rescheduled medical appointment that he could not cancel.

II NEW BUSINESS

Mr. Ford
 Introduced Katherine Oser as our newest instructor
 Announced that our Security degree and certificate are now available on-line
 Announced that our department would start teaching a series of
MCSA preparation courses in January 2010.
 Opened the floor to all attendees for their comments and input concerning
skills that are needed in the workplace.

III COMMENTS

Mr. Steve Sanders explained that IT at Ft Hood had changed. The former
Directorate of Information Management (DOIM) is now Network Enterprise Center
(DEC) and is centralized with the rest of the Continental United States (CONUS) IT
and run through Signal Command at Ft. Huachuca, AZ.
 His special interests were Share Point server portal (they have 50-60 sites)
and Cloud Computing. He compared MS Azure Beta (fee application) with
Google (free application). He would like to see students with some share
point knowledge. They need to be tech oriented, but not Computer Science
degreed.
 Another critical item to know: how to operate permissions (inheritance,
overlapping groups, Active Directory, etc.). This is especially important within
HIPAA.
 Ft Hood mandate is to move from XP to Vista by 1 Dec 2009. Win7 has not
yet undergone sufficient security testing, and will not be used in the
foreseeable future on Fort Hood.

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 DOIM used to have a 2 year training cycle for its techs, and required A+
certification. Now all of CONUS is in one group with new training policies and
certifications to be forthcoming.
 The SQL Server Farm is no longer at Ft Hood, Helpdesk will move to
Oklahoma City next year.
 Their big mission is to keep 100,000 users at Ft Hood from doing something
stupid. This is now all centralized elsewhere, and IT equipment is managed
off site.

Mr. Doug Edwards spoke of difficulties that students encountered learning


programming on-line.

Mr. Mark Zimmerman concurred with the security issues, and underlined the
importance of grouping users. When a payroll auditor asks a programmer who has
access to what, the answer is not always easy to obtain or define. We must get
used to defining/making the groups first and only then start coding (not always
done).
 His biggest concern is GIS programming and addressing, voter records,
permanent addresses, etc.
 XML is the other new item, used for data delivery, communication (shipping
and receiving).
 Digital encoding overlays the whole, and is another challenge.
 Life Skills issues are a large component of the job as a service provider.
 Not hot: Green-screen computing mentality (main-frame), with lots of
embedded stuff, as opposed to the new generation which is used to web
pages. This often can create a culture clash.

Mr. Steve Schroeder spoke of the required life skills, as witnessed on non-self-
paced on-line courses.

Mr. Sanders emphasized we should not care if a student shows up for class but
have deadlines and consequences. Let them fail!

Ms. Koebnick agreed. Students need to own their education. They paid and it is
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their learning.

Ms. Dale Koebnick clarified her position as no longer being with the local hospital
but with ‘Corporate’ out of Florida. They are at 17th percentile nationwide for
electronic medical records, and are on track to be top 1% by end of 2010. Their
server farm will be hosted by CERN
 She commiserated with Mr. Sanders. Centralization, which Metroplex had to
undergo, was painful and good. She now deals with geeks who understand
tech speak (and necessities), while CFOs, CEOs, etc do not understand tech
requirements and must have things justified… The change was tough on the
staff, but having a centralized help desk was wonderful. Trouble calls no
longer are disruptive but are logged and supported by everyone available at
that time.
 They just changed to MSOffice 2007, and will be upgrading to Win7 by mid
2010.
 Life Skills are a must. Most of her employees are long-term. New staff
must learn AD [and permissions]. New technology is a fact of life, as is the
need to get trained/certified on it.
 Most of her senior executives are 40 or younger – a whole new life style.
They must have new toys (Blackberry, etc.). Much is now done Video-
Conferencing, where they can all sit in a room by themselves, but that can’t
replace face-to-face.
 Teachers can’t teach life skills, just one lesson at a time. Every day. Good
troubleshooting skills sometimes are innate but some can be taught.
 Training must be done out of the house: much learning is done through
contact with other people.
 Hot: AD, permissions, S&S, and ways to deploy Apps. A change in one
permission must not be allowed to cascade with unintended consequences!

Dr. Jane Perschbach spoke of some use of Share Point in her Project Management
class, as well as installing virtual servers in Operating Systems class. Students
often have difficulty grasping the concept of multiple MAC addresses for one PC.
MCSA courses will be using labs in the Cloud, where virtual networks are
established between virtual PCs and servers. She also addressed the MCSA legacy
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issue vs. the new MCITP.
A discussion of Internet use or Internet blocking ensued – it can’t be all locked down,
yet permitting it allows problems.

Ms. Julie Couillard, our newest member, is the hardware person in Bell County. She
manages Exchange, servers, domain admin, PC purchases, tech hiring, and loves
“Blue Coat”, an internet filtering software, which is difficult to fine-tune, but very
much worth it, provided that the non-IT management supports the policies.
 She misses Server2008 classes in our offerings. She had just implemented
Server2008 at County, saying the upgrade from 2003 was easy.
 Dr. Perschbach responded that the department plans to begin teaching the
new Server2008 certification classes as soon as the publishers have
textbooks and virtual labs available. Hopefully by fall 2010.
 She also thought we should provide some training on Microsoft Exchange,
which is ‘huge’. They just implemented ’07.
 Mobility: She concurred with Ms. Koebnick that these “toys” were a fact of
life but also a security nightmare. They recently got mobile email; but so far
only two buildings were wireless, and their VLAN bypasses regular network.
Apparently Ft Hood allows only Blackberry. The system has lots of Antivirus
running, but there is only a finite amount of time and man hours available to
manage wireless.
 USB devices: shutting off USBs is not an option at the Bell County Offices
(as was done at Ft Hood). Metroplex’s solution, according to Ms. Koebnick,
is to only allow one type of USB, and if user forgets the password, then the
device is formatted on third incorrect attempt.
 Asked about use of computer forensics, she would love to use it but has no
time for it.
 Life Skills are very important She has 6 employees to deal with 1000
personalities who need support
 Training must go out: in-the-office learning is never as good as out-of-office.
A lot is absorbed – better – by sending people to be with other people – rubs
off better than books.
 Special request: Do not appease students by slacking requirements (don’t
extend deadlines, ease work requirements, allow make-up work, etc.). Ms.
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Koebnick’s response is that good students also must learn to manage
expectations: slackers are also a fact of life.
Ensuing discussion on where the majority of our students fall grade wise settled
on 10% above, 10% below the mean group. Today’s average is now a “C” which
is not good enough for most employers. Mr. Schroeder said that he maintained
his high standards (no curve) but had only had three students fail over the years.

Mr. Elliot Germany said he was looking for well rounded people to hire, he offered
the department his willingness to have student interns
 Straight-A students may not be ideal if they lack Life Skills - B-students may
be more balanced.
 An important concept for employees to learn is understanding the total cost
of ownership (TCO) – what is the best value and not what is cheapest. He
had an employee with great skills who had no idea about how to buy
equipment.
 He would love to have colleges teach Time Management- and Life skills. It is
easy to define that a machine must produce 60 pieces of widgets per minute,
but what should a programmer produce?

Mr. David Coleman spoke of the limited interest in Game Design (what was to be
our newest ‘hot’ offering), and mentioned handling ‘at risk’ students who can often
be categorized as either ‘don’t understand’ or ‘don’t do’.

Ms. Katherine Oser spoke of the need to form a better-rounded person, the need to
teach not just MS Word, but also how to write, how to do a web search, etc. and not
just memorize steps. She also spoke of her attempts at creating student
ePortfolios, which would show potential employers what the student can do, and
maybe encourage the student to focus more on their learning.

Ms. Laurie Zimmerman identified herself as being more on the business side of
banking rather than technology, and as a user of tools for analysis.
 Being able to use the extended tools of a spreadsheet (VLOOKUP) is an
indispensable asset.
 There is a growing demand for SharePoint skills.
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 Social Networking is another skill that new employees must have: both sides
of the coin: we must be able to advertise a business, but we must also know
what not to post.

Other topics discussed include:


 Metroplex just made the switch to Office2007. There is no way to have 2000
employees attend class on how to use it (some can’t and some won’t). They
had about 50% use the MS licensed on-line training.
 We need to teach students how to “google” and how to use built-in help
systems.
 A good way to train a large group is to pull the “super users” and train them.
 New technologies are a fact of life. Also training/certification on that new
equipment usually happens after it has arrived.
 Ms. Zimmerman and Ms. Couillard volunteered to address Dr. Perschbach’s
Project Management class.
 Dr. Perschbach quickly accepted their offer and scheduled their addresses
(19 Nov Ms. Zimmerman, 3 Dec Ms. Couillard).

Mr. Ford stated that the council member’s comments would be used to insure that
more attention is given to life skills and the emerging technologies such as Cloud
Computing and SharePoint. Mr. Ford then thanked everyone for their comments
and the department’s appreciation for their participation as members of the council.
Mr. Ford then turned the meeting over to Ms. Zimmerman.

Ms. Zimmerman echoed Mr. Ford’s appreciation and wished everyone a productive
holiday season.

Meeting adjourned at 10:55 a.m.