January Tech Upload

View Archived Newsletters

NEW Digital News

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and are ready to help us tackle 2020. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

NEW IT Alliance Factsheet

One of the major projects we have worked on since the NEW IT Alliance’s inception has been to collect data about the IT community in Northeast Wisconsin. The Alliance was founded after a study in 2015 among regional IT employers showed that by 2021 the region would have 3000 new IT positions. 

Since then we have focused on growing the pool of available talent in the region – primarily through collaboration with K12 and Higher Ed institutions. We set strategic goals for ourselves at the higher ed level that include growing enrollments in IT programs in the Technical Colleges by 7% and in the 4-year universities by 15%.

This week we published an IT factsheet of some of the data we collected over the past few years which shows the progress made in the region. With the help of Microsoft, we collected data from regional high schools about their computer science offerings in both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. The data shows a sharp increase in the number of students enrolled in CS courses from 5% to 11% and that the TEALS program has become very popular among high schools with 18 schools now participating.

At the college-level, enrollments in IT programs at UW-Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, Lakeland University, Fox Valley Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College, and Moraine Park Technical College have risen by 46% from 2015-2016 to 2018-2019 with almost 2,500 students now enrolling. We also looked at the gender breakdown of the students, and found that while 32% of the students in CS classes in high schools were female this number drops to 18% at the college-level. While we would like to see a higher proportion of female students at both levels, these numbers are largely in line with national trends.

You can find more details on the NEW IT Alliance Factsheet page on our website.

Data Collection for Surveys

Data collection among K12 and higher is an ongoing effort with annual surveys sent each spring.

New for 2020, we are developing a survey that will go to regional employers to help us better understand the regional IT employment needs. The Alliance has already had a couple of organizations contact us looking for this type of data. We hope to have this data collected, and ready to share at our annual TechTalent Summit in June. We will also be sharing the annual data from K12, and Higher Ed. More information on this event will be shared in future newsletters.

The data on the factsheet page represents a subset of the data we have available. If you love data, we could use your help in analyzing and disseminating all the data we have available now. Please contact us at newitalliance@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer a few hours of your time. Thank you!

New Executive Director for NEW ERA

Since our inception we have collaborated with NEW Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA), which is a regional working collaboration among the senior leadership of six public colleges and universities and the College of the Menominee Nation in Northeast Wisconsin. We were happy to see a familiar face step into the vacant executive director role. Jerry Murphy, who helped launch the NEW IT Alliance when he was the Executive Director for New North, started January 6 in the role. 

Congratulations Jerry!  We look forward to continued collaboration between the alliances.

Learn more about NEW ERA and Jerry’s role as Executive Director on our blog!

CS4WI Initiative

Code.org is leading an effort to introduce state legislation to support CS education in K12. NEW IT Alliance is a supporter of this effort, which includes three elements: 1) Fund Professional Development for Computer Science Teachers, 2) Create a State CS Position at DPI, 3) Create a State Plan for Computer Science.

If these efforts prove successful it will be a big boost to our efforts to increase the number of IT Professionals in Northeast Wisconsin. You can learn more here, and provide your support by contacting Sean Roberts at sean@code.org.

Regional News

Séura - Designing Smarter Spaces for the Future

Smart MirrorJoin the Digital Fertilizer community for an evening of networking and storytelling.

On January 13th, come hear the story of Séura from the founders, Gretchen and Tim Gilbertson, ask questions about their journey, and get a chance to interact with their smart mirrors!

Want more information or already interested in registering? Click the link below to view more details on our events page!

Register Now

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, please join the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis (NEW IIBA) as they host an evening of activities devoted to Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the workplace.

Meet several area technology leaders, learn about EQ, enjoy dinner and networking with other IT professionals by joining NEW IIBA for the evening. Registration for the event ends at noon on January 13, 2020!

Learn more and register on our events page!

Register Now

Are you A/B Testing your Designs?

AB Test DesignsA/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better.

Guest presenter, Dana Boehm will be sharing her experiences using Google Optimize to test design updates on her projects at Schneider.

Learn the benefits of A/B testing your designs by attending this event on January 21st, from 5:30-7PM at Headway in Green Bay. Click the link below to register!

Register Now

Intro to Testing with Jest & React Testing Library

Testing is a critical part of our work and there is no shortage of different ways to test our apps. This talk will give an intro to general JavaScript testing principles and tools before diving into the specifics of testing React components using Jest and React Testing Library, the tooling recommended by the React core team.

This month guest presenter, Chris Schmitz, Senior Software Engineer at Handshake, will teach you how to get started with Jest and the React Testing Library.

Enhance your skills and have a chance to network at this event on January 21st, from 7-8:30PM at Headway in Green Bay. Click the link below to register now!

Register Now

CS News from around the State

Recent events
  • WI Computer Science Education Summit: About 120 participants attended the summit. All of the sessions were done by WI CS teachers exhibiting the many experts in the state. Topics included: CS for K-8, Cyber Security, Wearable Tech, CS Discoveries, APP Inventor, Ada Fruit, APCS Principles Resources, APCS A – JAVA, TEALS, CS for All and Family Nights.
  • MSOE University Op Computer Competition: This competition was held Friday, November 22, 2019. The CSTA WI-Dairyland Chapter promoted this competition and there were many schools with multiple teams participating. They also held a CSTA WI-Dairyland meeting where they talked about the CS Summit and their CS Repository of links to lessons among other topics.
Upcoming Events
  • CSTA WI-Dairyland APCSA workshop:

    Andy Kuemmel, instructor at UW-Madison will be leading a hands-on coding workshop on January 8, 2020 on the UW-Madison campus.  There will be two parallel strands: 

    • Java Boot Camp: Know how to code, don’t know Java
    • Current AP CS A Teachers: Coding the new AP CS A Labs

    Here is the form to sign up:  https://forms.gle/oSX4kbCEJhfGxpxs8

  • The Marquette University Computer Science Competition: will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  Student teams register in one of three divisions – Scratch, Java or APCS Principles.  Last year, 2019, over 400 students representing 35 high schools within 3 hour driving distance of MU participated.
  • PUMPCS Summer Workshops: Prof Dennis Brylow, CS Professor at Marquette University, will again be offering a full selection of week-long workshops during the week of July 27-31, 2020 on the campus.  These will include Exploring Computer Science (ECS), Beauty and Joy of Coputing (BJC) and the several flavors of Code.org curricula.