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2019 Summer Working Connections


On July 8-12, 2019, the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) will be hosting in Frisco, Texas the 18th annual Summer Working Connections! Working Connections has been going strong every year since 2002 when it was first held at Richland College in Dallas, TX.

More than 2000 enrollments have been recorded at Working Connections professional development events, covering more than 90 unique IT topics. In the past five years, an average of 73% of the faculty attendees chose a discipline that they were not currently teaching, leading to 42 new degrees, certificates, or courses created and implemented using the training provided. By the National CTC’s calculations, over 126,000 students and faculty have been impacted by the training provided by Summer Working Connections since the program began.

This year we’re featuring the following six tracks:   2019SummerBlogPic

  • “AWS Cloud Foundations” will provide an overall understanding of cloud computing concepts, independent of specific technical roles. This track will provide a detailed overview of cloud concepts, AWS core services, security, architecture, pricing, and support and will prepare attendees to sit for the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam. Attendee schools must join the AWS Academy as a pre-requisite.  This is a brand new topic for the CTC.
  • “Big Data Analytics and Data Visualization” will introduce attendees to the world of data visualization dashboards and big data analytics. Last summer, this track looked at both PowerBI and Tableau, but this year the focus will be solely on Tableau, which is the leading data visualization and analytics tools in the market today.  Attendees will learn about the basics of “big data” and how businesses and educational institutions are creating a culture of data-driven decision-making.  The CTC is happy to have instructor Rajiv Malkan from Lone Star College back again for this track.
  • “Cyber Buffet” will be a unique track for the CTC in that it will offer a wide variety of cybersecurity topics with brief explanations, demonstrations, and hands-on projects. The projects are designed to be dropped into IT classes for immediate use. Topics will include security Android apps, cryptography, malware analysis, and securing web apps.  The instructor for this track will be Sam Bowne from City College of San Francisco. Sam is a security guru and one of the CTC’s most popular instructors.
  • “Introduction to Bitcoins, Blockchains, Smart Contracts, and DApps” is another new topic for Working Connections. Attendees will be introduced to the underlying technology and business behind Bitcoins, Blockchains and Distributed Applications (DApps).  The track will also look at the origins of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and its evolution over the past decade, the rise of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Blockchain, the proliferation of Smart Contracts using Solidity, and the emergence of DApps that use Blockchain for a variety of applications.
  • “Preparing to Teach the Internet of Things” will be presented for the third summer in a row by instructor Bill Saichek (Orange Coast College). Attendees will “get their hands dirty” by walking through various lab assignments in support of IoT technologies. Labs will be both “high-touch” and virtual. All of the exercises demonstrated and performed during this course can be done in a typical networking classroom/lab (such as A+, Network+ or Cisco).
  • “Transforming Hybrid Cloud Architecture” will explore NetApp SDS solutions for enterprise customers. Attendees will set up a hybrid cloud environment using an on-premises infrastructure and AWS and Azure and experience first-hand how to manage, move and protect data in a hybrid cloud environment.  Participants will also be enrolled in and eligible to complete the NetApp Certified Technology Associatecertification curriculum. The CTC has long enjoyed a successful partnership with NetApp and is thrilled to welcome NetApp back again to Working Connections.

Last year, the CTC welcomed 92 attendees from 24 states.  With AWS and Blockchain as cutting-edge new topics this summer, along with the return of NetApp, Sam’s security track, Bill’s IoT track, and Rajiv’s Tableau track, we’re expecting well over 110 attendees. It could be a record-setting summer for us.  Registration starts this week!

If you’re a current community college IT/convergence faculty and would like to be invited, please write to

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