Tech Talk

Bringing together IT Division & other technical support professionals

Information technology support is found in various forms throughout Texas State University. Central support is offered through the Division of Information Technology’s IT Assistance Center (ITAC). Many academic and administrative departments also employ technical support personnel (TSP) to manage and facilitate individual department technology needs. Often, TSPs are not able to collaborate with TSPs in other departments or fully understand the inner workings of IT Division efforts.

In 2017, ITAC began hosting events to help bridge the gaps. These mini-conferences, called Texas State (TXST) Tech Talk, were held in the fall and spring semesters. In a span of 2.5 hours extended over a long lunch, TSPs met and networked with each other and IT Division staff.

ITAC designed these content-packed, open sharing sessions to be a once-a-semester meeting for TSPs to come together, gain insight on technical services and projects, and network with fellow technical staff to facilitate information and resource sharing. Through inviting everyone into a common space, ITAC seeks to identify common problems, help build solutions, and create a comfortable atmosphere.

The first two Tech Talk sessions included presentations on many topics and were facilitated by IT Division staff and TSPs from other departments.

Topics included:

Hosted Servers & Services – Here’s what’s in it for you

Let’s Talk Campus Wireless – Enhancements happening daily

The New Standard Computers – A peek under the hood

Gain Visibility with SCCM and LANrev – Desktop management tools

IT Assistance Center – Let’s talk about how support works

Information Security Review Process – What you need to know to prepare

NuGet and Chocolatey – How Computer Science TSPs manage their labs

Windows Updates – How new changes affect your user machines

Mobile Device Management – Aligning what we do with what you need

Each brief presentation afforded attendees the opportunity to ask questions and to work with presenters following the event to learn more or take advantage of existing services. In addition to the presentations, ITAC assembled an outstanding panel of Texas State technology experts to field questions on topics such as encryption, software distribution, patch management, standard images, group policy, servers, backups, Microsoft Exchange, file shares, Office 365, hardware and repair, information security, NetID 2-Step (Duo), phishing, wired and wireless network, NetID processes, software licensing and purchasing, and hardware ordering.

The first two events were well-attended with nearly 100 TSPs and IT Division staff at each event. Lunch was provided, professional connections were made, and the Texas State IT community continues to grow stronger and more connected.

One attendee noted, “This is a great opportunity to network and learn policy and procedures. Also, we are given room to think outside our own environments.”

ITAC plans to continue these Tech Talk events, bringing in

new topics and encouraging TSPs to present and share the great work being performed in individual departments.

By Jen LaGrange