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IT UnConference 2016... and 2017 save the date!

“Agenda sessions were more substantial than last year’s.”

“So many good sessions happening at the same time--wish it could be two days.”

This is what attendees said of the second IT UnConference held on June 9.  More than 100 information technology professionals from across the University gathered at 701 Carnegie Center to share in the experience of a conference without a program, without an agenda, and likely very different from any other they've attended.

Conference attendee proposes a session on Drupal Views
Lauren Foss from the OIT Center for Data, Analytics and Reporting (CeDAR), proposes Tableau for an UnConference session. 

For attendees, the first order of business was to dynamically build the day's agenda of 36 sessions. Attendees proposed sessions by presenting their topic idea to the other attendees. Interest in a topic was indicated by a show of hands. Those that generated enough interest were added to the agenda board. The evolving agenda was available to participants on the IT Unconference website. In an hour, the agenda grew to include Accounts @ Princeton; SSL/TLS; The Princeton Timeline; IT Diversity and Inclusion: Language; Vendor/Info Sharing Product; Drupal; CRMs; New Facilities Intranet; Shadow IT as Continuity of Operations Strategy; Containerizing Questionable Services with Docker; Open Source Tech Success Stories and Slack and Group Communication Tools, and 24 more.

Participants went on to participate in the sessions. Each group chose a facilitator, timekeeper and notetaker for their session. For the last hour of the day, conference attendees gathered once again and learned from oral summaries given by session notetakers. The notes from all sessions are available on the Sessions page of the PU IT UnConference website.

Lightning Talks were also a part of the afternoon, with each presenter giving a five-minute talk on a topic of their choice. Among the talks were:

  • We Kanban to Get Things Done by Ben Bakelaar
  • IT Sustainability by Philip Fugate
  • Integrating OnBase with Outlook by Elizabeth Holtz
  • Text Expansion, Let Me Count the Ways by Matt Parker.

All lightning talk topics can be viewed on the Lightning Talk page of the PU IT Unconference website.

If you like what you're reading and want to experience the adventure of an IT UnConference yourself, save the date for next year’s unconference; it's already scheduled for June 8, 2017. 

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6/20/2016 - The date for next year's IT UnConference has changed from the intial publication of this article. The new date is June 8, 2017.