Tech First at FIRST Tech

Great blog story about FIRST and the importance of STEM fields from Congressman Jim Langevin.

From Fall 2014 Congressman Jim Langevin:

Tech First at FIRST Tech

It is a joy to attend FIRST robotics competitions each year, to watch the program grow into the towering success that it is today, and to see the interest and participation increase year to year. These programs are vital to spurring interest in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology.

As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I continually advocate for programs that increase enrollment in STEM fields. Closing the skills gap by giving students and workers the tools to succeed in the modern economy is how we will create an economy built to last. FIRST is one of my favorite student outreach programs, and it has already inspired countless students to pursue careers in STEM. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST as it is known, was founded by my friend Dean Kamen – a brilliant innovator who uses his ideas to push the boundaries of health care, science and technology. Among his many distinguished achievements, he has invented the first portable insulin pump, an advanced robotic arm, the Segway and my personal IBOT wheelchair.

Dean can now add teacher to his resume, as the FIRST competition has done an exceptional job at engaging young people and getting them excited about learning. That enthusiasm is palpable. I couldn’t believe how excited the students were at the FIRS

via Fall 2014 | Congressman Jim Langevin.

Career Services held IT recruiting event

New England Tech’s Career Services held a mini-recruiting event on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 for Information Technology graduates and upcoming graduates.

Five employers were on-campus to recruit and meet students and graduates from all the Information Technology programs.

The event was designed to help these companies fill current positions at their companies. 

It was also a great networking event for students not yet looking for employment and also gives students an opportunity to learn more about companies who hire New England Tech graduates.  As well as determine a company students may wish to apply to as they get closer to graduation.

If you were unable to attend this event and are a NEIT graduate, contact Career Services by phone at 800-736-7744 ext. 3457 , job info and contact info for recruiters will be supplied to you.

 

Vinny Ritoli named NEIT Instructor

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli has worked as an adjunct instructor at NEIT since 2007, teaching courses in Design, GUI Design, Flash, Javascript, HTML 5, XHTML, CSS, Digital Audio, and Digital Editing. He has developed courses for both the Information Technology and Graphic, Multimedia and Web Design programs.

As a freelance designer and developer, Vinny is the founder of Imagery Studio, which specializes in web animation and interactive website design. He has developed projects for a wide range of clients in diverse fields including 20th Century Fox, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, First Look Pictures, and Biowater Technology. He has also worked on the designs for NEIT’s new Library website and that of the Center for Technology and Industry. In addition to web design, he also designs for print (logos, letterhead, business cards) and marketing (advertisements, brochures). Previous to developing his own company, Vinny worked for SilverLight Productions as a multimedia designer.

Vinny has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications from American Intercontinental University and an Associate in Science Degree in Multimedia Design from NEIT.

New England Tech hires new Chief Information Officer

NEIT_Logo_282_136NEIT’s Chief Information Officer, Stan Bailey, has informed us that he will be leaving his position. Stan has been at NEIT since 1983, and has progressed from being a classroom instructor, to assisting in developing and maintaining our original, home-grown administrative computer system; to being NEIT’s first and so far only Chief Information Officer.  Stan has provided incredibly insightful guidance as NEIT has built and developed a robust computational infrastructure and a set of administrative and academic tools to support the needs of the various constituencies of NEIT.  We are thankful for all that Stan has done for NEIT over his many years of service.

We are pleased to announce that Jacques Laflamme of Smithfield, RI, will be joining the staff on October 6 as Stan’s successor as Chief Information Officer.  Jacques will be working closely with Stan over the next several months to effect an orderly transition.

Jacques comes to New England Tech with over 25 years experience in both higher education and business.  His most recent position was as Director of Network Services at Harvard University.  Previously, he had also held positions at Thompson Financial, State Street Bank, and Fidelity.

We look forward to Jacques’ joining our team.  I know he is eager to meet with you to learn of and assist you in your information technology requirements.

NEIT VP talks Jobs, Jobs, Jobs with Dan Yorke’s State of Mind

New England Institute of Technology’s Vice President of Corporate Education and Training sat down with Dan Yorke recently for a candid conversation about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” in Rhode Island.

“There are opportunities in Rhode Island and they are all related to skills.  Twenty to twenty-seven jobs that have the most need in Rhode Island require an Associate degree or better” said Kitchin.

For more information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Online degree programs, call Admissions at 800-736-7744 ext. 3357 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu or for additional information about the SAMI program, call 800-736-7744 ext. 3700 or email info@samiri.org.

Annette Niemczyk, A “Woman to Watch”

Annette Niemczyk

Annette Niemczyk

NEIT graduate, Annette Niemczyk, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, Networking Concentration, in September, 2004, and an Associate in Science degree in Computer Servicing Technology in March, 2003. Since that time, Annette has worked at Envision Technology Advisors in Pawtucket, RI, for 11 years.

Her hard work and dedication to the field of Information Technology was recently recognized by Providence Business News (PBN). Annette was nominated by the CEO of her company, Todd Knapp. She was named a “Woman to Watch” in the Technical Services category of this year’s Business Women Awards program from PBN. Annette joins 11 other award winners and 12 Achievement Honorees for 2014. As she stated, “I am honored to have been selected for this award. Technology has always been one of my passions, and it has been an amazing and rewarding experience climbing the ladder both technically and professionally with Envision.” 

Because of her commitment to excellence, Annette is reaping many rewards. She now shares her story with Tech News readers. 

What made you decide to attend NEIT? 

When I was first deciding on a career path, I was interested in Information Technology (IT) and athletics but knew that IT would be a better long term option. I had completed my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth. I was two weeks away from starting my sophomore year and decided that the IT program at UMass didn’t offer the courses I really wanted. I heard about New England Tech and quickly realized that its IT program was more focused in the areas I wanted to pursue, which is networking and infrastructure.  I was impressed with the hands-on approach to learning as well.  Because of the October start, the timing worked out perfectly for me.   

How did you choose your program? 

I was always interested in computers growing up, especially the physical characteristics. New England Tech’s networking program was very specific for what I wanted to do as a career. 

What did you do to get started with your career? 

One of my professors knew the owner of Envision Technology Advisors. During my last year at New England Tech, Envision was looking for interns, and my name came up. I worked as an intern from August, 2003 to September, 2004, at which time I graduated from NEIT.  I got my business cards and was asked to come on full-time as an engineer!  Internships are so important for students to get their careers going.  Seeing the day-to-day operations of a company are so valuable.

Tell us about your position. 

The company was growing quickly and because of my work ethic, I was promoted from Engineer to Senior Engineer within two years. In my current position as Senior Engineer, I provide IT services in the areas of infrastructure, security, networking, and virtualization. I work with two types of clients. First, I work with clients on their day-to-day operations, which involves consulting and helping them build their business from a technical aspect. These duties may include hands-on work or depending on the size of the company, I may be consulting with the IT Department developing its strategy. For the second type of client, I work as an engineer executing high level projects from start to finish.  

What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position? 

My internship at Envision was the key to my success. It bridged the gap from book knowledge to real world experience. My classes were good, especially those that were hands-on. The hands-on classes really sparked my interest and made it stick! 

Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search? 

My biggest piece of advice is to be hungry to learn. That motivation and drive you need to get through the learning process at the entry level will get you to the next level.  You have to be willing to put in the effort upfront to get what you want in the end.  You have to earn where you want to go. It just doesn’t happen. 

What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?

Get out and look for internships. Look for industry exposure.  That is the biggest thing a student can do. All the certifications are great, but getting practical real world exposure is what counts.

Graduate Feedback

“(I) also wanted to note, every place I interviewed was extremely impressed with not just what I know, but the fact that I went to NEIT. Your school has an excellent reputation out in the professional world. It really allowed me to pick and choose who I wanted to work for (I received many job offers before accepting this one).”  Justin Viera 3/2010 Associate degree in Network Engineering Technology and currently enrolled in the Bachelor degree in Network Engineering Technology 

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

If you think Innovation is only for Einstein, you’re wrong.  Innovation is about being finding a better, creative way to do ANYTHING!  Anyone can be innovative.  Let’s get creative.

From LinkedIn.com:

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

You hear the word “innovation” all the time these days, especially as it relates to competitive advantage. Most people just see innovation as a rare big bang. It’s a lot more than that.

In reality, innovation is a series of little steps that, cumulatively, lead up to a big deal that changes the game. Yet in so many companies today, everyone defaults to thinking, “Innovation… Einstein. Edison. Jobs.” “That’s for somebody else, some genius.”

The word just scares the bejesus out of everyone.

“I can’t innovate.”

“I can’t come up with a new theory of relativity or a new lightbulb or a new iPad. I’ll leave that for the crowd over there to do.”

That’s all the wrong headset. Organizations should make it their mission to reward every little incremental improvement their people make. There’s a saying we’ve been using for the past 15 years or so with all the companies we work with: “Find a better way every day.”

It’s not just a slogan, it’s an operating principle. You want to engage every single person on your team to find a better way. You want to champion them for doing it and make a celebration out of what they improve, whether it be a more efficient accounting system, launching a new customer program, or making a screw in a factory turn a little faster to make things run a little better. Those are the real innovations. And together, with every mind in the game, they are what makes a company competitive.

So when you think about innovation, don’t let it scare you. Don’t let it be a buzzword that isolates 10 people in your company while the other 90 sit on the sidelines, waiting for the innovators to innovate. You’ve got to make innovation everyone’s job, all the time.

via You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong | LinkedIn.

The Genie Is Out of the Bottle for Silicon Valley: Lack of Diversity 

So why are there so few women in technical jobs?  Is it that they aren’t being advanced at the same rate as the men?  Or is it that there are so few women entering the technology sector?  If it is the latter, then isn’t it time women stop letting men take these high paying job when women can do them just as well as any man.  Let’s get more women to join the technology workforce.

From: Huffington Post.com

As the U.S. technology sector has boomed, women and minorities have largely been left behind. This is what’s clear in the wake of recent disclosures on workforce demographics from a handful of tech companies.

On June 25, Facebook became the latest tech giant to publicly release its demographic data, which indicated that men represent nearly 70 percent of all global employees. Worse yet, of the 31 percent of women in the company, a mere 15 percent work in jobs that are actually technical. (Women hold 47 percent of non-technical jobs.) When it comes to the top of the pyramid, although Facebook boasts COO Sheryl Sandberg, more than three-quarters of senior-level jobs (77 percent) globally are held by men. Among these senior-level executives in the U.S., nearly three-quarters (74 percent) are white, leaving just a quarter of the pie for everyone else (19 percent are Asian, 4 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black, and 1 percent two or more races#.Yahoo released a similar report two weeks ago, revealing that although the tech company is among the few with a female CEO, less than a quarter #23 percent) of people in VP roles or higher are women. Yahoo’s figures match Facebook’s exactly when it comes to percentage of women globally in technical jobs: while women comprise nearly 40 percent of global employees, disappointing 15 percent have jobs related to technology. Yahoo has a higher percentage of non-white workers than Facebook (50 percent) — but most (39 percent) are Asian, with Hispanic (4 percent), black (2 percent), and those of more than one race (4 percent) still sorely underrepresented.

Similarly, Google’s first diversity report, published at the end of May, showed that men account for 70 percent of the global headcount and 83 percent of the tech staff. Women occupy only 21 percent of leadership positions, and 17 percent of tech jobs at the company. While these numbers are incrementally higher than Yahoo’s or Facebook’s, it’s notable that Google has no female executive officers, and only one woman on its senior leadership team. Google’s workforce is 61 percent white.

While these and other tech companies (including LinkedIn) have a long way to go in improving their track record on diversity, these disclosures demonstrate a first step of commitment toward accountability and future change. The fact that Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn have chosen to submit this information to the general public puts pressure on other tech companies to do the same. The message behind these actions is that keeping this problem a secret is not the solution. Tech companies can no longer hide from the glaring reality that they are still largely male and white — especially when it comes to the top positions and (in most cases) the tech jobs.

Working closely with a number of tech companies, SHAMBAUGH Leadership has seen that several important interconnections need to be addressed in parallel within an organization to effect change in this area. Here are a few thoughts that reflect important steps for organizations and leaders to take:

via The Genie Is Out of the Bottle for Silicon Valley: Lack of Diversity | Rebecca Shambaugh.

Five Questions With: NEIT Alum Nick Kishfy

“THERE’S A certain camaraderie that working together in a high-risk endeavor tends to bring out in people,” said Nick Kishfy, co-founder of Warren-based Mojo Tech.

From PBN.com

The Mojo Tech co-founder talks about the Warren company and how it resembles a startup.

PBN: What do you do at Mojo Tech?

KISHFY: We focus mainly on creating Web applications using Ruby on Rails, although we also develop software for the iPhone. Web applications are different from websites and blogs in that they require custom development and can’t be built using off-the-shelf solutions. The software that we build is often labeled “Web 2.0” because it relies on relatively new Internet technologies, which enable Web applications to do much more than was possible even a few years ago. We produce many applications for entrepreneurs and startups, but we also work with nonprofits and larger companies when their in-house teams need a boost or lack the right expertise.

PBN: Are your employees and clients concentrated in Rhode Island, or spread out?

KISHFY: Our core development team is here in Rhode Island, and we prefer to hire locally. (In fact, we’re looking for a Rhode Island-based junior Rails developer now.) It’s not easy to find great engineers locally, so we also have a few remote employees. Prior to starting Mojo Tech, I managed globally distributed development teams for a few startups, and that experience has really helped us grow the company to include off-site employees and avoid many of the communications and efficiency issues associated with a distributed team.

Our clients are spread out all over the world. We’re currently working on projects for companies in Rhode Island as well as San Francisco, New York, Boston and Pisa, Italy. Working simultaneously on projects for clients on the West Coast and in Europe can make for some long days, but we enjoy the challenge.

PBN: Can you tell me about some of those projects?

Click the link to continue reading Five Questions With: Nick Kishfy – Providence Business News.