IT Student Conference

March 13, 2014 DigiForge Student Conference Sessions:

Will attend three sessions at the conference.

Session Title: Description:

Agile Games: Games with Cards and Dice

Play is a powerful method to learn! Come and play some simple games to explore the different values that are at the foundation of Agile and Lean development practices.

Starting Your Own Business in Tech

Discuss important factors such as the power of networking and building your team. We'll also take a look at market projections for the industry.

What does a DBA (Database Administrator) Really Do?

Ever wonder what these database people do? Wonder if it is boring? The goal of this session is to give you a flavor of DBA jobs and what you do as a DBA. We will go through a day in the life of a DBA as well as things DBAs contemplate or are responsible for. This is a very lucrative career and the best of the best do very well and have a lot of fun doing it. Come see if it is for you.

A Road Into Video Game Design

I will share my experience in becoming a game designer and an animator at Smart Bomb Interactive.

How to Design and Get Rich

This presentation will cover why you should choose a design career:
       - There is a massive demand for talented designers

         (which means great pay)
       - Exciting future (think Iron Man interfaces)
       - You get to create something from nothing everyday
       - You can work in any industry
The presentation will also cover how to get started, what a design career is like day to day, and some hands on Photoshop work.

Game Design

Program a complete simple 3D game including a health system, pickups, enemies, and teleporters using Unity and Javascript.

Game Development - Facts of Life

Representatives from Electronic Arts Salt Lake Studio do their best to explain gaming development from birth to conception while explaining the role of all involved “parents” that contribute along the way.  Students will be able to hear from representatives of Design, Production, Art and Programming in order to receive a better sense of where each discipline contributes along the way and how collaboration is the key to success.

Game Programming: Math, Myths, and Career

Video games combine math and computer science together in the most elegant way. Jamie King, Chair of Neumont University’s game engineering degree will speak on how math comes to life when coded into a computer. Joining Jamie are some of his students who will discuss common myths about programming and why they chose coding as a career.

Let's Make a Game

Let's make a game! Using Javascript and HTML5, we'll create a simple arcade game together from scratch. We'll use Space Invaders as a template and walk through all the essentials needed to create a working game. By the end of this session, you'll have seen how the different parts of a game program work together and have the information you need to pursue game creation on your own.

Making Games: Career and Code

Did you know you can make games for your career? If you are good enough and work hard enough, you can have any job you want. This presentation goes into detail of one game programmer's opinion on how to get a career. The second half will have a segment where the audience helps create the start of a small video game prototype.

Game AI/Pathfinding

Ever wanted to make smart enemies or friends for your heroes in your game? or thought about making a character that can navigate a level or maze ?  We will go over basic theories and examples on how to make characters in your game smart and make your games come alive.

Girls Gone Tech: The Passion Project

Come learn about some amazing women who are using technology to pursue their passions in areas as diverse and unique as they are.
No matter where your passion lies, technology can be a tool for you to change the world!

We will share stories of "Girls Gone Tech", talk about our and your passions, and provide inspiration.

Networking considerations for Home or Small Business

(Dual Session - participants will stay for two session blocks to complete the hands on portion)

During these sessions the group will discuss, design, and configure the equipment needed to build a small operational network with both wired and wireless connections.  Students will do a group exercise on research of the equipment and present their findings to everyone.  In the second half we will configure and install different network devices to make the operational network.

Types and uses of network devices (Single Session)

During this session the group will discuss and research various networking devices used to provide connectivity and security for homes and small business operations.

Anyone Can Code

It is easy to start coding. We will share the best tips and the best free resources available for new coders.  We will show why programming is an important skill to obtain and how you can get begin learning. We’ll quickly introduce languages like scratch, alice, javascript, ruby and others, and then learning resources like, and Many people say “programming is just for technically oriented people”, “it’s too hard”, or “it’ll take years to learn” --- we believe that these statements are simply not true. Coding is a valuable skill that can be learned and developed by nearly anyone. Today, there are more high paying jobs that require programming than there are people with the skills required; it has become the core of many businesses. 

Think Like a Programmer

An introduction to programming. What is the most important step to
learning to program? Is it learning a programming language?  No. It's learning to think like a programmer thinks. Whether creating a game or mapping the human genome, programmers write code to solve problems.  Often the same sorts of problems present themselves again and again in seemingly unrelated fields.  And their solutions transcend industry and programming language boundaries.  Learn how a programmers look at problems, identify the general class of problems they're facing, visualize the steps, and develop algorithms to solve them.  As we go, we'll even write some code together to solve some of life's everyday problems.

Introduction to micro-controller programming with Netduino

The Netduino is an open source micro-controller that is easy to program. With the Netduino and some additional low cost hardware and free programming tools you can start creating many different machines. In this session we will discuss the Netduino and how you can interact with sensors and actuators (lights, speakers, and motors).

Let's Tweet Me Stupid!

Let's examine a web app built in Meteor.  Meteor is a bleeding-edge web development platform using Javascript, Node and MongoDB to support the entire stack (frontend and backend!).  This app will crawl Twitter seeking a specific hashtag and will update the web page real time (no browser refreshing) with the most current Twitter feeds.  The app will be monitoring a special hashtag related to the DigiForge Student Conference.  Participants are encouraged to tweet throughout the presentation to see how the app handles the traffic! Here's the kicker - it's all done with under 100 lines of code!  The entire project and detailed instructions on how to get it working on your local machine will be provided on Github for all to enjoy.

March 2013's Student Conference allowed students to select two 'A Day in the Life' sessions and two Technical presentations from a variety of technical fields. A special thank you to our amazing presenters!

Presenter Name Session Title
Enterprise Project Students A Day in the Life of a Student Software Developer: Enterprise Projects at Neumont
Doug Miller, Associate Professor, SLCC Best Practice for Home Network Security
Rico Cordova, Lead Software Developer at Neutron Interactive Fundamental Concepts of Software Development using Python
Dustin Davis, Senior Software Developer at Neutron Interactive Freelance Coding Gigs for Experience and Profit
Kevin Zollinger, Director of Business Integration at Nu Skin You Don't Have to be a Programmer to Work in IT
Brad Midgley, Independent Software Developer Change the World over your Summer Break
Pat Wright, Director of Data Management at Allegiance, Inc. Database Positions/Future of Data
Jared Willden, Assistant Director of Software Development for Progrexion Microsoft Open Source Web Development-- aka build a website in 10 minutes
Jared Willden, Assistant Director of Software Development for Progrexion Day in the Life of a M.S. Developer
Jason Keyser, Senior Flash Artist, Smart Bomb Interactive Becoming a Professional Artist & Animator
Scott Golightly, President of Grokdev, LLC What Digging a Grave Taught me about Software Development
Scott Golightly, President of Grokdev, LLC SQL Server or Programming for the Microsoft Kinect device, or Basic Data Access
Mike Erickson, National Architect for Neudesic, LLC Technical Careers: Is one right for you?
Mike Erickson, National Architect for Neudesic, LLC The Modern Web
David Batten, Senior Software Engineer for inContact, Inc. Corporate IT Developer - Jack of All Trades 
Nicole Neumarker, Independent Program Manager           A Day in the Life of a Technical Project Manager
Melinda Mansouri, Teacher with Jordan School District Sculpt Your Way to a 3D Character 
Paul Metcalfe, Animation Director for EA MAXIS Salt Lake A Day in the Life of an Animation Director
Michael Dillon, Software Engineer for EA MAXIS Salt Lake A Day in the Life of a Game Software Engineer
Megan Myers, Producer for EA MAXIS Salt Lake A Day in the Life of a Game Producer
Chris Manfre, Graphic Designer and Game and Graphic Design Instructor for Spy Hop Game Design
Ben Miller, Enterprise DBA Architect for HealthEquity, Inc. A Day in the Life of a Database Administrator
Ben Miller, Enterprise DBA Architect for HealthEquity, Inc. Database Technical Presentation
Cody Henrichsen, Teacher with Canyons School District Making a Quick Java GUI Program

Our 2012 conference started with a keynote by Jason Bangerter (Struck). After he showed students what it was like in the real world of IT, his UVU students explained their most recent project in his class. After being inspired in the keynote, the students split off into different break-off sessions with presenters from the industry. They showed IT students how it is really like working with technology and design. The presenters are listed below.

Dan Moon from Cambric
21st Century Technology

Casey Moore from Salt Lake Community College
Technology Takeover! What Part Will You Play?

Jason Tracy from Salt Lake Community College
You vs. Hackers and Cybercriminals, Consider a Career in Information Security

Matt Kruskamp from Nuvi
Development – Software, Technologies & Methodologies

Chris Manfre from
Spy Hop Productions
Student Creations!

Paul Reynolds from Murray High School

Paul Metcalfe & Tyson Taylor from Electronic Arts
“Behind the Plumbob” – Animation & Audio Creation for The Sims 3 Game

Dave Walker from Electronic Arts
Engineering Life!

Rich Reagan from Electronic Arts
“That’s By Design” – An Overview of Design for Video Game Development

Bronze Swallow from Electronic Arts
Art Centered Careers in Gaming and Film

Phil Katz from Electronic Arts
Buying the Farm(Ville)

Cody Henrichsen from Canyons School District
Make an APP – Android Style

Nicole Neumarker from
Neutron Interactive
Technology – Not Just a Dude Thing
*Follow this
link if you are a female pursuing a technical degree and graduating this year!*

More information:    Canyons District    Granite District    Jordan District    Murray District    Salt Lake District    Tooele District    USOE









We must give all children what they need to succeed in today's world.

- Bill Gates