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IT Unconference Draws over 350 Stanford IT Professionals

Monday, November 3, 2014

Every autumn since 2011, IT professionals from all across campus set aside a day to share knowledge and talk about current or urgent topics. The 2014 IT Unconference was the biggest one yet.

At this year’s event, 379 IT professionals gathered to network and look together to the future. After a breakfast and some time to network, participants created the agenda for the rest of the day, proposing and then leading 45 sessions on topics ranging from “Digital Signage” to “Microsoft EMET” to “Three Things You Hate About the Web (and how to make them better),” and much more.

The 2014 IT Unconference brought participants back together at the end of the day for a new part of the schedule, a series of nine “Lightning Talks.” Each speaker was tasked to give a rapid-fire five-minute drill-down into a specific topic or technology.  The talks included, “No One Cares About Technology,”  “Conscious User Experience Design,” and “Elixir – Gateway to Functional Programming.” 

Following the Lightning Talks was the traditional wrap-up.  The spokesperson for each session had 30 seconds to highlight the session discussion and talk about possible outcomes.

Following the Unconference, a survey was sent to the attendees.  Feedback included:

 If I could describe the 2014 IT Unconference in two words, they would be “Perfectly Imperfect!” 

It is one of the most fun conferences I've attended in a while! I am so impressed by how well organized the event was. 

Please keep the “lightning talks.”  They were both informative and entertaining.  :-) 

Previous IT Unconferences resulted in the launch or growth of communities of practices at Stanford, such as the Stanford Media Group, or of events, such as the NYU Torch Event and the Stanford ATXpo held earlier this year. We are excited to see what will grow out of this year’s Unconference.

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