Back Again at ITS | #5

July 20th, 2018

Today was the day of my learner’s series! It went quite well – I was nervous speaking for the first few minutes, but as time went on it became easier to enunciate. We included an activity for the interns to participate in as well, to break the monotony of the presentation. As mentioned earlier, I did decide to present on Free Software, a topic I’m quite passionate about. I feel as though some of the interns were bored listening, but my friends usually get bored when I talk about it with them as well. Not the most relatable or interesting topic.. but one I wanted to inform people about nevertheless. Regardless, I’m glad the presentation is out of the way – that’s one less thing to worry about.

The department projects haven’t progressed a huge amount, but things have been moving. Juniper has sent us some new equipment which we’re waiting to receive, and hopefully it will be easier to get perfSONAR running on those. We’ll be in contact with their engineers and see how things go. For Cisco, I’ve been working on using Ansible modules to automate the actual transfer and deployment of the LXC container to the device, since as of now it’s only the build process that’s been automated. The idea is that eventually, if we were to receive a large quantity of these machines on campus, with a small configuration and the single press of a button, perfSONAR would be able to be deployed across all of them in one fell swoop. It’s exciting work and could have a large impact in the future, so I’m glad to be doing it.

Our privacy dashboard has also been coming along quite well. Most of the pages are complete, and we have been working with our UX designers to finalize the design, and get it into a presentable fashion. We’ll be giving a brief talk about our progress on August 9th, so we want it to be all done by then.

Things are going smooth, and I’ve been learning quite a lot of new skills! Only 2 more weeks to go!

2 thoughts on “Back Again at ITS | #5

  • August 28, 2018 at 8:00 am

    It can definitely be exciting to do work that will have an impact on the world, Ryan. I’m glad to hear you’re getting work on such impactful things. And congratulations on completing your presentation! I know you were working up to that for a while and presenting is a skill you wanted to work on this summer. One of the things that’s really hard about presentations or communicating information to people in any way is getting their attention and making it engaging. It sounds like you feel like people were not engaging much with your presentation, which is frustrating when you put a lot of work into something. Some things I’ve done that have worked well for me to get people engaged in my presentations, when these things are appropriate, of course, are: including audience interaction (ask the audience a question, like, “What kind of impact do you think Free Software will have on the future of software?” instead of telling them the answer, and then using that to jump into your slides about it), including actual activities, lots of visuals, etc. It’s a really hard skill to learn to make your presentations engaging, but maybe those tips will be helpful in the future.


    • September 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Thanks for those tips! Yes, keeping a presentation engaging is definitely a difficult thing to learn how to do well. One of the problems I often face is speaking way too quickly, which then doesn’t give the audience enough time to digest the information (if they were able to understand it at all). It’s certainly something to work on, but at least I’m aware of it.



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