Kevin Counihan Waxes Philosophical About His 3 in 30

 

Editors Note: Little known fact, as you can see from the enhanced view, both Kevin and Jonothan served in the same area in different capacities.

For my first month of work in CSS User Consulting, I was given the opportunity to pursue a few projects that would help me integrate into my new role. I selected the three that I hoped would provide immediate value to my new team: a re-organization of the UC Team Wiki, a webform used to order the new Husky OnNet service option, and documenting our current software license fulfillment processes. These projects gave me valuable experience writing documentation, mapping service fulfillment, and the opportunity to work more in-depth with ServiceNow while designing a BSR (Basic Structure Request). An additional project, which my manager graciously let me pursue, allowed me to learn a bit of Python while automating our team’s process for creating MSCA Endorsement Groups. Thanks to Steven Kurle for letting me work on this, and to Ian Walsh for letting me shamelessly pilfer some of his code.

I appreciated that the 3 in 30 process afforded me the opportunity to work on these projects and provide meaningful contributions to my group. I plan to continue building and improving on them. Thanks to the UC Team for putting up with my endless questions.

UC Team Wiki Update

Our UC Team Wiki was a maze of outdated articles surrounding loads of useful tidbits and suggestions from team members going back nearly a decade. Interestingly, the most referenced areas (by far) were personal Wiki pages, aptly titled “information for backups,” used to help someone who is backing up an absent team member. I decided to change the Wiki layout into a service-oriented structure, where relevant information and tasks could be found in their respective categories rather than being owned by a single team member. It’s hard to update someone’s personal page; it feels like a violation of some unspoken boundary. Like editing someone’s personal blog without permission. By moving to this new structure, I hope to lower the barrier of entry for those interested in amending and updating these pages. The switch to a topic-based knowledge repository also makes it easier to convert Wiki articles into ServiceNow KB articles, which will become increasingly useful as the Service Portal makes knowledge more visible to customers.

Software Licensing Documentation

Our software license fulfillment documentation (including sales statistics), created after asking Eugene and Rennie a million questions, can be found at: http://wiki.cac.washington.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=81666517

Husky OnNet BSR

A good webform is worth its weight in gold. If gold isn’t your thing, think of something you value and assign an arbitrary weight to it (I suggest a tonne). That’s about what it is worth. However, as I learned through my BSR project, simple is better. I initially had a long, complicated form, with a zillion different conditional questions and a boatload of scripts and doo-dads that only existed for me to pretend like I was good at making BSRs. While this was fun to make and I learned a lot about ServiceNow’s capabilities (as well as its technical limitations and frustrations), it was definitely worse for the customers who would ultimately submit the form. Thankfully, honest critiques from the Husky OnNet System Team managed to save me and the customers from myself. The form can be found at https://uw.service-now.com/uwc.do?sysparm_direct=true#/catalog_order/f25e1ca913518b00c20bb9004244b0bf

 

Jonothan Fuega joins CSS full-time

Jon Fuega was a part-time, student/employee for ~2 years before his recent (9/25/17) promotion when he joined the Customer Contact team within the Technology Service Center as a full-time employee.  He is learning the ropes as the Subject Matter Expert for UW NetID matters (one of the most technical roles at the TSC) and so will become even more critical to the team than ever before.

Jon is a US Army veteran and 2017 graduate of the UW Information School.  He likes to spend his free time outdoors–paddle boarding, hiking, and camping.  His favorite spot is Lewis River Falls, in between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams.

Swing by and meet Jon in C110, cube 14 if you haven’t already!

Welcome Colin McCarthy

Colin McCarthy joined the Customer Contact team in the Technology Service Center as of 9/25/17.  He’s becoming the Subject Matter Expert for routing at the TSC (no small role), so expect to be in contact!

He’s a recent graduate of Whitman College where he studied mathematics with a focus on creating models and worked as a student consultant for Whitman IT where the small college environment trained him to be a jack of all trades. He is an active cyclist and competitive Nordic skier, as well as recently picking up Quidditch (editor’s note:  I had to look it up).  He enjoys days spent exploring the outdoors through hiking and skiing, and nights with friends playing board games. Since starting with UW he has started to get into 3D printing, and is always happy to answer any questions, show off his prints, or print something for anyone, you just have to ask!

If you want to introduce yourself, Colin’s located in C110, cube 13.

Farewell Rebecca Galloway

After 17 years with UW-IT CSS, I am leaving to find “the road less traveled”.  You may know that I’ve been out for 9 months on disability leave; after coming back I’ve learned my healing process isn’t quite done—“chemo brain” is a real thing!  I’m going to take advantage of the Disability Services Office’s offer to help me look for something more suitable, and if that doesn’t pan out I’m lucky enough to be able to shift to retirement status.  I plan to come back for the October 25 potluck and look forward to seeing you then.  My personal email is beckyg.sea@gmail.com and I’d be happy to talk with anyone facing anything similar to what I’ve gone through.  My best to CSS and it’s people; I made memories here that’ll last a lifetime.

Congratulations Rob Esene!

Congratulations to Rob Esene! He has accepted the position of Technology Project Manager (TPM) in the Communications Solutions and Relationship Management (CSRM) team, effective July 17th. This role was previously held by Bonny Sheppard who retired June 1st of this year.

Rob joined UW-IT in 2015 as a Telecommunications Analyst 3 (TA3) and has worked on both internal and external projects. Before joining UW-IT, Rob was a telecom engineer at Getty Images and managed large scale implementation projects.

Outside of work, Rob enjoys playing bass guitar, loves hockey, and the Seahawks. He has also been a fiction editor and is currently writing his own science fiction novel.

He is now located in cube C110-22 on C1 in the UW Tower. Please drop by and congratulate him on his new role.

Goodbye to Steele Fredricksen

On Friday June 23 the TSC Service Desk said goodbye to Steele Fredricksen.  He came to the Service Desk about 2 years, entirely new to the University of Washington.  He jumped right in and embraced every opportunity with vigor.  He not only became the UW NetID subject matter expert by being the go to for all complex UWNet ID questions, he was also the Tier 1 liaison with UW Medicine, collaborating and strengthening our relationship with them.  He coordinated with IAM on the new Identity page for self-serve UW Netid password resets.  He had many other achievements and contributions these last 2 years.   He took his job seriously and professionally.  We wish him all the best in whatever he plans to next in his future.   We will miss him and he leaves a very large gap which will be hard to fill.

Welcome Myra Nishimura

Myra Nishimura joined CSS on June 12th as Karalee’s Executive Assistant. Myra is a big Seahawks and Sounders fan! How big? So big that she scheduled her wedding day around the Seahawks’ 2013 season, and even had her engagement pictures taken at Century Link field. Myra loves to travel and help others plan their travels. She loves snacks and food, and thanks to her previous experience with UW Housing and Food Services Dining, she can tell you a lot about dining locations on campus. If you stop by her desk to say hello, she will always have snacks to share.

Welcome, Myra!

C3/O3 Remodel

In the recent days you may have received a message from a member of the C3/O3 space planning committee. DO NOT PANIC, it doesn’t mean you are moving.

While we don’t have much in the way of concrete details there are a few general guidelines that are moving the process forward:

  1. All people are being considered. We have representation from people in 4545 and C1 in addition to those already located in C3/O3. This does not mean anyone will be definitely staying or moving. The design team is taking a holistic approach to this redesign and want to factor in everything to have the best possible outcome.
  2. Teams moving to C3/O3 will be considered by the nature of their work first and foremost. Units and divisions will not necessarily be consolidated into a single location. The first goal is to co-locate groups that frequently need to work closely together.
  3. Nothing is happening soon, this is still in the discovery and design phase. Actual construction isn’t anticipated until the end of fall at the earliest.

Anything beyond these points is likely speculation. Your representatives (Cara, Felicia and Damien) will keep you in the loop as we receive more information. Feel free to ask us anything you’d like about the remodel but remember, there is far more that is unknown at this point as the project is still in discovery.

Poetry on Buses

In 2016, King County residents were invited to submit their original poetry on the theme of water as part of the competition for Poetry on Buses. Contest organizers stated “Water is a vital part of our region and our world, so how does it shape us and move us daily?”

Cara Giacomini submitted her poem, Percentages, on the final day of the competition. More than 1,600 poems were received, and Percentages was selected as one of 119 poems that will appear on Metro buses! Not only that, but Cara was invited to recite her poem at the official launch party at Moore theater last month. Percentages will also be featured on the Poetry on Buses website on 10/29/17.

Though it has been more than fifteen years since Cara has written poetry, her entry draws on both her English degree and her current profession as a data scientist in its combination of percentages and beautiful imagery.

Her favorite poem? Dover Beach.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem and picture with us, Cara!

Percentages
My body is 52% water
17% waves colliding with a gradually yielding shore
12% the encompassing embrace of a misty morning
11% an exhilarating, unrelenting downpour
8% a secret spring in a sheltered forest
4% quick tears of fury, joy, and alienation
The rest are rainbows

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. Robert Frost

Final UW Appearance!

Friday, 4/8, Jeff Blancato takes his final curtain call after 13 years at the the UW and heads to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he will oversee a team of desktop support specialists. Though still serving IT customers, Jeff anticipates new challenges to his time and mental focus in his next position. The healthcare field also poses differing urgencies for IT support.

Children’s will allow Jeff to utilize the business analysis skills he brought to UW-IT and continued to develop as he worked on projects with many of us. Jeff has energetically and enthusiastically shared his knowledge and skills, providing process improvements that we continue to benefit from.

In his two and a half years with UW-IT, Jeff has valued the opportunities to connect and network with many colleagues. Gaining in-depth knowledge of how the Service Center works was especially engaging for him. Ensuring customers have trouble-free online experiences is a passion he carries with him to Children’s.