WIT-Women in Technology Regatta conference in Seattle

The week of April 22 – 26 we had an awesome opportunity to participate in the Women in Technology Regatta Conference in Seattle.  Each day we participated in up to four, two-hour sessions interactive workshops such as career development, technology, leadership, and startups.  The sessions included a panel of professionals in an hour of questions related to technology, and then a breakout sessions of 4-5 people for discussions. Final recaps were at the end of breakout sessions. We really enjoyed the engaging sessions, the deep conversations and connecting with others. It was such an empowering, emotional and inspirational week combined with many new formed relationships, conversations and connections.

There were more than 40 different organizations and over 200 volunteer speakers that donated their time. The sessions included some interesting topics such as “Who runs the (Fashion) World? Women in Tech”  with representatives from Nordstrom, Zullily, and Lululemon discussing how they set up their algorithms and drive customers to their websites, to “Take your seat at the table:  Building Credibility”. Another fun theme was bracing your inner Wonder Woman”, and “Emotions in the Workplace” and How to manage them. It was exciting to have the sessions held at Facebook, ThinkSpace, ATLAS Workbase, Northeastern University, and The Collective in the Lake Union area, meeting people doing the same business that we do every day that have the same questions, issues, and then have a safe place to invite discussion.

The conference reminds us that we are all humans in a world of solitary humans. We are all on a unique journey. We met many people last week, some have become friends, some international friends, some were co-workers, some acquaintances, and some will remain strangers. Each connection we formed with another person has altered our journey and our perspective in either a small or significant way, and for that we are very grateful to have attended the conference.   We will get the word out for next year as soon as we find out.

Welcome Lorenzo Silva

Lorenzo Silva has joined the UW-IT Service Center as of 03/25/19!

Originally from a small, rural town in Alaska, Lorenzo has been working IT ever since he was first hired on as a Student Consultant for his alma mater, Whitman College, six years ago.  After graduating in 2017, he immediately began working for a small, family owned & operated bank in Walla Walla where he became somewhat of an IT generalist supporting everyone from front-line tellers to the CEO/President and Board of Directors.

As our new Senior Computer Specialist, Lorenzo’s 3 in 30 will focus on diversity and inclusion within the workplace.  He has already volunteered to be a part of the CSS Diversity Team and looks forward to working with and getting to know everyone in the office!

Lorenzo received a BA in Gender Studies from Whitman College and chose to focus on the subjects of men & masculinities and gender non-binary/non-conforming inclusion within traditionally gendered social organizations like fraternities, sororities, and secret societies. Lorenzo loves playing video games, tabletop RPGs with friends, and singing for church choirs and other group ensembles.  He also enjoys exploring Seattle and eating all of the great food it has to offer.  Since he is new to the area he welcomes any food spot recommendations!

You can find Lorenzo sitting in O362. Drop by and say hi!

Welcome Back Huy

Huy was a student worker in the Service Center for five years.  He recently graduated from the University of Washington with a double major – receiving a BA in American Ethnic Studies and a BS in Informatics (all while working for us). In his American Ethnic Studies major he mainly focused on subjects of Asian Americans immigration, gender, racism and stereotypes.  In his Informatics major his focus was on data science and full stack development. After graduation he took a much deserved break to volunteer, go fishing and camping. In his spare time, Huy loves volunteering, playing board games with friends, and traveling.  His favorite place to travel is Southeast Asia.

As our new Senior Computer Specialist, Huy’s 3 in 30 will focus on BSR and updating routing keyboard shortcuts.

Please welcome Huy back and say hello.  You can find him sitting in O362.

Meet Sharyn

Sharyn Hinchcliffe has been a Network Specialist with UW-IT since last June.  Her favorite part about her job is being able to fix things.

Born in DC, Sharyn moved around a lot (9 times to be exact) due to her father’s job with the FBI.  She ended up in Seattle after escaping the unrelenting sun in Arizona.

In her spare time, Sharyn likes to knit, crochet, and spin.  She has two pet bunnies named Oscar and Felix.  Sharyn’s motto is “feed me coffee and I’m happy”.  Her favorite food/beverage is… COFFEE!  Specifically Black Rifle Coffee Companies Silencer Smooth blend made in a chemex to make the flavor pop.  She also enjoys a nice demitasse made with Cafe Buestelo or a cafe con leche made with either BRCC or Cafe Buestelo with half and half or heavy cream.

Her favorite apps include DuckDuckGo, Instagram and Mobile Ravelry (where all the knitters & crocheters are!)

 Sharyn with Felix 


Meet Zohaib

Meet (or reacquaint yourself with) Zohaib Shah. He has been a Network Specialist with us since 2012. He graduated from UW with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems in 2008. He went to work at Boeing for a few years prior to coming onboard our NOC team.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family. He loves watching cricket and enjoys playing when there is an available league in the area. His favorite app is YouTube and his favorite food is spicy biryani.

Zohaib has a great drive to keep learning and educating himself as tech is ever changing. Some of his current certifications Include:

  • A+
  • Net+
  • Security+
  • MCP
  • CCNA
  • MCSA with Security
  • MCSE
  • MCTS: Windows 7- Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Configuration and
  • MCTS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Sever Administrator 2008
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Configuring
  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA)

New student Jack Finklein in NSO

Hi I’m Jack Finklein, a freshman to the UW studying Business Administration and a new NSO student assistant. I’m originally from Brush Prairie, Washington where I’ve lived for the past 10 years. My hobbies include messing with computers, skiing, and now studying. 3 fun facts about me are: 1. I have two lizards 2. I’m on the University of Washington Ski Team 3. I graduated high school with my associate’s degree. Favorite food is sushi or Thai and favorite beverage is coffee.

Returning student Ben Yan in NSO

  Hi all! My name is Ben Yan and I’m a senior studying aerospace engineering and business administration. I got into IT via my high school’s Cisco program, which led me to work a lot of gaming events doing IT support and infrastructure, which I occasionally still fly out to do. I really like getting tea and donuts with my sisters, one of whom is currently a UW freshman. After graduating, it looks like I’ll be at Ernst and Young (Seattle) doing tech consulting. Happy Thanksgiving!

Meet Braden

Braden Kato is a Network Specialist in our NSO group.  His UW career started in May 2008 back when we used to be called UW Computing & Communications (now UW-IT).

His favorite part of the job is the accomplishment of closing a difficult ticket.

His hobbies consist of spending time with his 2 kids (Thing 1 and Thing 2), snow sports, going to Seahawk and Mariner games, hiking, road trips, and seeing new places.  He would love to visit Italy’s Amalfi Coast specifically the village of Positano.  His favorite foods are Alderwood smoked Copper River salmon, pizza, and Pinakbet (a Filipino dish made of squash and okra with shrimp paste).  His favorite app is ESPN fantasy football.

His favorite quote/motto is “Man who catch fly with chopstickaccomplish anything.” – Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid.

Braden’s 3 in 30 will conclude in November and will cover the following topics:

  • NSO Restructure Project – Integration of NOC NS staff and COPS staff into NSO
  • New employee on-boarding – Training for new FTEs and students
  • Cross training for existing COPS staff – Training existing COPS staff to perform Network Specialist duties
  • Creation of training documentation/procedures for new NSO FTEs and student help

This is Travis

This is Travis.

Most of you should already know Travis Mitchell but he has yet to be introduced via the CSS blog.

Travis grew up in Portland, OR and came to the area to become a Husky.  In 2014, he transferred from UW Bothell to the main campus and started working in CSS as a student worker in the Service Center. Travis worked as a student employee until he graduated with a degree in Chemistry, then applied for a full time position within the Service Center.  He moved his way into Systems Access Management, and has recently gained a higher Senior Computer Specialist role within Systems Access Management.  That is a lot of growth within 4 years!

Speaking of growth –  Travis likes to grow peppers in his spare time.  This season he is cultivating 7 different types with a few super-hot varieties.  He enjoys cooking and his favorite dish to prepare is BBQ – which is ironic because he recently became vegan.  Was anyone able to get a slice of the meat pie he made on PI day in March?  I hear it was amazing!  When he’s not in the kitchen, he spends time with his wife Sanaz and two cats, Mila and Lucy.   Travis likes to scuba dive, his favorite place to do so is Hawaii.  He also enjoys building computers and tinkering with electronics.  His favorite apps are Pocket Casts, WhatsApp, and Evernote. His favorite movie is Pulp Fiction and most things Tarantino.

You can find Travis behind his wall of screens in O336.

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