The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large place, with many staff members. One of the struggles that is familiar to many is how to balance specialized needs for divisions, colleges and other groups inside the university, with the administrative goals of simplifying services at a central level. In particular, email transmissions that are handled by software without the intervention of human hands can struggle when modernization occurs: the need for multi-factor authentication and deprecation of POP/IMAP protocols conflicts with services run by groups such as the college of Engineering.
My presentation goes over the journey I made as the sysadmin for a ticketing program that needed to be able to fetch and send emails through O365 as a computer — not a human that could perform multi-factor auth. I will discuss the basic layout of the way that I solved the issue, point out some pitfalls that arise because of the University’s bureaucracy and hierarchical structure, and offer some tips for others trying to write middleware in the trenches.
My audience will understand this better if they know the underlying mechanisms of emails and how they’re sent or accessed, as well as Office 365 authentication mechanisms.
The key takeaways are that writing middleware or API layers at the University can be quite difficult and challenging, but given the right circumstances, also successful. Another thing to learn is that challenges are almost never purely technical in nature, a lot of obstacles that come up are going to include tasks that take people-knowledge and social skill in the workplace. An appreciation for the wide variety of business needs among campus IT will be emphasized strongly.
In this presentation, I will share how our team created a Person API to improve data integrations with core identity data. Using a technique called contract-first API development, our team was able to show what the API would look like from a user perspective first, which then influenced the technical implementation “under the hood”. I’ll also cover why we chose to create an API, and the benefits behind using APIs for data integrations.
Attendees should have a basic awareness or understanding of APIs would be preferred, but isn’t required. I plan to briefly define an API as a basis for the presentation.
Attendees will learn
– Knowledge of what an API is, and why someone would consume or create one.
– Understanding of APIs compared to how most integrations are implemented at UW-Madison, and why one might prefer an API approach.
– Basic knowledge of API design, and applying UX design techniques when creating a specification for an API to make sure it addresses user needs.
– Understanding of what the Person API is, and a basic understanding of how to get access and use it.
An overview of web application integration and end-to-end testing with the Cypress tool. It contains both a graphical GUI for live debugging, and a text-based command that is nicer for continuous integration.
Attendees should know a bit about HTML and will learn that web testing has undergone large shifts in recent years, and is now nearly on par with regular program testing.
When specialized IT fields – Development, Security and Operations – work together, they can solve problems that separate departments many not be able to handle. The process looks different from each perspective. Yet it is teamwork and respect for people with different skill sets that strengthens the UW IT community and keeps technology growing to meet the needs of the University and beyond.
The YouTube live stream button is a go.wisc redirect that will go live no later than 8:30am on June 2nd.
We, as IT professionals, play a critical role in designing, developing, and supporting the digital campus. We have created and evolved the digital campus over the last forty years, and in 2020 it became the primary mode of interaction for our communities. What can we learn from the rapid pivot to online, and more importantly, how can we evolve our thinking and approaches?
Let’s discuss how we can use our expertise and our voice to create digital spaces where people can thrive. Using ideas from fields such as critical design practices, conflict management, and polarities, we will explore the most effective approaches for providing spaces where multiple voices are empowered, and diverse communities can thrive.
The session will be interactive.
Opening Remarks for the conference will take place from 8:45-9:15am
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A walk-through of a tested, GitHub-Action workflow for publishing Python code to PyPI. Topics covered include: setup.cfg vs setup.py, using a published open source setup.cfg-builder, rethinking the requirements.txt file, and automated semantic versioning.
PyPI-publishing doesn’t have to be tedious. Semantic versioning is your friend. Pip-installing packages by GitHub-commit URLs will cause errors.
My audience needs to know how to use GitHub and a basic understanding of Python packaging and PyPI (pip).