AWS Imagine edu conference

Seattle, July 8-11, 2019

AWS IMAGINE: A Better World, A Global Education Conference

I am attending the AWS Imagine education conference in Seattle. This is a conference hosted by AWS for educators who are interested in offering an AWS based Cloud Computing track at their institutions. I am happy that in the keynote by Andrew Ko, the CSU was mentioned as one of the partner university system: at CI we are offering Cloud Computing with AWS tools to our students, and we are also leveraging the resources of AWS for research. The San Luis Obispo (SLO) campus has been working with AWS tools as well (see Cal Poly Launches World’s First University-Based Cloud Innovation Center Powered by Amazon Web Services). I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Lupo, the chair of Comp Sci at SLO; other CSU campuses, such as Northridge, have also worked with AWS.

Education is built on AWS slide

Partnering with AWS: Community Colleges (CC) have already partnered with AWS in some states. At the conference we heard from Sharron Morrissey from the Virginia Community College System, where AWS was introduced comprehensively in the entire system. The Virginia CCs are able to capitalize on the fact that Amazon chose Arlington (Virginia) as the site for its 2nd headquarters, and the preponderance of data-centers in Virginia. We also heard from Monty Sullivan, the president of the Louisiana Community Colleges system, who spoke about “educational institutions are not any more in the business of furnishing diplomas, but rather they are the gateway into the job market”. Finally, we heard from Sheneui Weber who spoke about the CCs in California, and their thriving partnership with AWS: she cited a study showing that there are about unfilled 30,000 jobs in Cloud Computing in LA County and Orange County, and 5,000 of those jobs specifically mention AWS.

Amazon Fiona building

On Monday, at the Amazon Fiona building, I attended an excellent workshop conducted by the AWS Educate team on how to integrate the AWS curriculum in different degrees – my interest was to explore the possibility of introducing AWS into the Computer Science program (or the IT program) at CI. Some of the resources that AWS offers could also be deployed in our Mechatronics Engineering program (such as AWS Robomaker). At the workshop I was interested in the experience of George Mason University that partnered with Nova and AWS. Just last month this partnership announced a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) pathway in cloud computing.

For us at CI, the benefits of such a pathway would be as follows:

  • As we have a hands on practical degree, we are more or less ready; we would have to introduce examples of AWS tools in 3 or 4 courses, such as Networking (COMP 429), Databases (COMP 420) and Cybersecurity (COMP 424), and possibly some DevOps in our Software Engineering class (COMP 350).
  • Once approved by Amazon Educate, students would have then the ability to have educational AWS accounts with some credits, as well as access to the AWS job forum, and vouchers for AWS certification. They would also be more ready for the rapidly expanding Cloud Computing job market.

As a university we have to be technology agnostic to some extent, but since AWS is a platform, on which one can deploy practically any technology, we would not be teaching one tool. Also, we should compare and contrast the AWS offering to other solutions such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. In any case, Cloud Computing is becoming the new computing paradigm, and in order to give our students the best degree possible, we need to teach it.

Rich Mendola from Emory on Building a Secure and Manageable Cloud Environment

I was keen to hear a talk on Machine Learning by Balaji Iyer, as we are currently using AWS SageMaker on a Navy Cybersecurity project. I also really enjoyed an excellent talk by Rich Mendola from Emory, on Building a Secure and Manageable Cloud Environment. It was interesting to hear about the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, a very interesting concept from the Cybersecurity point of view: AWS has built and maintains an extremely secure infrastructure, but it is up the the user to wield the tools correctly in order to maintain security.

Finally, I was excited to be for the first time in a city (Seattle) with the 5G cellular network 🙂

Marco Antonio Bustamante at Yardi

Marco Antonio Bustamante

Marco Antonio Bustamante (on LinkedIn) is a Software Development Engineer at Yardi Systems. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and minors in Mathematics and Security Systems Engineering in May 2019. Prior to graduation, Marco also completed an internship with FileYourTaxes.com through the Hank Lacayo Institute Internship Program, where he developed experience in Software Engineering. In the Summer of 2018, he also worked as a Student Assistant for the Engineering Innovation Summer Bridge Program at CSUCI, where he tutored and introduced foundational concepts of Computer Science to students in the Oxnard Union High School District. During his studies at CSUCI, he found interests in Mobile Development, Databases, Networks, and Web Applications. These interests heavily influenced his projects and ultimately lead him to gaining the skill set and knowledge to secure a position with Yardi.

How much Google, Facebook, other tech giants pay software engineers

When recent college graduates and friends Zuhayeer Musa and Zaheer Mohiuddin started to break into the software industry, everything they found on the internet about engineering jobs seemed to be missing the actual information they needed: How much do these jobs pay?

Software engineers straight out of college often make six-figure salaries, not counting equity compensation. Depending on seniority, some coders make millions of dollars per year. But where on that spectrum any given engineer lands often depends on a single number — what’s often called a “level.”

At Google, for example, entry-level engineers start at Level 3. Apple has five levels for engineers, from ICT2 up to ICT6. Microsoft’s system starts at 59 for a software development engineer and goes up to 80 for a “technical fellow,” or one of the leaders of their given field.

Source: How much Google, Facebook, other tech giants pay software engineers

Want one of the best paid entry-level jobs? Learn this 20-year-old programming language

The Java programming language may date back to the 1990s, but new Java programmers are still landing some of the best-paid starter jobs in the US.

Figures, released this week by Glassdoor Economic Research, show ‘Java developer’ as the eighth highest-paid, entry-level role in America, with a median base salary of $72,000.

The figures are based on wages reported by workers aged 25 and younger on the Glassdoor jobs site during 2018.

It is not the first time Java has been singled out as a well-rewarded programming language.

Source: Want one of the best paid entry-level jobs? Learn this 20-year-old programming language | ZDNet

Alfred Camposagrado at Northrop Grumman

Alfred Camposagrado is a Principal Embedded Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman. He received his Bachelor’s in Computer Science at CSUCI in 2014. He started his journey in Camarillo working as a Software Engineer for Crescendo Interactive shortly after graduation. He gained valuable experience by initially starting as a front-end developer and later promoted to a Full-Stack developer focusing on Java. His experience in Java landed him a job at Northrop Grumman. Located in Point Mugu, he supports the US Navy with various projects from software development to system integration tests. He also continues his education at CSUCI in the Masters of Computer Science Program (MSCS). http://linkedin.com/in/alfredcamposagrado

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own backyard.It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.

Source: In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc – The New York Times

CI students’ research accepted at the KES2019 international conference in Budapest

KES 2019 conference in Budapest, Hungary

CI Computer Science students were successful in submitting three papers to KES 2019, the 23rd International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems, which this year is taking place in Budapest, Hungary, in September 2019. The papers are the following:

  • Approximating consistency in pairwise comparisons, co-authored by Chris Kuske, Konrad Kułakowski and Michael Soltys. Chris Kuske was a masters student in Computer Science at CI, and this paper is the result of his masters thesis [pdf], which was co-supervised by Prof. Konrad Kułakowski (AGH), who at the time was a Kościuszko Scholar in Computer Science at CI. Chris Kuske is a Software Lead at Teledyne Controls where he develops avionics software for commercial aircrafts. (This paper will be presented in the Invited Session IS18: Decision modeling with and without pairwise comparisons.)
  • SEAKER: A mobile digital forensics triage device, co-authored by Eric Gentry and Michael Soltys. Eric Gentry was a masters student in Computer Science at CI, and currently working at GBL Systems, and lecturing for Computer Science at CI. This paper is the result of a collaboration between Computer Science at CI and the SoCal High Technology Task Force. For more details on this collaboration please see here. (This paper will be presented in the Invited Session IS13: Cybercrime Investigation and Digital Forensics.)
  • Deploying Health Campaign Strategies to Defend Against Social Engineering Threats, co-authored by Noelle Abe and Michael Soltys. Noelle Abe is a senior student at CI, who just graduated this May with a degree in Computer Science. Noelle Abe was both a President’s Scholar at CI, and the vice-president of the Computer Science Girls Club. This paper was initiated by Noelle as part of her research as an exchange student in the UK in 2017. (This paper will be presented in the Invited Sessions IS24: Knowledge-based Learning and Education Support System: Design and Function.)