Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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Braindump Beginnings

5:40 PM


Are you a PSU student, or do you know one, who is interest in computers and learning about IT? You can receive free training in different aspects of IT (networking, systems administration, IT management, and more) through the CAT’s Braindump Program. Free IT training? How is that possible?

Throughout the 80’s it was a difficult task to find student volunteers that possessed the technical skills. “We realized that if were going to succeed at tackling this problem, we needed to have a hand in the growth and development of our junior system admins,” says Janaka Jayawardena, IT Director for the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The first CAT Braindump happened - almost by accident - in 1992. Janaka Jayawardena, Maseeh’s IT Director, was a UNIX system administrator at the time. Off hours, Janaka shared everything he knew with an eager group of students. The students in turn agreed to apply what they learned into active participation, first in a controlled sandbox environment, and later on live systems. “Our goal was to provide a rotating pool of well-trained talent to help us.” This was the early workings of what would later be known as The Deal.

The CAT Elders

Something interesting resulted from that first group of CATs. These first generation CATs bonded together. They took pride and personal responsibility for keeping the systems running. Additionally they now possessed highly sought after skills, with real world experience on top of that.

As the College grew it’s IT consolidated, Braindump has become more organized and covers a wider range of areas. The off-hours braindumps are taught by CATs usually a lead, or other experienced team members. By focusing on the ‘why’ instead of obsessing about the ‘how’, participants gain a firm grounding and understanding of the fundamental concepts and design decision procedures that will help them deal with new, challenging environments.

“We want participation in the CAT Braindump to be a two-way street,” says Janaka. “While we definitely want to benefit from the fruits of their labors, we really want to prepare them for a workplace where technologies and methodologies change rapidly.”

If you missed the Braindump Orientation it is not too late to join! DeskCAT Training begins this Friday October 18th, in EB102 at 6pm. If you would like more information about happenings at the CAT and resources they provide visit their website at www.cat.pdx.edu. For more information about the Braindump, The Deal, and other ongoings visit braindump.cat.pdx.edu.

2013 CATs

 
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