Category Archives: Enter IT RI

May Tech Events in Connecticut

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: May 3, 2017

May 8, 2016
PowerShell for SQL Developers
West Hartford, CT | 5:30 – 8:00 pm |
This group has monthly meetings which include technical presentations from industry experts. The topics covered include a wide range of subjects surrounding the SQL Server suite of products. Meetings are always free. Starting in June of 2016 we will be meeting on the 2nd Monday of every month except August.

May 9, 2017
The Innovation Roundtable
Stamford, CT | 6:00 – 8:30 pm | @StamfordiCenter | $10
A diverse community of consultants, programmers, entrepreneurs, executives, designers, and professionals who gather together on Tuesday nights for food, drink, and networking.

May 11, 2017
Greater Hartford GNU Linux Users Group Social Night
West Hartford, CT | 6:30 pm | Free
Whether you’re experienced or just starting out, come hang out and chat about all things related to Linux and Free Software.

May 16, 2017
SharePoint Virtual Summit Meeting Party
Hartford, CT | 1:00 pm | @Microsoft
At this year’s event you’ll learn how to take advantage of SharePoint, OneDrive and the rest of the Office 365 collaboration toolkit to create a connected workplace, empowering you to securely connect to the people and content you need, to transform business processes, to inform and engage your employees, and to harness the collective knowledge of your organization. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper will unveil the latest product innovations and roadmap. You’ll also hear from industry-leading customers on how they are leveraging these technologies as part of their digital transformation.

May 17, 2017
HR’s Secret Weapon: The Power of Analytics
Newington, CT | 4:45 pm |@HRACC | $40/member; $50/guests
More than ever, companies are realizing their workforce data is a strategic asset. Once used for only sales and marketing functions, detailed metrics now help companies utilize their HR data effectively to make fact-based decisions about their human capital investments. Come get an in-depth look at up-and-coming business applications, understand “big data’s” role in shaping the HR landscape for years to come, and hear a real-world case study of predictive analytics’ impact on business results.

CUGC Connect: Goliath Technologies – Understanding, Troubleshooting, and Resolving Citrix ICA/HDX Issues
Online | 1:00 – 2:00 pm | @myCUGC | Free
Co-authors of the new Citrix Administrator’s Technical Guide to Understanding and Troubleshooting Citrix ICA/HDX will cover the aspects of the ICA/HDX protocol, what can be utilized, and what steps can be used to understand issues you face. They’ll also cover more about ICA/HDX components and how to troubleshoot. Presentation will include live Q&A.

May 22, 2017
The Stamford Tech Meetup
Stamford, CT | 7:00 – 9:00 pm | @StamfordiCenter | $10; $15 at the door
Hey techies, We’re back as promised on the last Monday of the month! As always we will have great networking, innovative speakers and tech demos from the CT and NYC and areas, and our beloved announcements! We look forward to your company and your continued support. Thank you!

May 24, 2017
Greater Hartford GNU Linux Users Group Meeting
Manchester, CT | 6:30 pm | Free
Bring your laptop and whatever project you are working on, have just finished, or are interested in starting. For example setting up a new distro, trying out new software, using Bash, configuring RAID or Samba, etc. See what stuff other members are doing with Linux and open source software and ask or answer questions. Please come even if you don’t have a project for lively discussion.

May 25, 2017
Network After Work at Cask Republic
New Haven, CT | 6:00 pm | $15
Join our community of millions across the US and expand your network at our next event. Meet executives and professionals for new opportunities on Thursday, May 25th at Cask Republic (179 Crown Street). You’ll make great connections in a relaxed and upbeat atmosphere while expanding your network of contacts to fuel your career or business goals.

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Enter IT RI Summit Highlights

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: July 8, 2016

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Enter IT RI Overview and Summit event! We hope that this is just the beginning of the conversation. Below we’ve outlined some of the conversations held at the summit. Download the report here for all findings from the Enter IT RI survey.

On Friday morning, June 10th, we gathered over 85 people at Tech Collective to discuss entry-level IT talent in RI. The event kicked off with Joe Devine, partner at Bridge, reviewing the survey results and sharing future recommendations based off of those results.  We had 72 RI businesses participate in the survey and the top responding industries were IT Services, Manufacturing, Software, Healthcare, and Telecommunications and Media. The top two workforce readiness skills employers look for are problem solving/critical thinking and teamwork. When asked about hiring and working with entry-level employees, companies stated that work ethic, professionalism, and technical depth/knowledge were the areas in which entry-level employees were the most challenged. “The most surprising thing for me was that our focus had been technology, but the more people we talked to, the more we found that workforce readiness skills were equally important,” said Devine. “Businesses considered many other factors other than four year degrees when finding potential employee candidates.”

During the panel discussion, Chris Shoemaker, CTO at MojoTech, reiterated this observation, “I’d much rather select people who have workforce readiness skills than specific technology skills.” Based off of the survey results, the personality traits that employers look for are self-starters, positive attitudes, work ethic, employee adaptability, and learning.

When it comes to hiring, 60% of employers who responded to the survey do most, or all, of their application development in-house. “On campus is still the number one way people recruit, but online job sites and word of mouth are also widely utilized recruiting methods for businesses finding entry level IT employees.”  

The panel, which was made up of Anthony Ruocco, Professor of Computer Science and Computer Science Program Coordinator at Roger Williams University, Chris Shoemaker, CTO at MojoTech, Peter Moreau, SVP and CIO at Amica, and Joan Peckham, the Chair of the Computer Science and Statistics Department at the University of Rhode Island, covered hiring practices, computer science in schools, and the importance of communication in the technology field. Peckham described how they are making efforts to reach out to other educators to promote computer science initiatives, “We just met with 30 schools to introduce computer science programs so that teachers can work with K-12 students to introduce them to computer science and technology.”

Ruocco outlined his process for developing computer science programs; “I go to two sources initially, the ACM and IEEE. They give us a lot of core skills that a CS undergrad would entail. We also talk to our graduates and employers to find out what we they think we were missing and could improve upon in our program and what we need to do better.” Peckham urged businesses to take the initiative to call department chairs in the future and offer their insights into what they think universities should be doing better.

When discussing necessary skills for entry-level employees, Moreau mentioned how “the communication piece is really important. Communication skills are critical,” and Shoemaker echoed that sentiment, “In the context of technology, communicating effectively means thinking clearly. If they can think clearly, they are going to be productive.”

Attendees also took part in a Q&A session with panel members. One question focused on the value of a degree versus experience and training. The panel responded that, for entry level positions, businesses look for a bachelor’s degree or experience equivalent. For non-entry level, a degree or formal education background is not considered as important as experience; a degree is used as a differentiation at the entry level.

You can read about Bridge’s recommendations (summarized below) and action items in more detail by clicking here for the downloadable version of the Enter IT RI report.

Bridge’s recommendations (based on +12 years as an IT staffing firm in RI) for strengthening Rhode Island technical talent development include:

  • Increase IT Career Awareness and Engagement
  • Support and Increase Engagement in State IT Education Initiatives
  • Incorporate In-Demand Technologies into K-16 Education Curricula
  • Incorporate workforce readiness skills in curricula
  • Establish CS Minors at Rhode Island Colleges and Universities
  • Training Opportunities for Non-College Bound Students or Transitioning Workers
  • Establish a Statewide Academic Advisory Panel

See more of what people said about  #EnterITRI on Twitter:


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Announcing the Enter IT RI Panel: Closing the gap between RI business & CS/CIS Programs

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: June 3, 2016

Let’s create an on-going communication feedback loop between RI business and CS/CIS programs.

This is the task for our panel at the the Enter IT RI summit on June 10th (more event details below), diving into workforce readiness skills, in-demand technology skills, hiring practices, and more. We are excited to introduce our diverse panel that will be representing both corporate and small RI businesses and public and private CS/CIS programs.

peter_moreauPeter Moreau, CIO at Amica, is responsible for the oversight of their corporate information systems department, including the planning, organization and control of the company’s information processing operations and systems development. He has over 30 years of information technology experience in the insurance industry. Peter works closely with the senior leadership team to establish a corporate strategy to support the company’s mission, which is to create peace of mind and build enduring relationships.




Chris Shoemaker, CTO at MojoTech, has over 20 years experience in commercial and open source software engineering. In addition to providing the leadership and expertise to solve clients’ toughest technology problems, he specializes in web application scalability and database design. He previously worked as a software consultant, a software architect for Internet startups, and for five years as a scientist for the U.S. Navy. Chris has a history of open source contributions to projects dating back to 2004.

joan_peckhamJoan Peckham is the Chair of Computer Science and Statistics at the University of Rhode Island. From 2008-2011 she worked on Education and Workforce Development and several interdisciplinary and interagency programs at the National Science Foundation. She has served in many roles during her time at URI, including co-coordinator of the interdisciplinary High Performance Computing and Big Data initiative and cluster hire, Acting Director of Collaborative for Explorations in Mathematics and Science, Common Core- PARCC – College Readiness Core Steering Committee (K-12), and co-founder of the Rhode Island chapter of the Computer Science Teacher’s Association. Her research has been focused on data modeling in several domains such as transportations and bioinformatics and computing education. Currently she is helping URI to partner with others in CS4RI (Computer Science for Rhode Island) and other related initiatives to create pathways for a larger and better trained technology and computing workforce.

Anthony head shotAnthony Ruocco is a Professor of Computer Science and Computer Science Program Coordinator at Roger Williams University, Bristol RI. Since joining the faculty in 2002 he has redesigned the computer science program and expanded computer science availability to all students through providing a core concentration, minor, and a general education senior seminar. Dr. Ruocco specializes in undergraduate computer science education and is very active in national accreditation of undergraduate programs.


With this panel, we’re sure to have a spirited and informed discussion from the many voices that need to be at this table discussing entry-level IT hiring in Rhode Island. Like our event on Facebook and register to attend here, we hope to see you there!

Date: June 10th
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Tech Collective, Rising Sun Mills, Building 3 166 Valley St. Providence, RI

Background: Last fall we surveyed RI businesses to better understand what they look for in their IT entry level hires. We had a great response from over seventy companies both large and small. On the morning of June 10th, we’ll be presenting our report, recommendations, and then hosting a panel discussion. The goal is to open a communication channel to ensure our graduates of RI based CS/CIS programs are meeting the expectations of the RI businesses hiring them.

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Enter IT RI: An Event Created to Explore the Entry-Level IT Needs in RI

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: May 12, 2016


Many computer science college departments have an academic advisory panel with representatives from industry to advise them on their curricula. These panels typically meet once or twice a year for two or three hours to discuss suggested changes in class offerings and other degree questions. In an effort to provide a wider and deeper voice to RI computer science programs Bridge Technical Talent and Tech Collective developed a survey of RI businesses last fall. Over seventy companies provided insight into their requirements for entry level IT hires.

To improve upon the communication channels between local businesses and academia, we are pleased to announce Enter IT RI:

Event Details

Date: June 10
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Place: Tech Collective Rising Sun Mills, Bldg 3, 166 Valley Street Providence, RI
Audience: Academic and IT business leaders, open to the public
To Register: click here

This first Enter IT RI event aims to start a conversation between academia and Rhode Island businesses on the essential workforce skillsets employers desire. Bridge Technical Talent and Tech Collective will share the Enter IT RI report findings to drive awareness and collaboration between university level technical CS/CIS programs and businesses to improve the match between how colleges are preparing IT students for post-grad jobs and local hiring needs.

The Background:

In Fall of 2015, Bridge, with the support of Tech Collective, sent around an informational technology industry survey to RI businesses to analyze the current hiring market for IT grads. Working closely with department chairs and deans of Rhode Island Computer Science/Computer Information Systems (CS/CIS) university programs, we set out to identify ways to increase enrollment, particularly among women and minorities, as well as ensure program curricula matches the skills needed for entry-level jobs.

In the survey we asked questions regarding the hiring processes used by RI IT companies, personality traits, and workforce readiness skills employers are seeking. We also asked about the technology being used in six IT domains today and in the near future:

  • Application Development
  • Operations Infrastructure
  • Information Security
  • Service Desk
  • Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence
  • Project and Portfolio Management

We welcome you to join us on Friday, June 10, 2016 to take part in the unveiling of the report findings and a panel discussion with members of RI academia and businesses to establish an ongoing channel of communication between college programs and IT businesses for future collaboration in our state.

Keep up with the latest news by following the hashtag #EnterITRI on Twitter. To learn more about the event and to register to attend, click here.

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