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On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer be offering support and updates for Windows XP.
The University of Alberta community should note that although Windows XP will continue to function after support ends, computers with Windows XP will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Further, as software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, there will be a greater number of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP.
As part of the end of product life and support process, Microsoft will be issuing notifications to all Windows XP users still receiving updates directly from Microsoft. These notifications will announce the product end-of-life and advise that users upgrade their operating system to a more recent version of Windows to protect their PC.
Information Services and Technology is aware of the upcoming Windows XP end-of-life and advises all XP users to upgrade their operating system. If you have any concerns or questions about the end-of-life notifications from Microsoft or the process of upgrading from Windows XP, please read the IT Pulse or contact your local IT support team for further information.
When Stephen Lind was a student at the University of Alberta, he thought of Information Services and Technology (IST)—then AICT—as the place to go “for password resets and other things,” a department with more day-to-day IT work and not much, if any, IT development. But as Stephen has discovered since joining IST as a Junior Application Developer, the department does a lot of application development and “has quite an interesting development team.”
Stephen has always been interested in IT, specifically computers which he got into by playing computer games as a kid. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry, he worked as a personal banker for RBC. He then made a career change and developed video games for Bioware, working on the Mass Effect Series. Stephen also returned to school and graduated with an after-degree in Computing Science and History from MacEwan University.
Now, as a member of IST’s Application Development team, Stephen helps develop IT applications for the university as a whole and for individual faculties and departments. He is currently working on a project for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, supporting long-term research into women’s health in metalworking and electrical research. Stephen enjoys working with the Application Development team, “a pretty tight-knit group,” and looks forward to growing his talents within IST.
When Iain Williamson moved from Toronto to Edmonton last summer, he not only changed his location, but also his career path. Iain had been working in the financial industry in Toronto, but was looking for “a new challenge, a new environment, and a different way of looking at things.” After considering the University of Alberta has a potential employer, and researching Information Services and Technology (IST) in particular, Iain joined the IST team. A key attraction of IST was that the department had won a Pink Elephant award in ITSM, an area he feels “is an important cornerstone for a high class IT organization.” Now, as an Associate Director of Relationship Management, Iain and his fellow Relationship Managers work with Deans and Vice-Deans to determine the information services needs of their faculties and departments, and to facilitate those needs through IST.
Iain had graduated with a degree in History from the University of Sheffield and had “dabbled with becoming a journalist” by writing sports reviews for a local newspaper, before he joined a software company in England which gave him “a very broad basis in technology.” He then specialized in change management and started working in the financial industry. When he joined Barclay’s in England, he got involved in service management and service delivery, which grew into product management and relationship management. After moving to Canada in 2006, Iain continued in the financial industry, working for RBC and Scotiabank in Toronto.
Iain has enjoyed his transition from working in the financial industry to working in the post-secondary public sector. He particularly likes working in relationship management at the university, as it is not all about standardization but often about finding “new things and new technologies to support clients.” Iain and his colleagues, indeed all of IST, “are there to make sure that the university gets the most out of its information technology and to make sure that IST grows with the university and [aligns] its skills and capabilities with what the university needs.”
Although Aaron Langen joined Information Services and Technology’s Deskside Support Team only six months ago, he was already quite familiar with the University of Alberta. Aaron first came to the university as an undergraduate in the Faculty of Science in 1999. After his student days, Aaron worked on his family’s farm, and in Nisku, for a couple of years before returning to the university to work as a LAN Administrator in the Office of the Dean of Students. Last summer, after 8 years with the Dean of Students, Aaron worked on several projects elsewhere in the university until he landed in IST in September.
Now, as a Deskside Support Analyst, Aaron provides IT support to Facilities and Operations, Ancillary Services and Supply Management Services among other departments. Aaron enjoys working with his team and his clients even though his work environment and responsibilities are quite different than those he was familiar with at the Dean of Students. There, he was part of an IT team of 3 people and worked on “broken keyboards to broken servers and everything in between.” Now, his work environment is “a little more controlled” where he works on what he knows best and passes what he does not to other members of the Deskside team “who are more specialized in the area.”
Going from the familiar to the unfamiliar often requires a leap of faith, and for Aaron, who was used to the hands-on-everything approach on a much smaller IT team, the transition to IST’s much larger team requires him “to have faith that the giant team is going to get things done and so far it’s working out great.”
Baljindar Grewal is the Finance Team Lead of Information Services and Technology’s Finance and Administration division. “Team” is the part of his title that he emphasizes for he “loves” working in a team environment and “believes in complete openness and [work] not being about individuals.”
Baljindar has worked at the University of Alberta for 6 years. Prior to coming to Information Services and Technology (IST) this past September, Baljindar was Financial Supervisor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Indeed, he feels that one of the many benefits of working at IST is how close he is to his “old” department, which makes visiting his former colleagues just a hop, skip and building away.
Baljindar received his Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance, at the University of Alberta as well. After graduation, he worked in banking but did not particularly enjoy the sales aspect of that industry. Accordingly, he took more courses, received his CMA, and “switched his career path from financing to accounting.” In addition to his accounting responsibilities at IST, Baljindar is enjoying the management side of his work. He is also particularly impressed by how IST “is going through major change and looking at changing the way things [had been] done” to improve overall performance and service delivery.
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