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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

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    How to Recruit More Women in Tech


    We need more women in tech because we need more people in tech. Arizona has 7,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of vacant technology jobs, which cost the economy ...

    We need more women in tech because we need more people in tech. Arizona has 7,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of vacant technology jobs, which cost the economy billions of dollars. So, how do we attract more female computer scientists, data analysts, software engineers and infosec professionals?

     

    Communicating the value and need for soft skills in STEM fields might convince some women who feel like they don’t have a natural talent for technology to consider careers in tech. “I think some women see STEM careers as being more about hard math and science than the current and future reality of tech jobs being more about creativity and collaboration,” said Dr. Dave Bolman, the University of Advancing Technology provost and member of the Arizona Technology Council board of directors.

     

    Journalists, politicians and CEOs often lament the shortage of skilled technology workers. But in reality, a large contributing factor to the tech talent shortage is a lack of soft skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity, organization and flexibility.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 12.03.36 PMThe All-Female Cybersecurity Council of Arizona Board

     

    “Thanks to socialization, women often have an already-developed-and-tested ability for understanding things from someone else’s perspective, predicting needs and working in teams,” said Haylee Mills, a senior cybersecurity engineer at Charles Schwab and the director of workforce development for the Cybersecurity Council of Arizona. “All of these things are what a DevOps methodology attempts to foster by focusing on user stories, how to develop for the user and how to do that as a team,” Haylee said.

     

    Emphasizing soft skills upfront in technology job descriptions and the hiring process can attract more women to technology jobs, but in order to retain them, employers need to recognize their contributions. “I know many talented women who would thrive in tech who have just never been given credit for their ability to troubleshoot, organize and solve problems,” Haylee said.

     

    Another way to attract and retain top female tech talent is to “focus on building things that people and communities value and make the world a better place for everybody,” Dave said. If research indicates that women naturally gravitate toward careers that help people over careers that work with things, then showing them how technology improves people’s lives can help peak their natural interests. Companies can also do more to bridge the gap between the people who make technology and the end users.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 12.04.28 PMUAT Digital Media Professor Dapzury Valenzuela

     

    University of Advancing Technology Professor Dapzury Valenzuela also points to a lack of female mentors accessible to young girls. Organizations such as Girls in Tech Phoenix are helping bridge the gap with formal mentorship programs and fun mentoring meetups. “They Valley also has a lot of co-working spaces advocating for more female entrepreneurs such as Co+Hoots Founder Jenny Poon,” Dapzury said. “These cohorts and collaborative spaces are helping to foster awareness and providing education to aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike,” Dapzury added.

     

    People—young girls included—like and remember stories. “One way to get girls excited about tech is to share stories of women like Marion Croak, who invented VOIP and holds more than 135 patents, and Lisa Gelobter, who invited animation on the Internet,” Dave said.

     

    We need more buy-in from teachers, principals and parents for extra-curricular activities in STEM. “The more we can join forces with academia, industry and parents, the better prepared our students will be when entering the workforce,” Dapzury said. Haylee also suggests reaching out to and collaborating with high school girls who have "an affinity for art, anime and gaming." 

     

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    That’s why Dapzury helped launch Immersive Teaching STEAM Academy (ITSA) that teaches young girls and boys 3D modeling, robotics, game development, VR and coding through a fun and exciting project-based learning model. “When you expose children to hands-on STEM activities at an early age, they are more likely to connect those learning outcomes to possible career paths in tech,” she said. 

     

    We’re headed in the right direction. “There is a large amount of talent in women, who may not have originally thought of tech or cybersecurity careers as an option, trying to reskill right now,” Halyee said. And every time Dave attends a middle school robotics competition, overnight game jam or science fair, he notes “at least half of the participants are energetic girls with confidence and great ideas.”

     

    Do you want to educate and excite the next generation of computer scientists and cybersecurity analysts? Check out our jobs board today!

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    How to Land Your First Job in Tech


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    Book Recommendations


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    How will AI Change the Way We Work?


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    How to Create a Killer YouTube Channel


    More than 30 million people around the world watch 5 billion YouTube videos every day. That’s a huge audience with a big appetite for video content. Video has always been a powerful marketing tool and one of the most engaging types of content. Students and job seekers—especially those in creative or competitive fields—can capitalize on the growing demand for video content by creating a...

    More than 30 million people around the world watch 5 billion YouTube videos every day. That’s a huge audience with a big appetite for video content. Video has always been a powerful marketing tool and one of the most engaging types of content. Students and job seekers—especially those in creative or competitive fields—can capitalize on the growing demand for video content by creating a YouTube channel that supports their personal brands and establishes them as thought leaders.

     

    Starting a YouTube channel is pretty simple. To start, you need a Gmail account, which most people already have. Once you’ve signed up, you’re ready to add your own personal flare to your channel.

     

    Start by adding a profile picture. Make sure you use something eye catching aligned with your personal brand such as your logo or a professional headshot. Then add your channel art. Create something that represents you! Make sure your channel art is high quality and on brand. The site PicMonkey is an excellent resource for creating your own channel art. You can find some examples of cool channel art ideas here.

     

    After you’ve added your unique charm to your channel, it’s time to start thinking about content. Many channels stick to a content theme such as music, eSports or fashion, but some channels create all kinds of content from career content to parenting tips and meal prep recipes. I prefer these eclectic channels because they offer a little bit of everything.

     

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    If you aren’t a videographer or don’t own a fancy camera, don’t worry. Many YouTubers start out by filming videos on their phone, which is perfectly okay because of the high quality of today’s cell phone cameras. Simply set up your phone on a tripod and or find something to rest your phone against. Make sure you’re in frame, and then press record! Start your first video with a “get to know me” or a “Q&A” introduction video to set the tone and expectations for your viewers.

     

    Once you’ve filmed your video, it’s time to edit it. If you have a Mac, the best editor to use is iMovie. It’s a very simple editor for beginners. If you filmed a sit-down talking video, it shouldn’t be that hard to edit. All you need is a few simple cuts here and there, and you should be good.

     

    Next up, make your video thumbnail. Your thumbnail is very important because it is what catches the audience’s eye and ultimately makes them decide if they want to click on your video. Using the site PicMonkey, create your thumbnail with the size of 1280x720.

     

    Finally, when you have completed all of these steps, you can post your video! Upload it to YouTube on your channel. Make sure you pick the perfect title that matches your video content and includes SEO-optimized keywords to reach the widest audience. Fill in the description box, and don’t forget the tags.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 10.52.32 AM

    Alisha Marie's Beautifully Branded YouTube Channel

     

    Congrats on creating your YouTube channel and your first video! Now it’s time to keep up the content and grow! As famous YouTubers Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz would say, “Content, baby, content.”

     

    Want to learn how to create high-quality, professional marketing videos? Check out the Digital Video program at UAT today.

     

    And don't forget to follow UAT on YouTube. 

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    Zombie Apocalypse Experience - Day 3


    This blog is sadly the last post in my zombie apocalypse experience series because of my recent changes. Unfortunately, I have been infected and now roam around campus, infecting the remaining humans. I put up a heroic fight until the end, but it seems patient zero had his eyes on me and really wanted to infect me. ...

    This blog is sadly the last post in my zombie apocalypse experience series because of my recent changes. Unfortunately, I have been infected and now roam around campus, infecting the remaining humans. I put up a heroic fight until the end, but it seems patient zero had his eyes on me and really wanted to infect me.

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    It’s not all that bad being a zombie. Ee get to sit around and chase humans for fun. I no longer have to worry about finding supplies and materials to stay alive; I simply have to find humans! I am genuinely having so much fun. Keep reading to find out how it all went down.

    I was on a mission with some other humans to save Tucker, who got lost looking for her backpack. We went on a search party, completely unaware of the singular zombie who was trailing us. Once we found Tucker, we were able to stun the zombies, causing a delay in their attacks. We grabbed Tucker and then quickly made our way back to our base for safety. We were right in front of base when suddenly Tucker begins to freak out, looking for another item. At that moment we had a side quest that we had to fulfill as well. We took it on, not fearing the zombies at the moment. We had to scavenge the building to find something precious. Meanwhile, patient zero was plotting my demise. The group decided to split up and search for the item, leaving me with patient zero, but I wasn't paying attention.

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    At first, searching with him was casual we were just looking around trying to quickly help the team. We then got to a side hallway that was more secluded than the rest. I decided this was a very bad spot and turned around to see my buddy, staring intently at me. All I kept thinking was, ”This feels like a set up." With this thought crossing my mind, I pull out my stunner to toss at him, knowing it only affected zombies or patient zero. I toss at him when suddenly he dodges it and lays a hand on my arm. Then he whispered, “You are now infected!" I couldn't believe it. I did all that hard work of keeping me and the team alive, and just like that I end up becoming the very thing I fought so hard against.

    In the end, the human race died and the zombies took over. Hopefully next time the humans survive! I hope you all enjoyed this series, I know I had a lot of fun writing it! 

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    Why We Need More Women in Tech


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    Zombie Apocalypse Experience - Day 2


    Welcome back to the Zombie Apocalypse! It’s day two of my experiences surviving this war. You won't believe the things I had to endure toda!    Today I got home from work at a...

    Welcome back to the Zombie Apocalypse! It’s day two of my experiences surviving this war. You won't believe the things I had to endure toda! 

     

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    Today I got home from work at a whopping 7 am, and guess who was waiting for me. Pulling up into the school I was exhausted from doing an overnight shift for my job. I figured it was early so I wouldn’t have to worry about seeing any zombies. I was wrong. The first thing I saw is a singular zombie, roaming around in the parking lot, looking for its next target. You could imagine my horror. I was so tired that I didn’t think I could run. I decided to keep on the down low, getting out of my car quietly and sneaking my way around, determined to get to my dormitory for a nice long nap.

    While I'm sneaking around cars, someone suddenly pulls into the parking lot. I looked like a deer in headlights. The zombie immediately spotted me from the light, just my luck! I quickly realize I’ve been spotted and bolt for the dorm room. "I only need to get to a safe zone," was all that kept going through my mind.

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    Photo Credit: Paul Lopez

    I keep running, trying to get to the staircase, but I’m not going straight. I kept on going in zig zags hoping it would make it harder for them to catch up, but it didn’t really help. They had nearly caught up to me during this little zig zag mission, so I give that up and put the rest of my energy to getting to the dorm rooms. I have to say, I felt like I was actually in the apocalypse from all the adrenaline coursing through me. It didn’t matter if I was tired at the moment, I needed to survive to see the next day!

    Eventually I get to the stairs and take them quickly, but not running up them because safety came first. I get to the door and fumble with the key card for a moment before finally getting inside. I get into my room and I take a moment to breathe and relax. That was the moment I finally fell asleep and got to relax. It felt amazing and I can now see another day as a human!

    See you tomorrow with another wild story!

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    Why Technology Careers Work for Veterans


    Somehow, “You’re hired!” sounds better than the proverbial “Thank you for your service.” Veterans sacrifice a lot to serve and protect our country—time with their families, hobbies, careers, and sometimes their health or even their lives. After they’ve served, they face a big decision: What’s next? One viable option is a career in technology.   ...

    Somehow, “You’re hired!” sounds better than the proverbial “Thank you for your service.” Veterans sacrifice a lot to serve and protect our country—time with their families, hobbies, careers, and sometimes their health or even their lives. After they’ve served, they face a big decision: What’s next? One viable option is a career in technology.

     

    Veterans are known for their work ethic. They have to make decisions in hectic, fast-moving environments and adapt quickly to changing technology, weaponry and methodology. Although the stakes aren’t as high at a tech startup or SaaS company, passionate people who work quickly and have discipline tend to rise to the top.

     

    Knowing the types of people who succeed in the tech world and working on dev teams with several veterans at UAT made think that tech is a great fit for vets.

     

    Photo of Christopher Koon-1

     

    My friend Christopher Koon confirmed my theory. Christopher worked as a Radio Frequency Transmissions Systems Technician during his time with the United States Air Force. “That is a lot of words to basically say I worked on radios and satellites,” he said. Christopher’s time fixing technology inspired him to want to learn how to make technology.

     

    Before Christopher joined the military, he questioned his intelligence and capability. “I got poor grades and had a hard time focusing,” he admitted. “But during my service, I learned leadership, attention to detail, teamwork, critical thinking and self-motivation,” he said. Now Christopher is a 4.0 student, pursuing two bachelor’s degrees and constantly pushing to be the best version of himself.

     

    “I knew I wanted to learn from instructors with industry experience without sacrificing anything in terms of possible connections or the freedom to choose my own path,” Christopher said. He talked to a few developers and spent a lot of time on Google, considering the pros and cons of schools with game development programs. Ultimately, he chose to study game programming and computer science at UAT.

     

    Christopher felt a similar sense of community at UAT that he felt in the Air Force, and he was impressed by the project-based curriculum and one-on-one attention from faculty and staff. “I have created several games that I am proud of, and I’ve made some great friends at UAT,” Christopher said.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 3.49.19 PM

    @adobelife

     

    In order to compete for top-notch tech talent, technology companies and startups also put a lot of thought into culture and community, something many veterans miss when they leave the service. For example, Adobe has an entire Instagram account dedicated to company culture. They also strive to hire veterans and celebrate them once they get there.

     

    Christopher emphasized how much he learned about teamwork during his time with the Air Force, where he had to rely on his fellow service members and really got to know them on a personal level. Similarly, when you work on a dev team building software or making a video game, everyone has to work together to make it through sprints and ensure the code is bug free.

     

    Many of Christopher’s friends joined the Air Force because they wanted to make the world a better place. That desire also drew Christopher to tech. “Global warming, world hunger, world peace and even medicine can all be solved, fixed or improved through the use of technology,” Christopher said. Technology is in everything from cars to coffee makers, and it isn’t slowing down. “Tech will constantly propel mankind forward,” Christopher said. And he wants to go along for the ride.

     

    One day Christopher would like to get a job as a gameplay engineer at Amazon Game Studios, but right now he is focusing on graduating and shipping some indie titles.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 4.10.34 PM

     

    Do you want to earn a future-proof technology degree—or two—from UAT like Christopher? Reach out to our Military Liaison Tim Kane today: tkane[at]uat.edu! (He is awesome.)

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    A Game Developer, Classical Singer and Slot Machines


    When Holly Sheppard graduated from the University of Advancing Technology with a degree in multimedia and digital animation, she immediately started working as a 3D artist—in a lab. She used her skills in Unreal Engine to create simulations and...

    When Holly Sheppard graduated from the University of Advancing Technology with a degree in multimedia and digital animation, she immediately started working as a 3D artist—in a lab. She used her skills in Unreal Engine to create simulations and models of restricted areas of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 1.42.45 PM

    Phoenix Chorale

     

    After spending a year working in the Laboratory, perfecting her portfolio and applying to jobs across the country, she returned to Arizona to work as an environment artist at Rainbow Studios (formerly THQ), where she worked on a variety of games for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. When the studio closed, she didn’t want to leave the people and patios in Arizona, so she spent some time taking on small freelance gigs and pursuing her other passion: classical singing. She still sings with the Grammy-award-winning Phoenix Chorale, the Phoenix Opera and the Arizona Opera Chorus!

     

    Just when Holly resolved to start applying for out-of-state game art jobs, she got a call from a slot machine company in Scottsdale. She didn’t know anything about slot machines but was excited by the chance to stay in Arizona and take on a new professional challenge. “I was also excited to find out that the development is very similar to the game development I was used to,” she said. And she gets to work on a lot of cool projects such as Kooza and Amaluna, two Cirque Du Soleil slot machine games. She even got to meet Billy Gibbons when she worked on a ZZ-Top slot machine.

     

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    Scientific Games

     

    Holly’s current role at Scientific Games is "somewhere in between technical artist and graphic artist." She spends a lot of her time in After Effects and Photoshop doing motion graphic work. She also dabbles in 3D modeling, animation, concept work and graphic design. She collaborates with the Unity engineers on a daily basis to make sure all of the artwork gets implemented and functions properly.

     

    Like many game developers, Holly had a tough time with her job search. “But I felt like I had a leg up when sending applications to studios because of my experience at UAT,” she said. During her time at UAT, Holly learned how fast tech moves. “New techniques and tools come out regularly, so being able to adapt quickly is important. But the fundamentals of art, color theory and composition stay the same.” she said. Her time at UAT taught her the value of both.

     

    Holly capitalized on every opportunity to learn and improve while she was a UAT student, attending tech forums with industry professionals, completing internships, working on projects and participating in portfolio reviews. “You can build up a lot of experience that will help you get your foot in the door, but try to go beyond the basic requirements of classwork,” she said. “And always check to see how your portfolio looks on other computers!” she added.

     

    Want to become an environment artist like Holly? Check out our Game Art & Animation degree program today!

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    TBD - Game Dev Emerging Tech


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    Zombie Apocalypse Experience - Day 1


    Here at University of Advancing Technology, we have an exciting event called Humans Vs Zombies, or HVZ for short. HVZ is a week-long event dedicated to experiencing what it would be like to try and survive the zombie apocalypse, just like the video games! Hearing about this event was one of the really cool factors that made me love this school! This event is fun and different from...

    Here at University of Advancing Technology, we have an exciting event called Humans Vs Zombies, or HVZ for short. HVZ is a week-long event dedicated to experiencing what it would be like to try and survive the zombie apocalypse, just like the video games! Hearing about this event was one of the really cool factors that made me love this school! This event is fun and different from your typical university.

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    On day 1 of HVZ, you are faced with an enemy called patient zero. This is one of the most fearsome enemies in the game because they look like the rest of us. Patient zero's job is to sneak around and infect humans without being caught and giving away his or her identity. The only way to stay safe is to trust no one! You cannot give in to the need to be around your friends constantly, or else you may suffer the consequences of being one of the infected ones. Throughout the game and through your missions, your one ally will be your vigilance, constantly checking those around you to make sure they are not infected and a possible threat to your humanity.

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    Now imagine, it’s the middle of the night and all you want is a snack from the vending machine. You step out onto the third floor balcony and see a few strangler zombies roaming around. In that moment you quietly make your way down the stairs and hide waiting for the perfect opportunity to run out into the courtyard to the main campus building where the snacks are You wait and you wait until finally both of them are out of sight, you take your chance and you run as quickly as possible. The zombies could foresee this moment, and you were not quiet enough. They all suddenly come from different directions, your only chance for survival is to get to the safe zone behind closed doors. You run faster than you ever have, and after what feels like an eternity, you finally get there. The doors close behind you and you smile, feeling accomplished. You go to the vending machine and get your well deserved snack.

    HVZ

     Hey that's me hiding in the tree from zombies!

    Stay tuned for day 2’s epic adventure!

    You can learn more about your unique campus culture here

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    The Truth about Being a Female Game Developer


    For the first 15 years of Lynn DiGiacomo’s illustrious career in the gaming industry, she was the lone woman on the dev team. Then in 1995, she accepted a job at Sony Imagesoft, where she met Holliday Horton, the art director for the leading...

    For the first 15 years of Lynn DiGiacomo’s illustrious career in the gaming industry, she was the lone woman on the dev team. Then in 1995, she accepted a job at Sony Imagesoft, where she met Holliday Horton, the art director for the leading franchise title NFL GameDay. “Holliday paved the way with pipelines and processes for nearly all of the professional franchise titles that Sony produced at the time.” Working with Holliday spurred a streak of inspiration and innovation in Lynn. Now, she is surrounded by inspiring female game developers at the University of Advancing Technology, where she teaches game art and animation.

     

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     Lynn (center) and other UAT faculty. Art by UAT alumna Ashley Casarrubias.

     

    Lynn worked on several other franchise titles and a few original IP titles for extreme games during her tenure at Sony. “During this time, Holliday was a consistent presence and leader in innovation,” Lynn said. Holliday’s support and mentorship helped Lynn climb the ranks to become a key innovator in Sony’s pipelines and processes too. Then, with Sony’s support, Holliday launched RedZone Games, but Lynn and Holliday remained friends.

     

    After 7 years at Sony, Lynn moved back to Phoenix to join Arizona’s leading indie dev studio Rainbow Studios (formerly THQ), where she did a little bit of everything. She worked on exciting titles such as Untamed and Reflex and used her skills in animation, modeling, rigging, concept art, pipeline optimization, tools integration and project management.

     

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    Rainbow Studios

     

    Lynn never forgot Holliday’s role in her professional and career development, which inspired her to start teaching. “Now we both enjoy opportunities to give back to the community through instruction and mentoring,” she said.

     

    The 2018 viral article about the toxic culture of sexism at Riot Games sparked candid conversations online and on campus at UAT. Throughout Lynn’s 40-year career, she has heard many stories of injustice. She believes the key to professional success is how one responds to these circumstances. Lynn recommends “having a voice for positive change and ethics when needed, speaking to the circumstances with integrity and positive influence in a professional manner,” she said. Lynn recognizes that speaking up doesn’t always lead to change. “If you speak up and are not satisfied with the outcome, then you can always look at other options,” she said.

     

    Photo_DiGiacomo

     

    Lynn encourages female developers to embrace the power of being a woman in a male-dominated industry. “Do not lose who you are in the chaos of competing. Know that each woman has a unique perspective,” she said. Femininity is only part of the equitation, but Lynn views it as an underestimated advantage because a lot of people in the industry do not understand it fully. “The best career advice I can give female developers is to just be you and enjoy your journey,” she said.

     

    Want to learn how to make video games with Lynn? Check out our Game Art & Animation degree program today!

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    How to Level Up Your Game Development Job


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    We’re Called University Of Advancing Technology For A Reason…


    We seek out and partner with top tech execs all over the Valley. In fact, we’re so committed to advancing tech in Arizona that we started Perimeter83, a one-of-a-kind training for businesses and technology startup coworking space nestled right inside the UAT campus.    What does that mean for our students?   Perimeter83 attracts...

    We seek out and partner with top tech execs all over the Valley. In fact, we’re so committed to advancing tech in Arizona that we started Perimeter83, a one-of-a-kind training for businesses and technology startup coworking space nestled right inside the UAT campus. 

     

    What does that mean for our students?

     

    Perimeter83 attracts tech entrepreneurs that utilize the entire UAT campus for meetings, scrum sprints and day-to-day operations. These technophiles have access to technology and in-house talent for production, development and mentorship. Along with being surrounded by like-minded tech entrepreneurs, Perimeter83 hosts forward thinking events from some of the valley’s top technology experts.  You can learn about where tech is going in 2019 at our next event; AZ Tech Forecast 2019.  This interactive panel discussion will explore the technology forecast and trends we can expect to see in Arizona in the coming year. Our panelists will feature:

     

    Dr. David Bolman, Provost & Chief Academic Officer, University of Advancing Technology

    Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council

    Chris Camacho, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

     

    Discussion will highlight goals for education and economic leadership focused on keeping talent in Arizona and building our technology workforce. Our panelists' goal, as well at UAT’s, is to see Phoenix become the new Tech Valley. Representing three growth-oriented sectors (higher education, technology and economic development) in the Phoenix Metro area, each of our panelists brings decades of experience to this candid talk and Q&A session in UAT’s theater.

    This gives our students and the public a unique opportunity to hear the insight, contribute to the discussion and take away some solid forecasting ideas about Arizona's 2019 tech horizon and beyond not to mention networking with Arizona’s top tech experts. 

     

    When:

    April 16th, 2019 2:00pm to 3:30pm

    Where:

    University of Advancing Technology Theater
    2625 W. Baseline Road, Tempe AZ 85283

     

    Why:

    Learn about where tech is going in 2019 and network with the Valley’s top tech experts

     

    RSVP:

    https://perimeter83aztechforecast2019.eventbrite.com

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