Monday, April 25, 2016

VEX Robotics World Championships

I had the privilege of representing EMC at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, KY this past week. It was an awesome experience. Here's a little background before I share some of the excitement . . .
  • EMC has been a supporter of VEX for years. Most notably, we donate robot kits to schools, especially where there isn't already a program in place. This includes Utah, Massachusetts, North Carolina and many other states, not to mention countries. 
  • VEX Robotics is a for-profit company owned by Innovation First International. We love the VEX platform because it is so affordable and accessible. A starter kit can be purchased for less than $500. 
  • REC (Robotics Education & Competition) Foundation is a non-profit entity which promotes STEM education, mostly through robotics. They organize many different events, the largest of which is VEX Worlds
Robotics is such a great way to promote STEM education because it is so multi-disciplinary. It involves software, hardware, mechanical engineering, system design, testing, communication, marketing, team work, project management, competition, strategy and more! At the world championships there were thousands of kids from dozens of countries. Teams compete in pairs and sometimes don't even speak the same language! It was thrilling to watch the kids collaborating, creating, competing and just having fun. Every team I talked to was engaged and excited.
EMC-sponsored Team Chile during the Parade of Nations opening ceremony
Outside of the Louisville, KY Expo Center
VEX IQ competition field
Team Chile & their EMC-sponsored robot
Cool license plate on the Team Chile robot - Play on Spanish work for "success" and the "ito" suffix as a term of endearment
Practice fields for the larger VEX robots
The other, younger team from Chile
Team from Davis High School in Utah
Robot from Utah State University
One of many giant, overhead scoreboards
Partner Hall of Fame - EMC logo lower left corner
A virtual sea of teams from different states and countries
Selfie with EMC-sponsored North Carolina team
Another team from North Carolina
So cool to see the EMC logo on competition fields and elsewhere
One of the EMC-sponsored teams in action on the competition field

Monday, April 18, 2016

Utah Tech Associations, Groups, etc.

There are several important information technology associations and groups in Utah . .
  • Utah Technology Council (UTC) - A 25-yr old institution with a dedicated, paid staff and membership including some of the state's largest tech organizations. Among other things, they lobby hard for tech-friendly legislation and run an impressive annual Hall of Fame event with top-shelf keynotes, like Apple's Tim Cook. 
  • Women Tech Council (WTC) - The leading organization for tech women in Utah with a volunteer staff and a direct line into top female executives. Their unique SheTech event inspires thousands of young women each year and their annual award event is equally inspiring for those who are more experienced. 
  • Beehive Startups - The newest organization focusing on the hottest, newest tech companies in the state. The team includes talented journalists, event producers and professional networkers. 
  • Silicon Slopes - The organization and the brand that permeates the state . . . and the country. We are all grateful to Josh James for getting this initiative off the ground. 
  • Start Foundation - A new non-profit initiative to help unify many of the tech initiatives in the state and connect us to other groups around the country. 
  • Association for Information Management (AIM) - An association for IT executives and professionals in the state with several sub-groups and committees, including security and big data. They have monthly educational luncheons and a variety of other events. 
  • Utah Data Center Consortium (UDCC) - A small, but fascinating collection of data center operators, providers and related ecosystem companies in Utah. 
There are quite a few national or international organizations that have a presence in Utah too (e.g., Society of Women Engineers). There are also lots of other forums and user groups . . .  Big Data Utah, UHUG, URUG, UJUG, and many more! Please comment to provide information about other groups you're aware of.

Receiving Trustee of the Year award from UTC Chairman Chet Linton (right) & UTC CEO Rich Nelson (left).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Latino América y Utah

Estudie español en la escuela secundaría, pero no lo aprendí de verdad hasta que fui a vivir a España por dos años. Con el nuevo centro que tenemos en Utah ahora tengo una oportunidad tremenda para practicar. Quiero que sepan todos que no solo somos un centro de soporte global, sino además un centro especializado en dar soporte para todos los países de Latino América. Tenemos muchos empleados que hablan español y portugués (de Brasil). Algunos de ellos son nativos en el idioma y otros lo han aprendido igual que yo. Utilizamos un sistema para calificar el nivel de conocimiento del idioma que va de 1 a 5. Entre mas alto el nivel, mejor lo hablas. El nivel 5 quiere decir que lo hablas nativo, mientras que el nivel 1 indica que puedes saludar alguien y preguntar en donde están los servicios higiénicos. Yo estoy en el tercer nivel.

He tenido la oportunidad de viajar a algunos países de Latino América, pero no tantos como los que quisiera. Estos son los que ya he visitado:

  • México
  • Costa Rica
  • Chile
  • Brasil
  • Trinidad y Tobago

Tengo muchas ganas de conocer Argentina, Venezuela y otros países cercanos.

Durante mi último viaje a Brasil probé por primera vez garapa y pasteles. Y fueron los auténticos . . . en la calle de un pueblecito. Visité a un cliente muy impresionante tambien --> UOL. Pero la mejor parte fue conocer a muchos nuevos amigos de allí.

Me da mucho gusto trabajar en una empresa que es muy fuerte en tantas partes del mundo y también me encanta trabajar en una oficina que está tan conectada con esas partes. Hablo por todos en EMC Utah cuando digo: “Esperamos con ánimo conocerles y trabajar juntos.” Hasta pronto.

(Note: Can't understand this post? Check out this one.)

Garapa y pasteles

Monday, April 4, 2016

North Carolina Trip Report

I had an opportunity to visit the EMC teams in North Carolina last week. While they're not in the Silicon Slopes, they do have a really fantastic setup nestled between the Outer Banks to the east and several mountain ranges to the west (Great Smoky & Blue Ridge). Of course, the mountains aren't quite like Utah's, but the beach isn't quite like Utah's either :) I look forward to spending more time there in the coming months. I'll write about other similarities and differences I've already noticed. And I'm sure I'll discover plenty more.

EMC has operations in 3 cities:
  • Apex - Manufacturing for various EMC products
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP) - Engineering and Customer Service
  • Durham - Large data center and engineering lab (450,000 sqft)
Apex - Ready to ship a bunch of EMC gear for Q1 orders
Apex - Shipping in progress
Apex - Done with shipping right after the midnight horn blew to end the quarter.
Durham - Briefing room looking into the lab (Note the 3' raised floor) 
Durham - Touring one of the cold aisle containment zones in the lab
Durham - Command Center for Virtustream
Durham - The official tour
Durham - Behind the massive video wall in the command center
RTP - In front of the building