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Winners of the 2015 Bronco Appathon Announced!

Bronco Appathon 4 Winners

The best student programmers, designers and entrepreneurs at Boise State teamed up and built some amazing mobile apps–in under 48 hours!

View the extended video including in-depth interviews with the students.

The annual Bronco Appathon is a weekend marathon of coding to earn cash prizes, raffle items and the opportunity for student teams to present their coding and business skills to representatives from top Treasure Valley technology firms.

Students formed teams of up to four members to develop mobile apps beginning Friday, March 6 and then presented their accomplishments to a panel of distinguished judges on Sunday, March 8. Cash prizes of up to $500 per team member will be awarded for the best apps.

And the winners of the Bronco Appathon 4 are:

Grand Prize Winner

Ferocious Toothbrush – music sequencer with visualizer and multi-device, real-time jam app.

Best Overall Design

Ozone Puppies – Help “Doodle Man” move through a pencil-sketched world and avoid monsters with the use of the accelerometer and drawing lines to cross pits and combat monsters.

Second Prize Winner

Blue Crew – “Suggest” allows you to collaboratively create, suggest, events with friends–“Don’t Talk About It, Be About It.”

Third Prize Winner (tie)

Cruise – a riff track app that allows you to record commentary on top of existing YouTube videos.
Ozone Puppies – Help “Sketch Man” move through a pencil-sketched world and avoid monsters with the use of the accelerometer and drawing lines to cross pits and combat monsters.

The annual Bronco Appathon is hosted by the Associated Students of Boise State University, Office of Information Technology, College of Business and Economics and College of Engineering.

Sprinting Ahead

my boise state development sprints

As of March 10, 2015, the myBoiseState Rewrite team has completed four full development cycles, known as “sprints.” Each sprint lasts two weeks.

The Sprint Process

First, we take a look at our backlog of feature requests and make sure each feature has enough information to proceed with development. Sometimes that means reaching out to stakeholders for clarification, other times it means just making sure all team members understand the context of each feature. We refer to this as “grooming” the backlog.

Next, we look at groomed items and determine what can be reasonably accomplished within a two-week sprint cycle. Often the backlog items we choose for each sprint are related, to ensure we approach development as efficiently as possible.

Our developers estimate the number of hours of time it will take for each backlog item, and from those estimates we decide the point where we can’t bite off more than we can chew.

Then our developers go to work on their assigned tasks for two weeks (while often being pulled away for other development needs – the Office of Information Technology has over 40 active projects under development, which never sleep).

At the end of the two-week sprint cycle, a Sprint Review session is held. This is where the developers show their completed work and take feedback from project team members or stakeholders.

The initial Sprint Review sessions have been very small, as mostly foundational work has been accomplished. But as the project progress, more and more people will be invited from various areas across the University to view features and services, and offer valuable feedback for us to incorporate into future sprint cycles.

Content Management

Our first few sprints were spent on some behind-the-scenes foundational work, along with building a customized content management system, or “CMS.” Our CMS allows us to manage messaging, add or modify menu items, and provide customizable information resources from throughout the University.

Once we had a working CMS, we then tackled backlog items dependent upon the CMS.

For example, the new Services menu provides access to various systems and websites, as well as provides a search field to find other services and resources. This menu is controlled entirely through our CMS, so we can easily add or remove services as needed:

my boise state services

(Development screenshot; all items subject to change)


With the foundations of the CMS established and related functions prioritized, now we’re moving on to replicating some of the existing myBoiseState features you see today, as well as new features you’ll see upon the release of the new version.

For example, we’re working on a method of displaying course enrollment status for students:

enrollment status

(Development screenshot; all items subject to change)


We’re also working on a feature to notify students of changes to their academic plan:

academic plan changes

(Development screenshot; all items subject to change)


And we’re developing a new mobile application for myBoiseState, which duplicates much of the features we’re building for the web version:

my boise state mobile

(Development screenshot; all items subject to change)


Sprint Five!

Right now we’re halfway through Sprint 5, where we’re developing the following features:

  • General Messaging
  • Manual Emergency Messaging
  • View Fees and Account Balances
  • My Academics
  • Display Boise State Twitter Feed
  • Display To-Do’s and Holds
  • Enhanced Feedback

Looking at the backlog, that only leaves 41 more features to go! And some of those 41 are going to be really difficult, and may have to go through a few iterations to please stakeholders.

We’ll persevere, and keep you posted.

Atomic Learning Contest Winner

Atomic Learning Contest Winner

We’re pleased to announced Shaleeni Prasad as the winner of our Atomic Learning contest. Shaleeni is the recipient of an iPad Mini, courtesy of our Learning Technologies department within the Office of Information Technology.

Shaleeni Prasad Photo

Shaleeni Prasad

As a freshman Computer Science major, Shaleeni used Atomic Learning during the month of February to brush up on Java programming concepts, as well as MLA formatting.

“Atomic Learning helped me quickly review the foundations of Java, and helped get me up to speed in my classes. It was very informative, and easy to find and use,” she explained.

Atomic Learning is a comprehensive source of on-demand learning resources covering software, personal development, and professional career skills.

Free to the Boise State community, Atomic Learning is accessed under “Resources” within myBoiseState, or within Blackboard Learn.

For more information about Atomic Learning, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at 208.426.4357, or email

Qualtrics Single Sign-On Access Coming March 4


Qualtrics, the online survey and insight platform available to the Boise State Community, will soon be available for use with your Boise State username and password.

Beginning Wednesday, March 4, Qualtrics account-holders may access the service on the Office of Information Technology website and log in to their account with Boise State credentials.

The system will walk you through the process of migrating your existing account to the new single sign-on process.

If you have questions or desire a Boise State Qualtrics account, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at, or call 208.426.4357.

PeopleSoft Downtime and Upcoming Time Entry Deadlines


At the end of the month, the PeopleSoft Human Resources (HR) system will be enhanced to add new features, improve the user interface and streamline business processes. This will impact you in the following ways:

  • All PeopleSoft systems will be down beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, February 27. The systems will be available again on Monday, March 2.
  • Time Reporting in PeopleSoft is currently unavailable for the pay period 2/15 through 2/28. Time entry for this pay period must be completed between Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3 at 10:00 am.

Note: If you try to access Time Reporting in PeopleSoft before March 2, you will see the following message:


Image: Time and Labor links are not available

Improvements and changes are being made to the HR system, including automating the student hiring process and simplifying payroll and time and labor processes. Specifically, these changes affect employees who enter overtime, employees who have multiple jobs, work study students, time approvers, and supervisors.

If you have questions about this downtime or would like more information about the enhancements, please visit the PeopleSoft Renovation Project website or contact

Write Some Code, Earn Some Cash: It’s Time for Bronco Appathon 4!

Bronco Appathon 4

The 4th Annual Bronco Appathon will be held March 6 – 8, 2015 at Boise State University.

Open to all registered Boise State students, Bronco Appathon is a weekend marathon of coding to earn cash prizes and raffled items, while keeping refreshed with free food and beverages.

Students form teams (either before or during the event) of up to four members to develop astounding apps beginning Friday evening, and then present their accomplishments to a distinguished panel of judges Sunday afternoon. Cash prizes of up to $500 per team member will be awarded for the best apps.

Representatives from several Treasure Valley technology firms will be in attendance during the award ceremony to see your work.

Complimentary food and beverages are available throughout the Appathon, with special prizes raffled off throughout the late night, early morning, and daylight hours.

Want to know more? Details and free registration are available at

Check out our video recap of last year’s Bronco Appathon!

Spring 2015 Learning Opportunities

Spring Training Classes

The Office of Information Technology offers on-demand, classroom and ad-hoc group learning opportunities for Boise State staff and faculty.

On Demand Learning Resources

Access to learning resources covering nearly every topic are available free of charge 24 hours per day, seven days a week through Atomic Learning, Microsoft and Google.

Atomic Learning features hundreds of video tutorials on software applications, career skills, research skills, ALA & MLA formatting, and more.

Whether you want to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Access, Google Drive, effective presentation design, or best practices in facilitating online course discussions, Atomic Learning training resources are a valuable campus-wide solution. Access Atomic Learning through myBoiseState.

Microsoft offers free computer-based training to Boise State faculty and staff for the entire Microsoft Office Suite, as well as Windows operating systems, SharePoint, and other products. View information on how to access Microsoft computer-based training on the OIT website.

Google includes comprehensive online training for Google for Education applications, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and Sites. Access these training resources on the Google for Education website.

Classroom and Lab Learning Opportunities

Office of Information Technology staff have scheduled classes and drop-in labs for Microsoft Excel, WordPress, Google for Education, and Camtasia Studio for the Spring 2015 semester.

Browse course offerings and registration information on the OIT Training website.

Group Learning Opportunities

Office of Information Technology staff will evaluate your learning needs and create (or facilitate) customized training for Google for Education, Microsoft Office, and other enterprise applications. Visit the OIT Training website for more information.

For questions about technology learning resources at Boise State, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at 208.426.4357, email, or visit our website at




Access Atomic Learning in February, Win a Free iPad

Access Atomic Learning in February to win a free iPad Mini

Atomic Learning features technology training made easy.

Students, faculty and staff have access to free high quality technology and career skills training through myBoiseState.

During the month of February, we’re keeping track of the students who use Atomic Learning the most, and we’ll select one lucky student at the end of the month to win a free iPad Mini.

Atomic Learning provides learners of all ages instant access technology-focused online training resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You have all the answers you need through on-demand training, exactly when and where you need it.

With Atomic Learning, you really can know it all!

Ready to get started? Log in to and choose “Atomic Learning” from the list of Resources.

Questions? Contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at 208-426-4357, or email

It’s Too Small: Classroom Projector Tips

Marc's Tech Moment Header Image

“It’s too small–I can’t read it,” a student yells when you try to show the perfect web page using the projector and screen in your classroom.

In this short video, Marc Dhoore, your friendly Help Desk Manager, shows us two tips to maximize your screen real estate when displaying web and MS Word content in the classroom.

And, you can always call 208-426-1850 for immediate assistance with any technology in your classroom.

Follow #marcstechmoment on Twitter or visit Marc’s YouTube channel for more tech tips.

Visit the Classroom Technology FAQ page or contact the Help Desk at 208-426-4357, or chat for more information about classroom technology.

Data Privacy Day is January 28


Can you believe that thirty-four years ago, on January 28, 1981, the first international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection was signed?

To commemorate this event, Data Privacy Day is observed every January 28.

While we should remain focused on protecting our personal information every day, now is a good time to pay extra attention to how we do that.

Data Privacy Day centers around respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.  According to, Data Privacy Day’s goals include:

  • Raise awareness and educate consumers to better understand how their personal information may be collected and the benefits and risks of sharing personal data
  • Empower consumers to express their expectations for the use, protection and management of their personal data
  • Inspire consumers through concrete, simple and actionable tips to more actively manage their online lives
  • Encourage and motivate consumers to consider the privacy implications of their online actions for themselves and others
  • Encourage businesses to be data stewards by being open and honest about how they collect, use and share personal information and clearly communicating any available privacy and security controls

To learn more about Data Privacy Day and ways to protect your information, please visit the Office of Information Technology Information Security Services page. There’s several awareness tips available to help you celebrate Data Privacy Day!

If you have questions about security or to get in touch with the Information Security Services team, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or