Posts Tagged Cerner
I’m dusting off the ol’ blog for this one. Mrs. McPherson and I took sixteen students to Cerner’s Innovation Campus, which is their technology center. The goal was to generate excitement for technology centered careers and to get a realistic look at what the work environment of a tech career looks like.
We started with Brittni Kingston presenting to the group about Cerner’s “dev culture.”
The presentation had a retro gaming theme, which was perfect for high school students, as many in our group are gamers. She highlighted some of the ways that Cerner creates an exciting culture for software development including:
- Conferences and other continual learning experiences (Cerner’s DevCon looks like a lot of fun: Lego theme! One of our students asked whether it is open to the public. He was bummed to learn that it is not.)
- Code retreats: on campus with catered food; centered on programming and problem solving
- Hack nights: hardware hacking, circuit boards, app building; general tinkering
- Meetups for communication across a large campus
- Blogs: engineering.cerner.com
- Tech talks: youtube.com/CernerEng
Next, students divided into two groups for a question/answer session with Andy, a software architect, and Brandon, who develops Cerner’s Java application. They discussed various aspects of a job in software development: typical day, tasks, education needed, and skills needed.
Then we finished up with a tour of the campus, including the gym, work areas, cafe, meeting rooms, and showcase rooms. Students LOVED seeing the work areas with their developers cranking out code in jeans, on bean bags, in a stunning environment. WHITE BOARDS EVERYWHERE. Floor-to-ceiling whiteboards; white boards as scratch paper; even TABLES that are white boards. All filled with brainstorming, flow patterns, and code. Kind of makes me want to install whiteboards all over the library.
Liz, with whom I coordinated this visit, told students all about Cerner’s internship opportunities and a few students have already told me that they are planning on looking into applying in the future.
A number of the students were buzzing about the campus as we left, so I would call this visit a success in terms of our goals to generate excitement about tech careers!
My Information & Society class was lucky to have four visitors from Cerner yesterday. The company is slated to open two huge buildings near the Legends shopping center in our district in the next year or so, and will become a fairly major presence in our community. That, combined with their focus on information, made them a perfect fit for our class!
Elise, Mark, Melissa, and Drew were engaging, humorous, and informative, even handing out earbuds to students who asked good questions and t-shirts for everyone! The students responded really well to their talk, and took away relevant new knowledge.
A few things that stood out and tied with our course curriculum:
- Mission statement: “Health care is too important to stay the same.” (Ties with our discussions about how fast the information and tech world moves- need to constantly innovate)
- Growth to a multi-national corporation (reflective of the Global emphasis)
- Phase 1 was getting data into the system; New phase is getting the data out and making use of it
- Taking vast amounts of data points and processing them to make diagnoses, etc (Sepsis program)
- Data center building- the “cloud”; security (reinforced concrete walls, natural disaster proof); IT side- firewalls, redundant storage and pathways
I was especially proud of my students for their focus and the intelligent and thoughtful questions asked: (I’m paraphrasing from memory)
- How do you keep the information in the cloud secure and confidential?
- What happens when one of your servers fails?
- What if someone goes to a hospital not in your network and the medical professionals need access to their records?
- Why did you choose Prezi for your presentation and not Powerpoint?
- How does management of healthcare information affect someone my age?
Many thanks to Elise, Mark, Melissa, and Drew for such an entertaining, inspiring, and educational visit!