Coleman Spends Career Day at Wegeforth Elementary

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On May 23, 2018 Coleman University had the honor of being invited to speak for Career Day at Wegeforth Elementary in San Diego, California. We sent two of our students, Gilberto and Marilyn, to talk to their students about technology and share with them the steps they can take to become Video Game Designers and Cybersecurity Experts. By sharing their own experiences and dreams for the future, our speakers were able to show students how they could follow their own dreams into a career in technology. Many of the kids had questions about what it means to be safe online, and how to report cyber bullying, as well what it takes to make a video game. This is the third year that we have attended Career Day, and each year participants come back feeling excited to see how much technology can excite the next generation of programmers, developers, designers, and security experts. Thank you to Gilberto and Marilyn for being such great teachers and showing kids how they can turn their Dreams Into Reality!

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Maintain Mental Health in May

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In 1949, the United States government declared May to be the month for mental health awareness. Since this declaration, the idea of mental health has grown to become a holistic approach to a better lifestyle, and community drive towards better understanding of how mental health affects everyone. To get you inspired to improve your mental health this year, we have put together a list of the most common variables that affect your mental health, and some of the ways that you can overcome them to improve your mental health. Feel free to share these tips, and add some of your own in the comment section.

Stress. We consider stress to be a permanent part of our everyday lives, whether it’s not getting enough sleep, overworking, or dealing with physical exhaustion, but the reality is that too much stress can cause physical damage

Symptoms of too much stress include:

  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn
  • Dramatic changes in appetite or weight
  • Digestive issues

The best way to relieve stress is to first be aware of where the stress in your life is coming from.                   Evaluate and consider where you can drop an activity or delegate a task to someone else. If you need         to be more organized, start using a calendar and schedule your day so that you can tackle one task at         a time and keep track of your progress. Other ways to relieve stress include:

  • Creating an exercise plan that is easy to follow (10-20 minutes per day)
  • Meditate at least 10-20 minutes per day through relaxation exercises, reflection, or listening to soft music
  • Find a hobby that you really enjoy doing and can devote time to daily/weekly
  • Vent to someone you trust (don’t complain, but look for advice or compassion)
  • Try to be more flexible with every day challenges that don’t have a great impact on your day as a whole (like changing a meeting time, or losing your favorite pen)

2. Sleep. We often lose sleep to stay up late for a television premier, or instead of sleeping we lay                   awake and worry about what happened during the day. Not only is sleep important for our brain                 function, it is also fundamental to brain and body health.

Symptoms of lack of sleep include:

  • Mood swings
  • Decreased cognitive ability (like making memories and retaining information)
  • Depleted immune system function
  • Loss of appetite and digestive issues
  • Higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity

Depending on your age, there are a specific number of hours that you need for a good night’s sleep. Good quality of sleep is defined as being asleep for at least 85% of the time you are in bed, falling asleep within 30 minutes of getting into bed, and waking up no more than once per night (for no longer than 20 minutes). Teens between the ages of 14-17 should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Adults 18-64 years should have about 7-9 hours of sleep at night. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, here are some tips to help you get a better rest at night:

  • Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends
  • Spend time in the sun (seriously!), it will help your sleep-wake cycle to spend at least 30 minutes of your day in the sunlight
  • Don’t eat right before going to bed because it can cause indigestion
  • Ask your doctor if any medications you may be taking can affect your ability to fall asleep at night, and if there are any alternatives you can take
  • Limit caffeine to just your morning routine/meal
  • Get rid of distractions in your bedroom like anything that makes noise throughout the night, or has a bright light (like a TV or computer screen)

3. Diet and Nutrition. It is well known that what you eat affects your body’s health, but it can also affect your own mental health. Eating more nutritious meals at proper intervals throughout your day can go a long way to achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Symptoms of a poor diet include:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Decreased cognitive ability in the hippocampus

A healthy diet includes a full range of vegetables, fruits, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), fish, whole grains (rice, quinoa, oats, breads, etc.), nuts, avocados and olive oil to support a healthy brain. It is often believed that a healthy diet has to be an expensive one, but that is not the case. You can save money by choosing canned and/or frozen vegetables and dried nuts and beans which often cost less and stay fresher longer. You can create a better diet with the following steps:

  • Create a meal plan for each week of the month, including dinners
  • Meal prep for your week by cooking larger quantities of food items that can be used in various dishes, or can be used in every dish for the week
  • Subscribe to a service that delivers produce from local farms to your door, or deliver whole meals, for you to make in your own kitchen at home
  • Make yourself a ‘cheat sheet’ of nutrients to keep in mind when you are shopping, and make sure to read the label on your foods so that you know what ingredients are in your favorite foods

Not only is mental health a ‘mental’ process, it is also a physical one. Taking small steps towards maintaining or improving your own mental health can make a great difference. For more information on mental health best practices and resources visit https://www.mentalhealth.gov

 

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Coleman Alumnus Cornelius Simon is Chosen as the Keynote Speaker for Graduation 2018

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Cornelius Simon, a Coleman University alumnus, will be the keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony on May 19th.

Coleman University is pleased to announce that it will hold its 55th Anniversary Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 9:00am at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. In honor of Armed Forces Day, our Keynote Speaker and Faculty Speaker are US Navy veterans who will be sharing their experiences with graduates as they address their accomplishment. The Color Guard presenting at the ceremony will be from Wounded Warrior Battalion-West at Camp Pendleton.

“We invited Cornelius Simon to be our Keynote Speaker this year in keeping with our tradition of inviting notable alumni to speak to our graduates,” said Coleman University President & CEO Norbert Kubilus.  “Cornelius is a great example of our alumni turning their dreams into reality. After separating from the US Navy, Cornelius came to then Coleman, received his degree, and turned his understanding of business and technology into a successful career as a software engineer and eventually into management roles. Cornelius is now a corporate trainer and speaker, specializing in professional skills development, mentoring emerging leaders within organizations and helping professionals transition into entrepreneurship.”

Capt. Tem E. Bugarin, DBA USN (Ret.) has been selected by the Faculty to be the Faculty Speaker at graduation.  Dr. Bugarin holds the distinction of being the first person born in the Philippines to command a Navy warship, USS Saginaw (LST 1188), in August 1989. In addition to teaching at Coleman University, he is a scientist with SPAWAR Systems Command in San Diego.

Coleman University is also honored to have the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West from Camp Pendleton, CA provide the Color Guard for this year’s commencement.  The Wounded Warrior Battalion focuses on the whole Marine – mind, body, spirit, family – in addressing recovery and transition needs of wounded Marines. “We are grateful to our friends at the Wounded Warrior Foundation and Freedom Village for helping arrange this Color Guard for us,” observes President Kubilus.

The San Diego Civic Organist will provide music for the ceremony on the historic Spreckels Organ.  This is a public event. All family and friends are welcome.

 

About Coleman University: Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its technology-focused undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for careers and leadership in their chosen fields. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals. www.coleman.edu.

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What is Software Development?

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So you’ve been thinking about software development? You’ve imagined yourself in front of a computer screen writing the next great mobile application or piece of software, and working as an important member of a powerful team. Well, that scenario is actually pretty accurate, but there is more to being a software developer, or engineer than you might think. Read on to find out more about what it means to be a software developer and how you can put yourself on the path to a rewarding technical career.

A Software Development career requires a broad range of skills. The process can be challenging and those who succeed are willing to do the hard work. In addition to working with clients and other professionals, developers create a set of design patterns or algorithms that form the foundation for usable software. They also recommend upgrades or changes to existing software. They maintain detailed records supporting all work products. Some practitioners work in vibrant groups with other designers and some are freelance developers who work independently to create software for single users or smaller companies.

Software developers are detail-oriented. They are eternal optimists who trust that with effort they can succeed. They are meticulous in crafting, testing and improving the software. This field, according to the Department of Labor’s Professions Outlook is wide open with opportunities to make a good income and opportunities for advancement. This is expected to remain true for years to come.

If this sounds like the type of career that you have been looking for, perhaps it is time to get back into the classroom and make software development your future career. Coleman University’s software development faculty has prepared a focused set of courses that supports gaining the necessary skills for success. A new class starts every 10 weeks and, with five enrollment times per year, and tutoring is offered to students for free. Coleman has a dedicated career services department to help you find that first job and will provide support throughout your career. A career in Software Development provides the basis for pride in craftsmanship and the comfort of working in professional teams.

 

Thank you to our Software Development Faculty Chair, Leticia Rabor for writing this great article! If you would like to learn more about Leticia check out her interview from last year when she visited the Android Developers Conference in San Francisco. Or check out her Faculty Spotlight interview here!

 

Coleman University has been a technology-focused institution of higher learning since 1963. Our accelerated Software Development program give students the opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in as little as three years (depending on course load). If this blog has inspired you to think about your future in Software Development give us a call at (858) 499-0202.

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Women’s History Month: Developing the Foundations for Modern Technology

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Last month we talked about the African American women who changed the face of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, despite adversity and oppression. Since March 1st marks the start of Women’s History Month, we are going to continue our acknowledgement of the women behind the modern technological age. We discussed the pioneers Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper in a previous blog post (which you can read here) but there is a long list of women who have come after them who have created their own legacy in STEM. If there is someone missing from this list, feel free to add them in the comments!

Susan Kare
When you think of Apple, most likely you’ll picture Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak. Or maybe the first image that comes to mind will be the computer itself, a large and heavy object with a screen the size of a notepad. However, one of the names that you might not recognize is Susan Kare. Behind the scenes, she was in charge of developing the typography and iconic graphics for the launch of the original Apple Macintosh computer. Many of the interface elements that have become common in their products were designed by Kare, like the command symbol on their keyboard. Remember the “Happy Mac” that greeted you when you booted up your system? That was Susan Kare’s design!

Hedy Lamarr
You might not know Hedy Lamarr’s acting career, but you have definitely used her invention in your daily life now. She conceptualized the first ideas for frequency hopping (sending radio signals from different frequency channels). The basis for the idea was to help the Navy launch torpedos through remote control, and block communications from being interfered with. Despite the fact that this technology would have been way ahead of its time, the Navy was not interested and passed on the invention. However, Lamarr’s design would find its use in the 1950’s when the concept was used for secure military communications. This new use paved the way for Hedy Lamarr’s concept to become the foundation for modern Bluetooth and Wifi technology.

Roberta Williams
When videogames became popular in the 1980’s, the at-home console was a huge seller and brands like Atari took the market by storm. However there was a revolution coming and Roberta Williams was one of its leaders. It was her creation “King’s Quest” that would create the market for PC gaming. Her company Sierra On-Line would help to shape the future of video games with their more complex puzzle designs and storylines. Games that take the main character on a quest before they can compete against a final “boss” are inspired by her original design.

Radia Perlman
A member of the Internet Hall of Fame, Radia Perlman designed the spanning tree algorithm that transformed Ethernet from single-wire CSMA/CD into a protocol that can handle large information clouds. She also designed Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), which allows Ethernet to make optimal use of bandwidth. Perlman holds over 100 patents and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Unisex and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication. She holds BS and MS degrees in Mathematics from MIT, and completed her PhD in Computer Science through MIT as well.

Kimberly Bryant (Black Girls Code)
After earning her degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a successful career in the bay area near San Francisco, Bryant decided to dedicate her life to helping more African American women achieve their dreams in STEM. She founded Black Girls Code in 2011 to bring classes and workshops to her community that focused on helping underrepresented girls learn computer programming, coding, website development, and robotics. Her foundation now had chapters in seven states, and across the globe in Johannesburg, South Africa, and even offers programs in Spanish! To learn more about her organization and all of their community work visit: www.blackgirlscode.com

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller
Though she was a devout nun her whole life, Sister Mary Kenneth Keller was the first woman in the United States to earn a PhD in Computer Science. She entered into the convent in 1932, and earned her BS in Mathematics and her MS in Physics from DePaul University. However, it was during her time studying at Dartmouth College in the 1960s that she developed the BASIC computer language which made it possible for anyone to write custom code. Suddenly developers didn’t need to have a mathematics or science degree to be able to code their own programs. Keller’s dissertation, written in CDC FORTRAN 63, was titled “Inductive Inference on Computer Generated Patterns.” In 1965, she became the first American woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science. She envisioned a future of computers that would help teach and stimulate cognitive development for all.

Carol Shaw
Considered the first female professional video game designer, Carol Shaw worked for the Atari company programming games for the VCS console before leaving to work for Activision. The now famous River Raid game for the Atari 2600 was her design and is considered to be one of the best examples of game design in history. However, even though she was an equal member of the team, she still faced discrimination, even from the President of Atari. During a walk through, he remarked “Oh, at last! We have a female game designer. She can do cosmetics color matching and interior decorating cartridges!” You can read more about her life in game development on the Vintage Computing Website.

Adele Goldberg
A prominent software developer, Adele Goldberg is one of the designers of the SmallTalk-80 programming language. While working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) she would become the manager of the System Concepts Laboratory where her team would finish the SmallTalk-80 program. She served as president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from 1984 to 1986, and, together with Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls, received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1987. Many of the concepts she and her team developed at PARC became the basis for graphically based user interfaces, replacing the earlier command line based systems.

There are thousands more women who have made great strides in technology development who also deserve recognition on this list. This month, take the opportunity to learn more about the extraordinary women who have made history in STEM. You can tell us about them here in the comments!

 

 

The first degree conferred by Coleman University (then the Automation Institute) was to a woman, for Data Processing in 1964. It has been our mission since we were first established to ensure that all of our students have equal access to education, and resources to pursue their passion to turn their ‘Dreams Into Reality’. What could you do with a degree in Software Development, Cybersecurity, or Game Development from Coleman University?

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Are You Team Jekyll or Team Hyde?

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For some, the thrill of playing a new videogame is like nothing else. Meeting a character for the first time, watching a new story unfold, wielding a super-cool new weapon, and  playing with others online are what make gaming so much fun. What you don’t see is all of the coding, programming, structuring, planning, designing, and all around WORK that went into creating this experience. What may have taken 12-15 hours to finish, in reality took months to create and perfect. In fact, you might be surprised to know that there are thousands of jobs related to Game Development and Design and some don’t require coding experience at all! For the Game Development Capstone students at Coleman University, this truth is one that they are learning first hand, and soon they will have their own game for other gamers to play.

For ten weeks Coleman Game Development Capstone students will be working closely in teams to create, from start to finish, an original videogame of their own design. Beginning with the concept art and overall design, these students will build a game that is the culmination of all that they have learned and a test of their skills in teamwork. As scary as that may sound, the Capstone is an opportunity to take what they’ve learned so far in their program and work as part of a team to experience the iterative process of Game Development that celebrates their creativity and talent. The Capstone class will mimic the pressures and expectations that game development companies put on their employees in the real world. This term we have two teams working on Capstone projects and an exciting rivalry is developing. What do Team Jekyll and Team Hyde have in store for their final project? Keep reading to find out!

 

TEAM JEKYLL: MALICE

Taking inspiration from the classic game MARIO, players in the world of Malice will have to race against the clock solving puzzles and battling creatures along the way to save someone they love in a 3D world. The story begins with a young boy who is looking for his younger sister who was taken from their home, followed by his trusty dog that has some cool tricks of his own. In a brilliant twist, Team Jekyll has designed the game to allow players to switch between the young boy and his dog to solve puzzles or leap over traps.  Various monsters and creatures will try to attack you and stop you from finding your sister, and you’ll have to defeat the boss at the end, so this game is definitely going to be exciting! Though this game is fun to play, it won’t be a walk in the park; there are some scary challenges and surprises hidden in this game.

Project Manager: Marisa Hatcher

Level Design/Puzzle Design: Jake Bommer

Programmer/Puzzle Design: Gary Lawrence

3D Modeler: Curt Ljungquist

 

TEAM HYDE: PATH OF THE WARDED

Based on the book The Warded Man, this PC game is a post-apocalyptic challenge that tests the ingenuity of the player at every turn. During the day, players must take care of their farm by reinforcing fences, finding defensive weapons, and preparing for sunset. Once the moon comes up, demons and menacing creatures come out of the woods to try to tear your farm to the ground! Attacks come in three waves and players can set traps in order to destroy as many attackers as possible. Each creature or monster that attacks will have a specific elemental characteristic related to water, fire, wind, or earth. The final version of the game will allow players to customize their character and upgrade their farm to further defend against attacks. After a detailed cut scene, players will have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and engage with their farm. Unfortunately the animals at the farm are not part of the game play and can’t help you defeat any of the demons or monsters, but they provide good company.

Project Manager/Level Designer/Branding: Mari Erdman

Level Design: John Becker

3D Modeler: Eduardo Aviles

3D Modeler: Curt Ljungquist

 

So why are they named Team Jekyll and Team Hyde? When the class began, the 7 students enrolled were expecting to be working on one game, but instead developed into two teams that are working on two different games. As a way to foster healthy competition, and teamwork, the two teams each became Team Jekyll and Team Hyde; two sides of the same… In week ten of their course (March 12-16th) both teams will present a finished product to faculty, staff, and classmates, including offering the opportunity for attendees to play the game as well! If you want to see what these teams are developing, keep your eye on the blog calendar for the announcement of the Capstone presentation. Congratulations to Team Jekyll and Team Hyde! We look forward to seeing the hard work that you are putting into this project and we can’t wait to play it!

 

 

If you are interested in where your own passion for Game Development can take you, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 and schedule a tour! There’s plenty of opportunity in San Diego to start your career, so take the first step and meet the Coleman Game Development community!

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Celebrate African American History Month in San Diego

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Coleman University celebrates African American History Month

Coleman University celebrates African American History Month 2018

February is not only a time to celebrate love and friendship, but also a time to reflect on the important events in African American history that have shaped our country. Through their contributions to art, music, technology, science, engineering, and thousands of other fields, African American citizens have helped make the United States what it is today. Despite hardships and institutional inequality, those whose legacy is a part of the foundation for African American History Month, moved our country forward into the modern age through their passion to learn, create, and to achieve their dreams. To start off this month of celebration and history, we have compiled a list of fun activities and opportunities to learn more about African American history and culture. Join your community in celebrating this month-long event!

Macy’s Museum Month:

For the entire month of February, at participating Macy’s stores and online, you pick up a free special pass that gets you half-off admission to over 40 museums in the city! The Museum of Man in Balboa Park and the Veterans Museum are great places to learn more about African American culture and influence in US history.

Visit https://www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org/museum-month for more information and to find out where to get your FREE pass!

San Diego Black Film Festival:

The Black Film Centre of San Diego, a local non-profit organization, is putting on its annual Black Film Festival showcasing films from African American actors, directors, screenwriters, and other members of the film community around the world.

Visit http://www.sdbff.com/ for information about this year’s movies and screening locations.

Now Showing—Black Panther:

Created by comic book legend Stan Lee, The Black Panther was introduced to Marvel readers in 1966 when the superhero appeared in Fantastic Four #52. Known as T’Challa, the protector and leader of a fictional African country named Wakanda, his superpowers come from his great intellect, intense physical training, and mastery of technology. Coming to the silver screen for the first time, The Black Panther will be released in theaters on February 16th 2018.

Visit the San Diego History Center (Free Admission):

From now through April 2018, the SDAAMFA will be exhibiting artifacts in collaboration with the San Diego History Center that highlight the art of African American artists who have a significant relationship to San Diego. Artists on display include Manuelita Brown, Ernest Eugene Barnes Jr. (deceased), Jean Cornwell Wheat, Albert Fennell (deceased), Kadir Nelson, Faith Ringgold, Charles Rucker (deceased), and Rossie S. Wade (deceased). The display is at the San Diego History Center located at:

Casa De Balboa,

Balboa Park 1649 El Prado,

Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101

KUUMBAFEST at San Diego Repertory Theater (February 22-25):

“This experiential four-day, arts empowerment, Afrofuturism focus mixed-media edutainment extravaganza for all of San Diego will be held at the Lyceum Theatre from Thursday, February 22nd to Sunday, February 25th, 2018.  This event features The Challenge for Change through Afrofuturism, Parade of History, the Royal Court Awards Ceremony workshops, dance, film screenings, cultural food competitions, youth programs, African Market Place, and more.”

Tickets available at: http://securesite.sdrep.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=12301

The Shank Theater Presents “A Raisin in the Sun”:

The Department of Theater and Dance at UC San Diego proudly presents a classic story written by Lorraine Hansberry who was an African-American playwright and writer and the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. The story of A Raisin in the Sun follows Walter Younger and his family who live in Chicago, each feeling confined by their physical home space and the social roles they’ve been assigned. When an insurance payout after the death of the family’s patriarch offers an opportunity to improve their lives, individual priorities and how they affect others come into question. Tickets range from $8.00 for students to $15.00 for general admission and can be purchased through this link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3052044

 

Coleman University is not only a technology-focused university; we are also a diversity-focused institution. Since 1963 it has been our mission to provide education and career resources to any student who has a passion to learn and a dream they want to achieve. By promoting diversity in the STEAM fields, we can help to bring more innovation and inclusion for the benefit of our national, and international, community. 

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Cybersecurity in History: The Elk Cloner Virus

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In 2017, Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that by 2019 a business will become the target of a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. The average budget for cybersecurity measures is expected to exceed $1 Trillion by 2021, and the number of open jobs for cybersecurity experts is fast outgrowing the number of available applicants (CSO Online). It seems that “cybersecurity” is a hot button topic today, but where did this trend start? Where did the first computer virus come from? In late January of 1982, a 15 year-old programmer named Richard Skrenta inadvertently created the first computer virus (outside of a lab) that spread through infected floppy discs “in the wild”. Ironically it was written as a joke!

The first computers, such as the ENIAC, were built at the beginning of the 20th century and were used mostly for computing large sums and for breaking codes during war time. These behemoth machines took up entire floors of buildings and required constant monitoring and maintenance. Over time these computers become smaller, faster, and more efficient, but they were still individual machines that worked towards a specific computing purpose. With the birth of the modern age of computing and the home computer system, programmers could begin experimenting with their own code and testing the limits of these inventions. Using his personal Apple II computer, Richard Skrenta began creating a boot sector virus to infect floppy discs and spread itself to any Apple II computer that booted up using the infected floppy disc by putting the virus into the computer’s memory. His virus would become the first in history to spread “in the wild” and exist outside of a computer laboratory; meaning that any floppy discs that were inserted into an infected computer, were immediately infected and could then pass the virus on to another system. The virus was essentially harmless and was intended to annoy its victims more than attack them. Elk Cloner was designed so that once the Apple II computer had been booted up 50 times after being infected, a poem would display on the screen:

Elk Cloner:

The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks

It will infiltrate your chips

Yes it’s Cloner!

It will stick to you like glue

It will modify ram too

Send in the Cloner!

Once computer developers began installing hard drives into computers instead of relying on floppy discs for memory, this type of virus was no longer effective. Today the threat of digital security is greater than an infected floppy disc that only affects the device you have in your home, and it can be much more detrimental to your system than an unwanted poem on your screen. In a report by ISACA it was projected that over the next 2-4 years there will be an estimated skills gap of almost 2 million in the field of Cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity industry is seeing a sharp spike in hacking attempts and recent scandals, such as the Equifax data breach in 2017, have shown that the cybersecurity needs of major corporations are not being met. Imagine what opportunities are waiting for you with a degree in Cybersecurity!  On average, a Cybersecurity professional will have a yearly salary of $116,000, almost double the national median income reported for 2016! If you have a passion for online safety and love a challenge, think of a degree in Cybersecurity as a part of your future and call us at (858) 499-0202!

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Faculty Spotlight with Joe Shoopack (Game Development)

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We are less than two weeks from Global Game Jam 2018 and this year is gearing up to be one for the record books! For this month’s Faculty Spotlight we interviewed one of our Game Development instructors, Joe Shoopack, in honor of the upcoming Global Game Jam. Joe has a lot of passion for gaming and enjoys teaching the next generation of great game developers! Thank you to Joe Shoopack for giving us an awesome interview!!

If you’re interested in the Global Game Jam there’s still time to register!
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the only Game Jam in San Diego for 2018!

  1. Joe, what was the first video game that you bought; why did you choose that one?

The first game bought for me was PONG for the home television system in 1975. The first console game I bought for myself was the Sega Genesis Mickey’s Castle of Illusion in 1990. It was a really creative platform featuring a level that flipped upside down and had some very cool looks to the levels.

  1. Name some of your top five favorite game releases in the past ten years. What makes a game noteworthy for you?

I would have to say, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinity, and Cuphead are three standouts I’ve really enjoyed playing since they were released. I like to feel completely immersed in a world, and all three of those games accomplish that in different ways.

  1. Are there any upcoming game releases that you are looking forward to?

I’m waiting for the release of The Last of Us II.

  1. What retro game would you like to see brought back for a modern console?

Rather than seeing an old game brought back, I’m more excited to see the emergence of interest in creating 2D sprite and tile mapped games. It’s been referred to as the Hi-Bit Era: 16-bit style games utilizing the wide screen and higher resolution, like Owlboy from D-Pad Studio.

  1. What drew you to making Game Development and Design your career?

I loved art and arcade games, and when I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1985 with a degree in Illustration, game careers for artists were just starting to become a viable possibility, so I naturally gravitated to doing art for games.

  1. Can you share some of your experience in becoming a game developer and what you are currently doing in the field?

I first started working on Atari 7800 and Sega Genesis Games at Blue Sky Software in San Diego. These were small development teams, so you had the opportunity to do both art and level design as an artist.  I worked there for about 5 years and contributed to Jurassic Park, World Series Baseball, a Ren and Stimpy game, The Little Mermaid and a bunch of others. After that I started working at Sony and worked on Gameday ’99 (a football game for the PC). I then moved over to a spin off company of Sony, called Sony Online Entertainment.  At Sony Online I worked on some very fun Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games like Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest 2.  I then became a Development Director for Art and started working in a broader capacity with all the games and artists at the company on games like DC Universe Online, Planetside 2, H1Z1, etc. I left in 2016 to work on an independent project and to start an adjunct teaching career.

Joe Shoopack Game Development Faculty Quote Coleman University

  1. What brought you to Coleman University to teach?

I started a professional mentor program when I worked at Sony Online that partnered with a local college where I visited classes and advised on student projects and portfolio development.  I really enjoy interacting with students and helping them get started in the game industry, so I started teaching as an adjunct professor.

  1. Any advice for potential and current students looking to make Game Development a lifelong career?

My biggest piece of advice is: be willing to work on anything and be one of the people that volunteer to do whatever it takes to get a game done, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

  1. What’s the gaming industry in San Diego like? Is it a growing industry?

It’s pretty stable; although some larger companies have come and gone over the last 20 years. Amazon just opened a San Diego Studio this past year and I’m sure they’ll be growing. Also there are a lot more small independent developers now, which means there will be more pathways to enter the field of Game Development.

  1. Are you involved in the Global Game Jam? Or planning to attend or create a team?

I will be attending Global Game Jam, most likely as a resource visiting and helping out different teams.

  1. Why are events like Global Game Jam important for Game Development students?

It gives you an opportunity to meet some really creative peers and mentors and it’s an excellent opportunity to test your creative and development skills against a tight deadline while having lots of fun!

  1. What are some hobbies, outside of gaming, that you enjoy in your spare time?

Whenever I go on a road trip I take photos of old “roadside America” attractions that have been abandoned or are off the beaten path.  I especially like finding dinosaur and prehistoric animal sculptures. (See attached.)

 

If you are interested in learning more about our Game Development program and the opportunities available for you here in San Diego, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 and schedule a free tour! 

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Cybersecurity is in Demand

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There are 1.8 Million Unfilled Cybersecurity Jobs in the United States,

So where are the Workers?

One of the fastest growing, and best paying, job fields in the United States is also becoming one of the least populated. According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², by 2022 there will be an estimated 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity that will go unfilled. This number increased from the initial estimate in 2015 of 1.5 million by 2020. So why are these jobs sitting vacant?  Will they be filled at all? One of the most significant causes is the documented lack of interest by Millennials in Cybersecurity. In a recent study by the Center for Cybersafety and Education, only 7% of those cybersecurity professionals in the field who were surveyed are under the age of 29, while the vast majority is over the age of 40. That large majority is on the verge of retiring, and that shift will only increase the number of open jobs in this field. But the field of Cybersecurity isn’t that hard to get into. With a degree in Cybersecurity, or even experience in software development or programming, this career path is one in which anyone with an interest in technology can succeed.

 

An article from Forbes Magazine claims that the Millennial generation sees Cybersecurity from a different perspective than their older peers (such as their parents and grandparents) because they have grown up living with computer and internet technology as part of their everyday lives. The concerns that face younger generation online, such as the security of cloud-based platforms, and password-protected sites, are much different than when the internet was first established. Ironically Millennials are MORE aware of cyber threats than previous generations, but they are less likely than Baby-boomers to take extra precautions to safeguard their information and documentation, especially on social media. On average, a Millennial will use 3-5 passwords for their various profiles in order to ensure security; however, that proactive behavior doesn’t seem to translate into an interest in Cybersecurity because this group tends to reuse the same password for multiple sites. Unfortunately there is not enough awareness of this career field in comparison to other technology-focused options to bring more students into the classroom. Compounding this lack of interest are the assumptions that Cybersecurity is the same as any other IT field and that there is no need to specialize, or that years of extensive training are needed to become a high-level security expert. Those assumptions are very wrong.

Every year in the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber-security related roles, according to cyber security data tool CyberSeek

Many Cybersecurity specialists only need a few years of training in order to obtain an entry-level security position. The average salary for a Cybersecurity professional according to CIO, citing a survey conducted by Semper Secure, is around $116,000 annually (roughly $55.77 per hour). More specialized positions such as Chief Information Security Officer, or Lead Software Security Engineer, have an average salary of $200,000. That number is three times the national median income! In fact, many of the almost 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity are located right here in California. Companies such as Google, IBM, Cisco, and Facebook have a high demand for Cybersecurity specialists and that demand will only grow in the next ten years as cloud-based computing becomes more prevalent. Those cybersecurity specialists who take and maintain high level certifications such as the CISSP are more likely to achieve an even higher salary!

 

In order to make a career in cybersecurity more accessible, Coleman University created an expedited degree program of three years or less (depending on status and credits transferred) for a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity. Students earn their degree while also taking advantage of our Career Services department to find jobs in the field. Alumni also have the advantage of a lifetime of career services assistance from our experienced advisers.

 

If you have been looking for a more lucrative career, and have a passion for technology and making the online world more secure, think about Cybersecurity as your future! With the growing demand for professionals, and over a million potential jobs to choose from, this field has plenty of opportunity for those who want to take it. At Coleman University, we can make that goal happen faster, and with the help of our instructors who have years of experience in the field and in the classroom. Call Coleman today at (858) 499-0202 to schedule a tour!

 

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