Preconference Training Workshops

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, NAGW will offer a number of training workshops before the regular conference begins.

Because these training workshops are four hours long, they typically provide more hands-on experience than is available within the 60-75 minute sessions during the regular conference. We are offering four workshops in the morning and the afternoon. Breakfast is included for those attending a morning session and lunch is provided for those attending an afternoon session.

Preconference training workshops have a separate registration form and fee from the full conference. You can choose to only attend the preconference, however we hope you will also sign up for the full conference. A special rate is available for NAGW members, with an even deeper discount for members who sign up for both a morning and afternoon workshop. Learn more about conference costs and registration.

Tuesday night also features a welcome reception open to all conference attendees.

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Morning sessions)

An Introduction to Node.JS

During this 4-hour session you'll learn about how to get NodeJS up and running. You'll review how to respond to http and websocket requests as well as query data from both relational and NOSQL databases. You'll use Jade templates to output dynamically constructed markup. You'll also learn how to quickly and easily create RESTful APIs by leveraging the Express.js framework and deploy your application as a service and implement clustering.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Install Node.js and run server-side JavaScript by REPL or file execution
  2. Understand the opportunities Node.js is intended to address
  3. Implement built-in Node.js modules including net and http
Location: Aventine A

Hands-on Exercise Using Canva, Hootsuite and Sproutsocial for Social Media Management

Inside look at a Social Media Approach Using Canva, Hootsuite and Sprout Social. This session will give you an inside look at the tools and approach that is used at the City of Longmont to manage social media. You will learn how to use the graphic design tool Canva. Canva is a great (free) resource to help you create professional graphics without the need for a designer and high end software design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign. You will also see how we have connected our accounts into Hootsuite and Sprout Social to help with emergency management, and reporting.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Learn how to use Canva to create beautiful social media graphics quickly and easily - bring your image assets like your organization logos and we can create graphics for you to use immediately
  2. Register for a Hootsuite and get your social media accounts connected and ready to manage all of your social media accounts in one place
  3. Register for a Sprout Social Account and connect your social media accounts and start managing your comments and run reports in one tool
Location: Palatine AB

A talk about less talk and more action

A talk about less talk and more action. (A playbook for how difference makers can make innovation happen faster.) Everyone who works in and around local government at some point feels they can be doing more. So what stops us? My position is that with the proper mindset, tools, communication techniques and methodologies we can move great ideas out of the parking lot and to reality a lot quicker than we might otherwise think.  There are four main sections to the session: Setting the Stage; Where Innovation Comes From; Getting Goodness Out of the Gate; Defining a Project and Running your Sprint; Getting Technical; and Building to Last. Besides those best practices ideas and concepts, I will introduce an essential toolbox of things (methodologies, software and books that I think every webmaster should have in their arsenals.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Learning how to make your team an innovation machine
  2. 10 tools and techniques every webmaster must have in their arsenals today
  3. The chance to contribute to and build an actual product during one conference session!
Location: Aventine C

1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)

Lean Writing and Assets Management

This workshop focuses on essential steps for in-house communications production for web and social media. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the design principles used to drive messaging in clear, concise terms. Learn how to organize and manage assets in ways that will streamline production, target messages, and optimize brand. Topics include: writing design, language/grammar, photo composition, tagging, keywords and basic html, usability concerns, and assets management. This session condenses a semester course into a few short hours. It will be fast-paced and experiential; ideal for anyone who has to get a web page or social media post (or related print material) out the door quickly and effectively. 

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding the differences between writing for the web and writing for print can make writing in both areas more consistent and targeted. This workshop will offer strategies and give participants a chance to practice.
  2. When both written and graphical assets are well-managed, communication is faster and more effective. This workshop will lay out organizational methods for asset management specifically to aid in web communication, including SEF and SEO.
  3. Participants will gain a broad-base understanding of usability concerns and how to make web content more compliant. Participants will learn the basics of photo composition, sizing, naming and organizing images, video and other assets.
Location: Aventine B

Break it to make it stronger: Web Application Penetration Testing Basics

Question: What's the difference between " 'OR '1'='1" and "%27+OR+%271%27%3D%271?"
Answer: Nothing, from your web server's perspective. They're both SQL injection statements. The second one is just encoded in a way to bypass your character blacklist filters.

If that little snippet above made you shudder, you need to come to this session. If you have no idea what the stuff above means, you *really* need to come to this session. Spend a few hours looking at your website from a hacker's perspective. Look for information leaks, learn how to probe your business and code logic, analyze your defenses, and see examples of real-life attacks. Take all this information back to the office and use it to make your website harder/better/faster/stronger.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about automated tools that give you a quick baseline view of your website's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Learn manual hacking techniques to go beyond what a quick scan will tell you. 
  • Get a double-handful of security "quick-wins" to implement as soon as you're back in the office.
Location: Aventine A

From Zero to Cloud on Amazon Web Services

It seems like everybody is moving to the cloud! But some people are simply moving on-premise infrastructure into the cloud more or less "as-is". Learn a better way, and get more sleep at night! Amazon Web Services lets you deploy applications and services instead of infrastructure, and these services let you avoid the hassle of infrastructure management and focus on the important thing - providing reliable, easily extensible, auto-scaling user services. We'll learn about the differences between IaaS and PaaS, how to optimize pricing and performance, how budgeting for services is different than for infrastructure, and how to minimize ongoing maintenance.

To do this, we'll perform a hands-on deployment of a Drupal CMS implementation using Elastic Load Balancer, CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk, CloudWatch, Elastic File System, RDS for MySQL and more! Along the way, we'll learn how to set up a "minimal touch" environment using Amazon tools for routine system management and standard DevOps tools for continuous integration and code deployment

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Learn the important differences between IaaS and PaaS.
  2. Learn what changes are needed when you move from infrastructure to a service-based model.
  3. Learn how you can use services to minimize maintenance and improve availability, performance and functionality.
Location: Aventine C

Who is responsible for accessibility? Fully understanding WCAG 2.0

This course is designed for those who have a role in creating and/or maintaining websites and/or web content. Learn the specifics of WCAG 2.0 to make your website more accessible to all users. This includes common design considerations, common barriers, hands-on demonstrations with screen readers, and strategies to maximize accessibility. 

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Outlining all WCAG 2.0 requirements
  2. Designing for accessibility
  3. Documenting and reporting
Location: Palatine AB

Tuesday, September 19

CGDSP Certification Class 1

  • Welcome
    • Alan Shark, Executive Director, PTI
    • Leslie Labrecque, MSCIT, President/Director At Large/Executive Committee Chair, NAGW​
    • Katya Wowk, Communications Director, Township of Montclair, New Jersey
  • Introductory Session: Student Knowledge Exercise
  • Course and Program Review, Policies and Procedures
  • State of the Profession
  • The New Digital Services Professional – Ingredients for Success – What Does this Job Description Really Look Like?
  • Common Challenges and Strategies
  • Review of assignments and certification details
  • Adjourn
Location: Delphi AB (2nd Fl)