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10 Posts authored by: JessicaPennington Employee

The video discussed in my previous blog, Diary of an Intern 2: Lights, Camera, Action, Dr. Renee Steiner and I created a video discussing the internal implementation of CA Technologies solutions. The video is now live on the official CA YouTube page, and I've embedded it below. Take a look and comment what you think (both here and on the actual Youtube video).

 

 

When creating a software platform, there are a variety of teams that work together in order to create the product that reaches the market. Each team has a unique role that is crucial to the final product. The team whose work is perhaps the most initially visible aspect of any piece of software is the User Experience team. This visually inclined team, does more than choose colors and shapes—the UX team’s work can make or break a product. If the user can’t understand the user interface, they’ll never reach the features that the dev team painstakingly created. UX encompasses  the visual experience and navigation of how use cases are articulated in a customer-friendly interface. I spoke with Kerry_Harrison, Miguel Rivera, and Seonwan_Myung, the UX team for the DevTest solutions, to understand how they work towards this goal and specifically focusing on the most recent user interface work done in the 8.0 release.


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Q: Why did CA decide to work on a new UI design?
UI Design and User Experience is an essential part of product development today. With the former LISA solution, UX was built up from 10 years of development and quickly became a tool with a ton of functionality but one that wasn’t very easy to use for the newer user. After seeking and reviewing customer feedback on the user experience, our team decided to do a study to understand the areas of the product that needed to be streamlined. The results of the study helped frame the user interface design and experience that we wanted to achieve with the product and the rest is “DevTest Portal” history.
Kerry: We started out in a larger group tasked with developing the UI for a variety of newly acquired products. We needed to bring these different looking products together, so a customer could recognize them as a CA Product.
Miguel: We needed to transform LISA into a web-based, user friendly product. The field of DevOps was new, and the product needed a look, feel, and navigation that reflected the demands of the market.

Q: What process did you go through to design the new user interface?
Miguel: We had several meetings over a week or two to lay out our plan. We had to develop user stories, collaborate with product managers, decide on a design direction, and begin testing it.
Seonwan: Change isn’t easy. UX can’t be created through a complete standard, we have to create something that is unique and tailored to the product we are working with. We are constantly moving forward.
Miguel: Our team needed to take a complex application, and make it simple—a task that is not simple. To aid in this process, we developed our own design library.
Q: But it’s not just colors and shapes – it’s a full user experience, right?
Kerry: A successful UI incorporates consistent functionality. The interface should follow how the customer will utilize the product.
Seonwan: Our job is to create a correspondence between function and appearance.
Q: How do you handle customer feedback throughout the process?
Kerry: Product Managers meet with customers, and show them the designs and features we’ve been working on. Based on their input, we know what should change or stay the same.
Miguel: Part of the process was to change the culture. Agile has been added only in the last several years, and we needed to change the UX team dynamic to fit into the agile process.
Kerry: We design pieces, and then adjust them to create a holistic user experience. We iterate.
Q: What is the most difficult part of your job and how do you overcome this?
Miguel: Our job requires us to keep many things in mind; we design for users not ourselves. The design should work for different types of people, while making the product consistent.
Q: What are some of the fun aspects of your job?
Seonwan: We often work remotely, so when we all come together in person, it’s great. We lead the design, and that autonomy really allows to create something we are proud of. Coming together reminds of us of that. 
Miguel: The design process is being altered, so that the designer is put first. We aren’t forcing the UX onto a previously built product. We are working holistically, to create the experience as it’s truly intended. People are happier with what we’ve made since this change has happened.
Kerry: Hearing from the Product Managers that the user is happy with the product is the most fulfilling.

 

After reading this Q&A, what insights about UX do you have? What interactions do you have with UX, or your UX team? What's your favorite aspect of the DevTest Portal? Sound off in the comments!

 

If you're interested in learning more about the CA DevTest Portal, you can join our customer validation program by following the instructions here: Customer Validation Program for DevTest Solutions.

Did you know that there is a guided learning path for the DevTest products? Below, I've listed out the current courses available. The courses are divided based on the role they are intended for, which can be Developer, Tester, Administrator, or all three. Courses are either foundational or additional. The foundational courses are meant to be taken first, with the courses labeled "100" being the first in the sequence. The first course listed, Dev Test Solutions 8: Overview 100, is offered free of charge. All of the courses are online and self-paced, with the exception of CA LISA r7.5: Pathfinder Fundamentals 200, which is an eight hour, instructor-lead course.

 

Foundational Courses

Dev Test Solutions 8: Overview 100 - FREE

Meant For: Tester, Developer, Administrator

2 hours, Online, self-paced

http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88ado10250.html

 

OnDemand DevTest Solutions 8: Foundations 200
Meant For: Tester, Developer
2 Hours, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88ado20170.html

 

CA Application Test 8: Foundations 200
Meant For: Tester, Developer
4 hours, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88ado20160.html

 

CA Service Virtualization 8: Foundations 200
Meant For: Developer
4 hours, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88svv20020.html

 

DevTest Solutions 8.0: Installation and Configuration 200
Meant For: Administrator
1 hour, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88ado20130.html

 

Additional Courses

CA LISA r7.5: Pathfinder Fundamentals 200
Meant For: Tester, Developer, Administrator
8 hours, instructor led, see link for schedule
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88lsa20291.html

 

CA LISA r7.5: SAP Testing and Virtualization 300
Meant For: Tester, Developer
1.5 hours, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88svv30020.html

 

CA LISA r7.5: Web Service Virtualization 300
Meant For: Developer
3 hours, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88svv30010.html

 

CA LISA r7.5: Messaging Virtualization 300
Meant For: Developer
1 hour, online, self-paced
http://marketplace.ca.com/education/88ado30010.html

 

In addition to the DevTest path, we also have a variety of Youtube video tutorials available. We offer a video discussing Selenium integration, which will teach you how to integrate CA Application Test with Selenium Builder to create automated web interaction testing. We also have two playlists of videos discussing service virtualization. The first, created by Stefana_Muller is called  Service Virtualization on Demand. The second playlist is on the CA Educate youtube channel, and can be found here. In addition to these educational tools, the Application Delivery product page has a variety of informational videos, white papers, and webcasts.

Microservices are individual units of executable code that work within a limited framework. They are extremely useful when placed within an architecture of numerous microservices. On June 24th, 2015 I attended a webinar titled “How to Share Share-Nothing Microservices,” hosted by Jason Bloomberg, the President of Intellyx, and Scott Edwards, Director Product Marketing for Service Virtualization at CA Technologies. The webinar explained how to use microservices to your advantage in order to deliver products that are competitive in the application economy.

 

The title of the webinar seems a little strange, until one hears how Bloomberg describes the functionality of microservice architecture. He describes the microservices as parsimonious, or extremely cheap or precisely rationed. He uses this to mean that each microservice is as small as it can be without sacrificing functionality. They will perform a single task, and do so effectively. The “share-nothing” concept comes in when we discuss the capabilities of the microservices. Each microservice is small, but still maintains its own code, runtime, OS, and data cache. The data caches should not be shared between microservices, because the instances of the services are constantly changing. This limits co-dependency.

 

In order to take advantage of this, one can use containers. The microservices are meant to have changing scalability, and the containers enable this. The containers then lead to the introduction of virtualization.It might seem that with microservices running in containers we should be all set for the new world of application development, but there is still more to consider. The pain that comes with needing all your services up and running to actually test a single service doesn’t go away with microservices – it actually grows exponentially. Dividing your services into smaller chunks introduces the potential for more dependencies/communications between services to manage.

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To resolve this, we introduce Service Virtualization. Service Virtualization addresses the dependencies between microservices in pre-production allowing you to test sooner, faster, and more thoroughly. It’s no longer necessary to activate each microservice and its associated data if virtualization is used. The “container engine” facilitates virtualization rather than guest operating systems. The engine supports all of the containers, which makes the entire process much more streamlined.

 

It is important to remember that containers and microservices are well paired, but not mutually inclusive—you can use one without the other. However, the advantages are numerous. Containers give lightweight, rapid scalability and elasticity. The environment created using containers allows one to keep track of everything and integrate services without creating dependent data caches.

 

The benefits of microservices are huge from a product delivery standpoint. Scott Edwards laid out several compelling statistics from CA Technologies studies. Application economy leaders, who take advantage of these processes, have experienced 106% revenue growth and 68% higher profit. Developers are only coding 50% of their working time because they are waiting on other teams, which service virtualization alleviates. There are teams who have implemented service virtualization that were able to increase testing ability by a whopping 90%.

 

What has your experience with containers and microservices been like?  Have you had more testing concerns in this environment? Will you implement share nothing microservices into your application delivery process? Sound off in the comments.

 

To access the full webinar, click here.To read more about this topic, click here.

Within the Agile Methodology, there are numerous ways to implement the methods into a product development team, such as Lean, KanBan, and Scrum. Most Agile CA teams ascribe to the Scrum framework, but recently there has been an internal push to switch to a new process, referred to as Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe. In the CA Islandia office, there was a two-day training seminar to educate various teams on how SAFe works, so that they might implement it. I had the opportunity to take part in the first day of training.

 

SAFe emphasizes the economics of development. It is different from Scrum in that it was created with larger organizations in mind. As CA is an international, Fortune 500 corporation, teams must coordinate across large physical and cultural barriers. Through tight iterations and a focus on cutting delays in releases, it aims to cut costs and deliver a more valuable product. With smaller, feature focused goals, any variability in the product design and customer feedback can be accounted for in a timely fashion. The really great thing about SAFe is it’s a whole company model, one where our finance, legal, marketing, support, and other teams can get involved in early on to change how we deliver higher quality software to our customers at a rapid cadence. It completely aligns to our Continuous Delivery strategy at CA Technologies and of course the products that we all work to build today in the DevOps business area. SAFe.png

Though SAFe shares many principles with Scrum, it differs in the roles within a team, and the stages of development each team goes through. Rather than a team focusing on releases, it deals in product increments, or PIs. The PIs are scaled sprints that are internally demoed. Like Scrum, the team roles include Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Developers/Testers. There are other roles that are different, such as the Release Train Engineer, Product Management, System Architect, System Team and Business Owners. These additional roles are an attempt to align business goals with development goals.  

At the end of the first day of the training we participated in a sprint simulation in the style of a SAFe team. Each table in the conference room was a team, with a scrum master, product owner and developers. For the entire room, an executive, product manager, UX developer and RTE were assigned to brief the teams on expectations. Each team was responsible for an aspect of a fictional online book retailer. We had to organize stories that needed to be developed for our product feature based on our individual team capacity, story difficulty, and capacity of dependent teams, for two sprints.  

Despite not having to actually develop anything, each team was engaged and excited to make sure they had their features designed while talking with the other teams to resolve dependencies up front. We learned how a complete product might be developed through the SAFe methodology and how closely aligned SAFe is to our continuous delivery and DevOps strategy.

Though the simulation was useful, it was performed inside of a bubble. The point of SAFe is that it should be scalable, thus applicable beyond the confines of a conference room. In order for SAFe to work, there has to be a push at the executive level to remove business constraints that contradict the methodology. I look forward to seeing how CA tackles this cultural shift and implements SAFe across multiple products.  

 

After the course, I spoke with several of my fellow trainees. Jennifer Hajee, Senior Information Services Engineer CA Technologies, said “The SAFe training in Islandia gave me a good understanding of how SAFe is different from the Agile my scrum team is currently using. “People are more important than process” resonates with me.” Bridget Menzer, Engineering Project Manager, is excited to assume her role within the SAFe structure. Menzer explained that, “As a new Engineering Project Manager, I am eager to roll out these practices to my scrum teams. I have already adjusted my logistics of my sprints to adopt the SAFe practices and will complete the SAFe Agilist certification exam this week. Wish me luck!”

Did you attend the SAFe training? Are you familiar with SAFe or any similar Agile Methodologies? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

If you read my first “Diary of an Intern”, you’ll remember how I referenced the importance of speed. Quick and efficient project turnover is key, especially during an internship where I only have a few weeks to work. My most recent project has been a lesson in speedy project turnover. The project involved creating a video of me and Dr. Renee Steiner  discussing how her team has internally implemented CA Continuous Delivery tools. Her team has been using CA Application Test and CA Service Virtualization to more efficiently develop products for clients. My manager, Stefana_Muller, and I had discussed creating content around this internal initiative in passing at the beginning of my time at CA. We knew that Renee would be our best resource, as she leads the Continuing Excellence team that has been facilitating the project.

 

Although Renee normally is not working from the Islandia office, we were lucky that she was visiting for two days this past week. In addition, she was kind enough to set aside a few hours from her busy visit to help get this project off the ground. The day before Renee arrived, we read over some internal documents about the initiative and compiled a list of questions. We also contacted the video department to schedule time with the videographers to produce the interview. The day Renee arrived, we only had a few hours during which to practice and film the conversation. We wanted to make sure that interview felt more like a conversation, rather than a stiffly rehearsed Q&A style interaction.

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Recording the video was nerve racking, but still very fun. The film crew set up three professional cameras, lights, and body mics in the Executive Conference Center. They set Renee and I up, gave us a few instructions on positing the microphones and speaking to the cameras. In the beginning we did stumble a few times, and miss questions. The videographers were extremely understanding and patient. They even told funny anecdotes about other projects they’ve filmed, such as the compliance films with the infamous Griffin Peabody! In addition, Stefana was on the sidelines coaching Renee and I on talking points, posture, and reminding us to smile! By the end of filming, we felt at ease in front of the cameras and very hot lights.

 

Currently, the video is in post-production, so I cannot share it with you today. However, it should be hitting computer screens near you very soon! The experience was very exciting, and super fun. I’m impressed that Stefana, Renee and I were able to create this content so quickly. When you have a good idea, it’s important to roll with it. I was hesitant about the feasibility of creating a professional grade video on such a brief timeline, but with the right team, anything is possible!

 

Jessica Pennington

 

(@penningje) | Twitter

LinkedIn

"CEO of Product" is a pseudonym often given to product managers. Is it boastful, or a cheeky reference to the scope of the job? Product Managers make sure that the product is useful, usable and economically feasible. This requires the coordination of business goals, technology functionality, and customer experience. Working with this wide variety of responsibilities, the ideal product manager is tech savvy with a strong business and managerial acumen. Here on the  CA DevTest Community, we have a stellar roster of product managers who are here to help customers and employees alike get the most out of our products. In an effort to help you get to know each manager better, we've compiled some tidbits about them below!

 

Chris_Kraus, Product Manager guy [Editor’s note: Chris prefers the lower case ‘g’]  ckyoga.png

CA Office Location: Plano, TX

What is your must have piece of technology? Camera – Hasselblad 

If you were a CA Technologies product, which would it be and why? CA Service Virtualization so I could be anything and do anything.

What made you choose a career in technology? I took my first Cobol class and liked it, then figured out I was making A’s in Quantiative Business Analysis and not really having to work hard at it… so I ended up with a BBA in Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Business Analysis

Contact Chris for help with Continuous Application Insight

 

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Stefana_Muller, Advisor, Product Management

CA Office Location: Islandia, NY

If you were a CA Technologies product, which would it be and why? Of course CA Service Virtualization! I’m all about removing constraints (in the development cycle). I like to MacGyver ways out of situations (mock/stub), fix problems quickly but well (speed/quality) and let things go on their merry way without a hitch (continuous delivery). I never take no for an answer and like to understand your full situation to match to a similar situation I’ve been in before before responding (request/response matching).

What piece of wearable tech embodies your personality? Fitbit: energetic, focused on goals, competitive and no-nonsense [Editor’s Note: Stefana can be found jogging around the office with a Bluetooth headset on to reach her daily Fitbit goal]

Reach out to Stefana for questions about CA Service Virtualization and Common Components

 

 

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Anand "AK" Kameswaran , Principal Product Manager

CA Office Location: Plano, TX

What is your must have piece of technology? Pants... with pockets.  I can't leave the house without them anyway, and I need pockets to hold whatever technology I must have that day.

What made you choose a career in technology? By the time I was 7, I would disassemble anything and everything my parents would let me.  I was programming by the time I was 9, repairing computers by 11 and printing my own circuit boards at 15.  I was always going to do technology, so I may as well get paid.

AK is your go-to for info about Demo Systems, Test Data Management & Forward Cars

 

 

Arif_Muhammad, Director, Product Management

CA Office Location: Islandia, NY

What is your must have piece of technology? iPhone

PC or Apple, and why? MacOS – I like unix based shell script better than DOS J

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Nerdy, Enthusiastic, Analytical

What piece of wearable tech embodies your personality?  Not a fan of any wearable.

For help with CA Application Test, Arif is your guy

 

 

 

 

 

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Ian Kelly , Sr Director Product Management

CA Office Location: Plano, TX

What is your must have piece of technology? Sharpies and 5x7 cards – not much cannot be done with them and nothing gets in the way…

What made you choose a career in technology? I think it was the other way around for me – I was working on a project in school identifying heavy metals in runoff coming from Yellowstone Park due to mining operations and we used a UNIX based Multi Spectral imager for the project; we needed to write software to identify the runoff composition and I was successful in finding arsenic and lead in the images.  From then on I was hooked on finding solutions for complex problems in code. 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? I wouldn’t try. [Editor's Note: We see what you did there.]

If you need info regarding VAPI and Project Longboard-Northshore, reach out to Ian


arpi.pngArpiJakab, Principal Product Manager

CA Office Location: Santa Clara/Oakland, CA

What is your must have piece of technology? Trees, I really like the oxygen feature.

PC or Apple, and why? If you can’t afford a MacBook a PC will do just fine.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Ignorant, Incompetent, Self-confident

What piece of wearable tech embodies your personality?  Pebble watch, 7 day battery life & water proof.

 

 


 


JessicaPennington

DevOps Summit Recap

Posted by JessicaPennington Employee Jun 15, 2015

On June 9-10, 2015 I was given the opportunity to attend DevOps Summit/CloudExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. These two days were also during my first week back at CA Technologies-- to say I was excited would be an understatement. During my time at the conference, I perused the booths, hobnobbed with tech gurus, and heard some amazing discussions. There’s a lot to discuss, but these are some of the highlights:

 

Day 1, Keynote Speaker Sandy Carter, “Geek Girls Are Chic”summit3.jpg

The moment I entered the summit, I headed for this key note address. As a technology veteran, currently serving as IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, Carter was able to condense her many years of experience into five smart career hacks. Though geared towards, women, they could be applied towards anyone in tech. My favorite quote from Carter was, “But I AM a girly girl,” the context being that it’s not necessary for women to hide their femininity in order to succeed in the male-dominated technology world.

 

 

 

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Day 1, Speaker Session, Martin Krienke, “TMobile’s DevOps and Continuous Delivery Journey”

I was excited to hear Martin Krienke’s talk because it discussed the CA Technologies products that I work with daily. He discussed how the software and agile methodology has allowed TMoble to amass 57 million customers, and enhance a company culture of collaboration. To really drive home this message, Kreinke made use of some complex visual guides, some more serious than others! The below diagram features two pieces of paper, one reading "Development" and the other, "Operations."

 

 

 

 

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Day 2, Expo Floor

A majority of my second day was spent on the expo floor, perusing the vendor booths, getting freebies, entering giveaways, and chatting with other attendees. There were games, food and product demos, it felt like the county fair!             

 

 

 

 

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Day 2, Speaker Session, Stefana Muller, “Women in DevOps”

My last session of the expo was a special one, my manager,  Stefana_Muller  was speaking about Women in DevOps. Stefana has been with CA almost 15 years, and is one of the few women who can speak to how the DevOps movement has been towards women. She gave targeted advice towards recruiters, punctuated with personal anecdotes, on how to foster a culture where women are valued and included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday: Twitter Insanity!summit6.jpgsummit5.jpg

As an intern with a strong social media marketing background, the activity on twitter was amazing. I was engaging with the official CA Technologies Twitter (@CAinc), the conference organizers, keynote speakers, vendors, and DevOps and Cloud thought leaders throughout the entire conference.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DevOps Summit and Cloud Expo demonstrated that to facilitate creativity, it’s necessary to have fun. The expo really pushed companies to put their best foot forward, but also display the fun aspect of this fast-growing tech space. If you're interested in learning more about the sessions I attended, click here.

 

 

 

JessicaPennington

Diary of an Intern

Posted by JessicaPennington Employee Jun 11, 2015

Innovation. Execution. Speed.”

 

These three words represent the core principles of CA Technologies. As a wide-eyed intern, I wondered how I might realistically implement these values during my tenure. I lacked serious technological background, so innovation was out of my league. Execution? I figured an intern at a large corporation wouldn’t be executing more that proof-reading memos. Speed seemed daunting, as I was predisposed to double-checking (and triple-checking) anything I did to avoid making a mistake. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within my first week, I found myself working with an executive-level VP to pioneer a blogging initiative on the CA Communities platform. The project was my innovation; kicking off and running the program was my execution phase. I didn’t forget about speed—in about two and a half months I had increased readership and established a precedent for CA Communities content.  

 

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When I received the opportunity to return to CA again this summer, I did not hesitate. This summer will pose new challenges, as I’m assuming new responsibilities outside of CA Communities, but I am confident that I can succeed. Throughout the summer, I’ll be posting here about topics relevant to the CA DevTest Community (a recap of my time at DevOps Summit NYC 2015 is forthcoming), and I hope to get as many of my fellow Communities members posting as well!

 

There’s a fourth word in the core principles, one that underlies innovation, execution and speed. That word is trust. I trust that my manager and other colleagues will provide me the guidance I need to get my projects off of the ground. I also trust that my work is meaningful to the corporation as a whole. Most importantly, I trust in my own abilities to conquer every obstacle set before me.

 

Jessica Pennington

 

(@penningje) | Twitter

LinkedIn

The past 10 weeks, I've been reading about APIs, Test Automation, Service Virtualization and everything DevOps. If asked to define any of these terms prior to this time, I would not have been able to give you an answer; now, I eat, sleep, and breathe Application Delivery, and I monitor this Community page like a hawk. I’m not an engineer or developer, and I’m not a prospective buyer of CA Technologies software solutions-- I’m an intern. My name is Jessica Pennington, and I’m a summer intern at CA Technologies.

 

When I began my time at CA, I wasn’t sure what my role would be. I was told that I had the power to decide what direction my summer would take; my only direction was that I would work towards developing awareness of the CA Application Delivery products and the people who create them. After some preliminary discovery work, I made the choice to focus my attention on the recently launched, Jive-supported, CA Communities. More specifically, I would work on having blogs regularly published on the CA LISA Application Delivery page.


Currently, there are 9 different blogs published in this community through my initiative. The response has been stellar, and I feel that the bloggers who have written are proud of their work. The journey to this point has not been easy. I needed to learn about the DevOps space that the CA products are part of, and discover what type of content existed. With the help of my tech savvy colleagues, that was actually quite simple. The difficulties laid elsewhere.

 

Many of the bloggers were blogging for the first time, and most of them occupied roles that did not require much writing. I created guiding documents, and was speedy in making sure I answered all of their questions and assuaged their concerns. The Communities platform was (and still is) new, so my bloggers were learning the ins and outs while I was doing the same. Trying to stay one step ahead was a trial and error process. However, I was continually impressed by each writers’ talent and enthusiasm.


Another issue was making sure that the posts received proper exposure. With some advice from the very friendly and helpful social media and PR teams, I was able to establish and execute a protocol for social media promotion. The amount of unique visitors to the Communities site due to the blogs is growing, and the blogs are currently the most viewed form of content on the CA LISA Application Delivery Community.

 

I’m so proud of everything that has been created this summer, and thankful to have been able to play a role in the growth of such a large and influential technology community. Unfortunately, I have to return to college (I’m a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania ), so my time at CA is at a close. I hope that the blogs continue, and that everyone on the community continues to innovate and participate in this amazing area. 

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