CIO Lunch and Learn illuminates the impact of agile development.

Whether through hands on projects or special events, the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) makes sure students see the real-world implications and application of what they learn in class. Recently, a number of those studying agile development in their graduate Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSMIS) program saw how the concept plays out in the day-to-day work of technology executives.

“Our Distinguished CIO Lunch and Learn series is one way we validate and reinforce what students are learning in their classes,” said Weidong Xia, who teaches project management courses in the MSMIS program and who organized the most recent Lunch and Learn. “Also, the discussions help them understand what lies ahead for their career paths and how to best prepare while they are in the program.”

An audience of approximately 80 who share a high level of interest in IT matters enjoyed a Distinguished CIO Lunch and Learn.

The fall event, which Xia moderated and which Zuzana Hlavacova Gurung (PhD ’09) associate director, Graduate Management Programs, organized, focused on “Enhancing IS Organizations Flexibility and Responsiveness through Agile Development/Project Management.”

“Not only was the event an extension of our class, but also during my work as a web project manager in a small startup company in Nicaragua, I pushed for the use of the rational unified process (RUP) from IBM to develop web and multimedia applications,” said MSMIS student Carlos Rodriguez, one of approximately 80 MSMIS students, alumni, undergraduate MIS students and faculty who attended.”What I learned helped me reaffirm my knowledge of RUP and agile project management.”

Panelists bring wide-ranging experiences, insights, to the table.

Speakers were Ben Amaba, worldwide executive, IBM Rational Software; Jose Machado, director, IT–Software Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Ricardo Triana, director, Board of Directors, PMI International, senior program manager Latin America & Caribbean, Blackboard; Robert Vila, manager and architect, Common Transformation Technologies, IBM ;and Min Yao, vice president and chief information officer, FIU.

Panelists and faculty members Weidong Xia, Jose Machado, Robert Vila, Gloria Deckard, Debra VanderMeer, Monica Tremblay Chiarini, Dinesh Batra, Nicole Wishart, Ben Amaba, Ricardo Triana, Zuzana Hlavacova Gurung and Min Yao

The impact of their presence on campus extended beyond their contributions to the panel.

“The events have provided a great venue for our faculty, students and alumni to interact and network with IT leaders and to help faculty see how to keep our curriculum current with the most important IT management trends and practices” Xia said.

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