Nov 14, 2017

This year, we invited you to join us for a speaker series featuring some of the biggest tech giants in Austin and the world.

We learned a lot, and we hope you did, too. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of our 2017 Topper Tech Talks. 

Make your work work for you


Joshua Dunham, Community Development Specialist for Microsoft, presents in Jones Auditorium

Joshua Dunham, Community Development Specialist for Microsoft, gave an overview of Microsoft’s portfolio — which now includes LinkedIn — and how to make it work for you.

A big theme of Joshua’s talk was collaboration, and he showed off several new features in Office 365 that better allow for collaboration on your papers, reports, spreadsheets and presentations. Word 2016, for example, allows for real-time co-authoring, as well as better version histories, so you can revert changes if one of your group members goes crazy with formatting. 


You can do all of this collaborating easier, too, with new mobile apps for tools you use frequently, like Excel and Word. 

And where to showcase this work? LinkedIn, of course. Joshua provided several key tips for making your profile stand out. As it turns out, it’s critical to upload a professional photo: People are 21 times more likely to click on your LinkedIn profile if you have a photo. 


The internet is healthy — and also not so healthy


Robert Friedman of the Mozilla Foundation


“Today, the internet is on fire, and we need to clean it up.”

What exactly does it mean for the internet to be healthy? Robert Friedman of the Mozilla Foundation explained that and more in his talk, discussing privacy, digital inclusion, cyberbullying and net neutrality, among other topics.

He didn’t paint a wholly good or wholly bad picture of the current state of affairs. The internet is a complicated ecosystem, just like the Earth.

Some parts of it are doing well.

  • Half the world is online today.
  • 50 percent of the web is now encrypted.
  • 76 percent of Americans support net neutrality.

And some parts of it are not doing so well.

  • 52 percent of the web is in English, but only 25 percent of web users understand that language.
  • In recent years, we’ve seen internet shutdowns by national governments.
  • Massive data breaches continue to pile up.

The takeaway: Internet health is all of our responsibilities. To find out how you can join Mozilla’s movement, visit their website.  

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You — yes, you — can be a designer


Paul Trani of Adobe

In terms of immensity, the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools can be intimidating.

But even if you don’t yet know how to wield the magnetic lasso in Photoshop, you can and should consider yourself a designer.

Paul Trani, Senior Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelist for Adobe, went deep into the layers of Creative Cloud to show off a host of features and programs that make creating simpler and faster than ever before.

Together, we modeled coffee mugs in Adobe XD and used cloud storage libraries to transfer designs and images between Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator. New brushes, new fonts, new artboards — we saw it all, just as if we’d been at the Adobe MAX creativity conference. 

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