TechBUGBbWorld in Las Vegas was a whirlwind of activity for Blackboard Clients, Partners and Employees alike. It was extremely difficult to pick a favorite moment out of a week spent at OSCELOT Open Source Day 6.0, DevCon 2011 and BbWorld 2011. There were certainly a few that stuck out. Dr. Chuck’s Blackboard tattoo and Matthew Small in a wedding dress with a Blackboard tattoo of his own certainly made for interesting conversations in the halls of the Venetian. From a Blackboard Partnerships perspective, the announcement of new and/or continued partnerships with all the major publishers, the Blackboard Developmental Education announcement and a new Premier Partner in Kaltura were surely highlights. That said, I am a self-proclaimed computer geek and the Blackboard Sponsor for TechBUG, so I wanted to take a few moments to recap our first meet-up in Sin City.

For those that are unfamiliar with TechBUG, our group is essentially a Blackboard User Group aimed at any technical user in the Blackboard ecosystem. Born from SYSBUG, Tim Boshart and Bryan Fendley have worked closely with the Blackboard edugarage team and the Client Programs team at Blackboard to really grow the membership (94 as of July 19th) and to mold the group into something useful to System Administrators, Developers, DBAs, and anyone else that runs, integrates with and/or maintains the Blackboard Learn platform.

On Tuesday, July 12, 40 of these like-minded folks crammed into a crowded room to talk about TechBUG, the vision of its leadership team, and the things that members would like to see in order to continue the forward growth of the group. There were a number of key themes that came out of this meeting that will help Tim and Bryan guide the bi-monthly webinar series we have been holding up to this point.

  • System Capacity and Performance Testing Tools and Techniques
  • Blackboard Support for the IMS Learning Information System 2.0 Standard
  • Web Services
  • JVM Tuning
  • Institutional Hierarchies
  • Managing the Content System
  • Migrating from Solaris to Linux

In addition, TechBUG is looking to add clients to the Steering Committee. If you are interested, join the TechBUG site on Blackboard Connections and nominate yourself. We have already received interest from Mark Kauffman from CSU – Chico, Donna Wicks from Kettering University, and Helen Keier from Curry College, but the more the merrier.

If you are interested in joining TechBUG or just learning more, feel free to reach out to me directly or check out the Blackboard Connections site ( This is a fantastic group of dedicated Blackboard Techies that are looking to share and learn with others that are cut from the same cloth. I hope to see on the site and in our next webinar (details coming soon).

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