Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

Back to Listing

August 9, 2016

SXSW Panel Picker Opens - Vote on CompTIA Panels

By Preston Grisham

SXSW Panel PickerSXSW Panel Picker voting is now live and we encourage everyone to please go and support our submissions by voting on the panels listed below. We believe these topics are important to the IT industry and SXSW provides a great opportunity for CompTIA to showcase our expertise and knowledge on these critical technology issues.

Community voting is a very important part to the SXSW panel picker process. Community votes comprise 30% of the final decision plus input of the SXSW Staff (30%) and Advisory Board (40%) helps ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance as being selected to speak at SXSW as individuals with large online followings. Together these percentages help determine the final content lineup.

Community Voting: August 8 – September 2, 2016.

Apprenticeships and Solving the IT Skills Gap
There are nearly one million open tech jobs in the US today. This gap will increase significantly in the coming years, as older workers retire and the expansion of cloud, cybersecurity, and big data devices require more people to create, manage and monitor technology. Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced the EARNS Act to expand apprenticeship in the U.S. Apprenticeship pairs on-the-job training with classroom instruction, and it’s one of the best ways to prepare workers to participate in the workforce, and to train loyal, skilled employees so businesses compete in today’s economy. We will discuss apprenticeship programs and other creative ways employers are looking to fill open positions.


  • Charles Eaton, President and CEO, Creating IT Futures Foundation (moderator)
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Heather Terenzio, CEO, Co-founder at Techtonic Group

Vote today at:

Cloud to Cup: How IoT can solve world water crisis
According to CompTIA’s Sizing Up the Internet of Things (IoT) report, the Internet of Things will be composed of 50.1 billion connected devices by the year 2020 and $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add.  These devices, driven by “smart” sensors, hold the promise of connecting communities and businesses, helping deliver smarter services to the American public while revolutionizing business sectors. 

Our panel will focus on the IoT landscape from a water conservation perspective, touching upon technology and policy considerations.  Starting with the water supply, traveling across the water infrastructure and ending at the consumption from the tap, we will trace the lifecycle and how the IoT and agtech are influencing water “From Cloud to Cup.”


  • Peter Brostrom, Chief, Water Use and Efficiency Branch, CA Department of Water Resources
  • William Sarni, Director and Practice Leader, Water Strategy, Social Impact Services, Deloitte
  • Patricia Florissi, Global Chief Technology Officer, EMC
  • Todd Thibodeaux, President & CEO, CompTIA

Vote today at:

Big Data. Big Government. Engaging All Developers
Ways in which technology is used to better serve citizens extends into the government sector in various verticals including health & human services, transportation, service delivery, and education. How government is using this technology to harness data and analyze it for practical uses is constantly evolving and advancing. Internationally, the use of platforms and open data with APIs and citizen involvement is increasing. An examination of this emerging technology and new way of doing business in governments will be discussed with government officials and the industry in a panel format.


  • Aaron Snow, Director, 18F
  • Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA
  • Zulfikar Ramazan, Chief Technology Officer, RSA Security
  • Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois

Unlocking Encryption
Advancements in the field of information security, particularly how to use encryption to protect the confidentiality of information, have vastly improved security for consumers and businesses. But as products and services have become more secure, it has become harder for law enforcement and national security agencies to access some information that could help them prevent and investigate crimes and terrorism. This has created one of the most difficult policy dilemmas of the digital age, as encryption both improves security for consumers and businesses and makes it harder for governments to protect them from other threats.


  • Elizabeth Hyman, Sr. Vice President, CompTIA
  • Daniel Castro, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
  • Rep. Michael McCaul, U.S. House of Representatives

Vote today at:

To vote please click on the links above – you will need to login to vote. If you do not currently have a SXSW account you will need to create one. You can quickly create an account using your Facebook profile or by clicking ‘Create Account’ and entering your name, email address and password. It is very simple and we would appreciate your time and assistance.

This blog post originally appeared at