After a two year hiatus from Tech Congress,  we were finally able to come together as a community to openly discuss the pressing needs and goals for the future of the Ed-Fi Technology Roadmap.  Not only did we work together to align with the Community's most pressing needs, but it was great to see everyone, whether in-person or virtually, come together to help advance education.

Community and the Roadmap

The Community discussion about our roadmap took the form of 2 general plenary sessions, complete with zoo animals.  Our first plenary session collected the broad list of needs, desires, and pain points from the Community.  We started collecting these ideas prior to the Tech Congress to provide us with the opportunity to ask clarifying questions and continue idea submission.

The second plenary session was broken into two parts. The first part summarized the Community's input and offered a platform for people to clarify the need behind each request.  The zoo animals made an appearance to express agreement on roadmap requests and comments people were making.  These little plush toys weren't the loudest, but did offer support for a variety of topics.  The final part of the second plenary session allowed every attendee to vote on their roadmap priorities.  The voting exercise was a straw poll to provide community feedback for Ed-Fi.  The voting results will go along with other inputs like work groups, special interest groups, and other roadmap inputs.  The voting took place on Slido and everyone had 5 votes to use.

Here are the top 10 results from all the survey:

Based on the Community input and voting, here are the top 10 challenges identified at the Tech Congress along with Ed-Fi's proposed activity to address it.  This list is focused on Tech Congress activity and is not meant to indicate topics outside of the voted top 10 are not important.  Everyone should feel welcome to follow up with topics important to them as needed.

Challenge ThemeNew Activity
Improve Ed-Fi ODS Logging

ODS-5329 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Improve L1 errors from the API

ODS-3117 - Getting issue details... STATUS

ODS-5001 - Getting issue details... STATUS (chosen as specific first step)

Support for  event-based notifications from API

ODS-4631 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Research and implement API performance Improvements

PERF-224 - Getting issue details... STATUS  
The first step is to improve the performance test suite so that any improvements can be evaluated. 

Create a clear Ed-Fi to CEDS data pipeline

BIA-832 - Getting issue details... STATUS BIA-1053 - Getting issue details... STATUS BIA-1054 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Provide ODS to ODS replication via API

BIA-1078 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Develop solutions to validate ODS data

validation of ODS data is already found in some degree in the Ed-Fi Exchange:

There was also a commentary that some of the validation solutions should live outside of Ed-Fi's technical stack as process documentation.  The customer should be able to validate the vendor's provided data matches it's own system and the Ed-Fi landed data.

Provide for student identification code translation

ODS-3083 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Improve support for graduation requirements capture and tracking

This activity was initially raised and discussed in the CCMR Special Interest Group.  The results of that SIG declined to create a "fully contained" solution in the CCMR space.  This was not due to the importance of the space but instead our ability to narrowly define useful scope.  The CCMR SIG may be used to discuss this narrowed interest in scoping for graduation requirements changes and tracking.  

College, Career, Military Readiness (CCMR) Special Interest Group

Explore priorities for interop with IMS standards

BIA-1079 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Tech Congress Session Updates

In addition to the roadmap plenary discussions we held 28 sessions across a wide range of topics.  These sessions were recorded and are still available for viewing on the Tech Congress website.  These sessions had deep and meaningful discussion on a wide range of challenging Ed-Fi topics.  It was wonderful to re-engage with everyone and get to hear the pulse of the Community.  Each session's discussion dove deeply to unpack the nuanced problems and possible solutions.  Here are some of the on going activities that arose from the Tech Congress sessions:

Tech Congress SessionDescriptionTracking New Activity
MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDER SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPWithin the Ed-Fi ecosystem, managed service providers provide hosting, support and other services to have an Ed-Fi infrastructure without the burdens of installations, upgrades and other aspects.New SIG created for MSPs
Data Out Conversations: ELT/ETL and Bulk ExportsThis was a well attended discussion on how to pull data out of an ODS and potential best practices.  This session discussed various topics including Extract-Load-Transform (ELT) vs Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) and also bulk data out from Ed-Fi ODSs.
  • several requests for AMT to be viewed as dbt
  • data out can use the API and recommended to do so
Managing Descriptors, Setting Expectations and Certification ImplicationsDescriptors are important sets of data in SEA and LEA systems that allow for communication and usage of common values for data systems to interoperate. Without common descriptors, systems will be left to guess or lose parts of information in translation between interconnecting data exchanges.Clarifying proposal in draft and will be taken to the Technical Advisory Group

Ed-Fi Academy: Path to Success

How to Train a Data Engineer that Every District Needs

These two sessions focused on new technical community members and discussed how to bring data engineers into the district.

Data Engineer Self Guide

Next Generation Ed-Fi Platform: Meadowlark and Cloud Architecture

In this session we demonstrated a proof-of-concept API built entirely on AWS managed services, and discussed some of the components and questions to address when thinking toward the future of the Ed-Fi technology.

(warning) Don't let the session title mislead: this was not a demonstration of "the next generation platform".

Working group to explore next-generation technologies will be announced in Q2.

Presentations and recordings can be found on the bizzabo app.  There is also a session discussion summary that can be found on TechDocs at 2022 Technical Congress.

Wrap Up

This year’s Technical Congress was a great response from being away for two years.  We were able to discuss deep thorny issues, and not only that,  tackled problems that were complex and nuanced.  The Ed-Fi Community really came together with a deep understanding of our own positions as well as other Community member's positions to provide the best guidance and feedback possible. 

Thank you from the Ed-Fi Tech team and stay tuned for Tech Congress 2023!  We love your feedback every step of the way and can't wait to see you at Summit.  

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