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Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Brian Dyer

Before coming to DELTA, Media Applications Testing Lead Brian Dyer worked for Protocol Marketing. Dyer spent much of his time duplicating and replicating audio and video, Audio CD premastering, DVD authoring, VHS high-speed duplication and real-time duplication, as well as editing audio and video analog and digital. He also encoded some of the books on in their early years. Dyer joined DELTA 15 years ago and is part of the Media Production Support Services team.

“When I first came to DELTA in 2006, we were authoring DVDs of class lectures and then loading them onto a truck and delivering them to the bookstore before each semester. There was a lot of manual labor involved. When the semester ended, we would take the DVD sets from the bookstore to Ample Storage. Not fun in the summer when it was 100 degrees! Now, everything is online. Online delivery has its own complications, but we aren’t sweating our brains out in a storage unit anymore!”

How would you describe your position?

“On any given day, I can provide support for various recorder issues, Panopto/PlayPosit integration issues, Panopto/Moodle integration issues, classroom recording schedules, Panopto for Win/Mac and Panopto Capture. There is also a lot of testing and workflow development that goes on in between all of that. My group works directly with ClassTech, Engineering Online (EOL) and Video Communication Services (VCS) on recorder and scheduling issues. EOL and VCS require a different workflow than the typical classroom since they have room operators that manually start recordings. For automated scheduling issues, we work with Associate Director of Data, Integrations and Custom Applications Jonathan Champ and PHP Developer Alex Stacy.”

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

“Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of coordinating, such as coordinating with different departments when issues arise, submitting support tickets for those issues and getting them escalated to the level they need to be. My group provides tier two and three support, so when support tickets are sent to us from LearnTech in ServiceNow, I assign some of them to other members of my team. I also make sure the Panopto recordings are published. Each morning, my team checks to see what’s still processing from the day before. If there’s anything that still hasn’t been published, we keep an eye on it to make sure that it does. If it doesn’t, then we need to check the recorder and download the mp4 files and create new presentations. Right now, scheduling and security is daily because of COVID-19 and the different changes that are required from some classes. There’s a lot of testing and working with Panopto support and engineers on changes that make things easier for us and other universities.”

What is your favorite project at DELTA?

“Oh, that’s an easy question. The transition from Mediasite to Panopto was awesome. It was this gigantic beast that could be really hard but also really fun. It felt like everyone was learning so much all of the time and you had to be able to change as you learned more. It’s still going on even now— not as intense, but we’re learning new things all of the time. Recently, I’ve been working with NC State’s campus in Prague on installing and configuring Panopto’s Remote Recorder software and setting up their department folder structure. They have seven PCs with the Remote Recorder software installed. There is only one group on main campus that is using the software in one of their rooms and everything else is captured on a hardware recorder.”

What do you love about DELTA?

“It’s always something different. Instructors come up with different things that you wouldn’t have ever thought of. Finding a way to make it happen is great. Also, when you can help fix something that’s kind of complicated and do it quickly so that the instructor and the students aren’t getting frustrated, it always feels really good, so I really like that. Learning all of the different tools that DELTA supports, being on committees and working with other campus groups to understand how and why they do things the way they do has been fun!”

What do you like to do outside of work?

“I like hiking in the mountains and have made several hiking trips in Virginia and North Carolina. Two of my favorites in Virginia so far have been Spy Rock Mountain and Crabtree Falls. In North Carolina, I enjoyed Medoc Mountain and Stone Mountain. Macrae Peak at Grandfather Mountain is really cool too. I like road biking on trails like the Neuse River Trail here in Raleigh or the High Bridge Trail and the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail in Virginia. Riding at Wrightsville Beach and Kure Beach is always fun. I’m hoping to ride the Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia again, too. I’d like to do more kayaking, I’ve only done it a few times. Recently, I’ve been thinking about starting to assemble guitars from kits. I used to play guitar years ago, and I thought that it might be kind of fun to build one and play it every now and again. Also, I’ve always been interested in ancient Egyptian history and traveling to historic places and trying to fit in as many music concerts as possible.”

The Neuse River Greenway Trail at Mial Plantation Road.
Brian’s photo from a biking trip to Myrtle Beach.