Retiring developer leaves lasting legacy

Through the website changes, tech pioneer says goodbye on Friday

David Bassey
Editor in Chief

For almost two decades, his colorful explanations have helped guide the changes we have experienced through the IT Solutions department

Tedmund Johnson, Assistant Chief Information Officer for Applications Development & Web Services will be retiring Friday, after 18 long years of service to Minnesota State University, Mankato

Johnson began his career on the Maverick campus on Jan. 12, 2001, hired on by then and now CIO, Mark Johnson.
Back in the 2000s, it was the wild west of web development as there was no official web template for the University’s website, and different colleges had come up with their own websites.

Johnson, along with his student worker, was tasked to come up with a list of requirements and designs for the University’s website.

With the help of now-graduated Alexi Lazar, recommendations from then assistant vice president for Integrated Marketing, Jefferey Eisenmenger to the president, the official website template was born, following multiple template iterations. Various campus departments were then given a year to transition to the new template.

Johnson enjoyed his work daily, essentially tasked with the responsibility of stewarding creative ideas like the currently used registrar’s graphical scheduling system to its rightful owners. He feels that “when we partner with people across campus and we envision things that benefit them, and they agree and take ownership, then it’s a sustainable advancement for the campus.”

Although the pace of technology seems to be taking enormous strides, Johnson feels confident in the direction that the University is heading in, and sees this as a great opportunity to let the younger folks who have a natural rhythm make headway with some of the advances in IT.

Since the union which he is in does not provide an option for sabbaticals, his retirement will feature an extended sabbatical, one not IT related. He plans to visit Germany on a mission trip with his church this May.

When asked, Johnson expressed that he was really grateful to have worked with wonderful professionals here at the University, noting that in technology, waiting just long enough could just be the saving grace when embarking on a novel project.

The rate of technology is growing rapidly, and on the MNSU campus, we have seen numerous changes to the responsiveness of our web and mobile app environment. Johnson’s advice to young professionals is to “keep listening and noticing the changes and new directions.” He understands that as far as the trends in IT are concerned, no textbook can keep us up with what is going on. So paying attention to where new developments are being revealed is the key to growth.

We’re certainly going to miss his wonderful smile, analogies and colorful explanations as he sets on his sabbatical.

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