Application Deadline: Closed

Program Dates: Coming Soon 2019

What Is DSIA?

The Digital Services Innovation Academy (DSIA) is a 9-week program designed to introduce the tools and skills required to transform a business problem from concept to product using design and development principles found in modern digital service development. Course topics include Data Analytics, UI/UX Design, Development Methods, Ideation, and Communication. Students also participate in a digital services challenge where they will have the opportunity to apply concepts and knowledge learned. The program includes 15 days of formal instruction, occasional lab days to prepare for the challenge, and an offsite visit. The total program cost is $4000 per participant. Developers, web designers, graphic artists, program managers, data analysts, data scientists, project managers, and communication specialists are encouraged to apply.

DSIA Testimonials

How It Works

DSIA students expand their skills in a variety of areas critical for the state’s digital workforce through classroom instruction, a digital services challenge, and exposure to the Department of Technology’s Innovation Lab. As they develop and enhance their skills in the areas of design, data analytics, ideation, and platforms/development tools, students will also learn about effective communication methods, team dynamics, and effective change management.

Professional Development

Participants will interact with peers, class instructors, subject matter experts, executives, and the DSIA Program Coach throughout the duration of the Academy.

2018 Team Innovation Challenge

An integral component of the Digital Services Innovation Academy (DSIA) is the Team Innovation Challenge, which allows students to leverage the knowledge they gain throughout the Academy to develop solutions to statewide digital problems.

The 2018 DSIA cohort included four teams of five students who were grouped according to their technical, soft skills, and leadership styles to work on complex challenges, which could potentially evolve, into large-scale proofs of concept. Challenges were selected and assigned by Scott Gregory, California State Innovation Officer, who also provided coaching to the teams regularly.

Throughout the duration of the Academy, each team collaborated extensively to create both a presentation and a viable solution (application) that demonstrated their understanding of the unique problem associated with their assigned challenge. The approach to addressing the business need and proposed solutions represented the students’ culminating experience of existing talents and skills learned through the Academy. The teams each presented their Challenge proposals and were scored based on creativity, functionality, design, and presentation delivery.

Teams were judged by an executive panel consisting of Scott Gregory; Cruz Nieto, DSIA Program Coach and Portfolio Manager within CDT’s Office of Digital Innovation; and Scott Christman, Chief Information Officer and Deputy Director, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Students were also provided the opportunity to present on their challenge and proposed solution at the DSIA Graduation on July 20, which showcased all of their hard work throughout the program to their peers, supervisors, Executive Sponsors, CIOs, and AIOs.

This year’s winner was the Civic User Testing Portal. Links to all presentation decks as well as the source code hosted on can be found below:

DSIA photo


This year’s winner, Team Fusion, created an application to connect California citizens with user testing opportunities to the State’s existing and emerging online digital services.

Civic User Testing Portal | Source Code

DSIA photo


Team CalSAFE created an emergency notification alert application to reduce potential for loss of life and property during natural disasters and emergencies.

Emergency Notification Alert (PDF) | Source Code

DSIA photo


The Match Makers took on the challenge of developing an application to help the State be more competitive with private sector through a tool that compiles key data points and formulates a comprehensive talent profile for applicants.

Talent Pool Inventory (PDF) | Source Code

DSIA photo


Team MyCA collaborated to develop a unique and secure sign on tool which includes multifactor authentication for state employees.

Single Sign-on for Services | Source Code

How To Apply

The DSIA application period is now closed.

Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for the DSIA?

The cost is $4000 per participant.


When does the DSIA start and end?

The DISA runs from May 17th– July 20th.


What level of expertise and experience are you seeking from a candidate?

The DSIA welcomes applications from any candidates who have a strong interest in modern digital service development. While developers, web designers, graphic artists, program managers, data analysts, data scientists, project managers, and communication specialists are ideal candidates, applicants need not be highly experienced in one or multiple disciplines to be accepted into the program.


How many days per week are the training sessions for this academy?

While the training schedule varies depending on the week, students can generally expect to be out of the office from 3-4 days per week.

There are 15 days of formal instruction within the program. In addition, lab days will also be periodically scheduled to allow students adequate time to work with their data challenge teams. Finally, an offsite field trip will take place in June.


What are the core hours for the training?

Training sessions are held from 8:30-4:30 p.m.


What specific topics are covered in the curriculum, and how in depth is the training?

The course topics have been carefully selected to provide a mindful blend of both technical and soft skills critical for the state’s digital workforce. Many courses are ½ or 1-day sessions, while some are 2-3 days in length. Specific topics are the following:

  • UI/UX (1/2-day)
  • Product Management (1/2-day)
  • Skype and SharePoint (1/2-day)
  • MS Analyzing Data with Power BI (3 days)
  • Concepts of Data Science/Analytics (1/2 day)
  • Visualization/Presentation of Data (1/2 day)
  • DevOps (1/2 day)
  • Open Source (1/2 day)
  • Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) (1/2-day)
  • Understanding Your Audience (1/2 day)
  • Human Centered Design Principles (1/2 day)
  • Agile (2 days)
  • Effective Communication: Storytelling and How to Be a Trusted Consultant and Advisor (1.5 days)
  • Lean-White Belt (1 day)
  • Team Dynamics (Business Chemistry) (1 day)
  • Effective Change Management (1 day)

Where will the training be held?

All training sessions will be held at the California Department of Technology’s Training and Education Center in Rancho Cordova, located at 10860 Gold Center Drive. Parking is free.


Do I have to attend all the training sessions to remain in the academy?

The DSIA covers a great deal of curriculum in its 9-week period from May 17th – July 20th. In addition, a critical component of the academy is the data challenge, where students will be divided into teams and expected to communicate and collaborate with one another during class sessions. Therefore, full commitment to the entire program is the expectation upon enrollment. We understand that some absences are unavoidable (e.g. illness) so the maximum allowable absences is two. Students who exceed this limit will be withdrawn from the program.