At its IBM Rational Software Developer Conference here Monday, IBM announced new initiatives to reach developers in the budding stages, as they learn skills in college and graduate school.
IBM officials said winning the hearts and minds of developers is key to winning software architecture leadership, and company officials said they believe the battle in the marketplace continues between the open standards camp, led by IBM, and the proprietary camp, led by Microsoft Corp.
As part of its strategy, IBM announced it will deliver free hardware, software, training and other resources to help students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas get up to speed with modern IT practices.
The effort is being run through the IBM Academic Initiative, and IBM and the university are working with companies in industries such as retail, electronics and transportation to prepare students for careers in IT in these industries.
Gina Poole, vice president of developer relations and the IBM Academic Initiative, said the initiative at the University of Arkansas is valued at $7 million this fiscal year, with a potential for renewal for four years valued at $1.2 million per year and will help Walton College students get acquainted with open standards-based technologies and open-source software.
The students will work on the Linux operating system, learn database management on IBMs DB2 database software and learn mainframe computing on an IBM zSeries eServer, Poole said.
"This collaboration with IBM is a landmark event that propels the Walton College into world-class caliber in the area of industrial-strength enterprise information technology," said Fred Davis, professor and chair of the Walton College information systems department and David D. Glass Chair in Information Systems, in a statement. "The partnership also reaffirms IBMs commitment to the college and the firms who sponsor the Walton College Enterprise Systems Programs, including Datatronics, Dillards Inc., J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and others."
Also at the conference, IBM and Red Hat Inc. announced that they have teamed up to deliver Linux training to college students. The two companies said they are working with educators to teach students to master the Linux environment.
The IBM Academic Initiative and Red Hat Academy programs will work together to help develop curricula for students seeking learn skills for building open-source systems.
IBM also Monday announced a new academic curriculum to help improve innovation in the fastest growing part of the U.S. economy: services.
The new curriculum, available through the IBM Academic Initiative program, is called Services Sciences, Management and Engineering (SSME) and is targeted as a graduate-level curriculum, although it could be tailored for an undergraduate setting, IBM sources said. The course was developed via collaboration among IBM, universities, industry partners and government agencies.
The curriculum will use actual case studies of real businesses and scientific programs, particularly in information technology and business services, Poole said.