ORLANDO, Fla. – IBM is working to help bring more students into the world of collaborative software development with a new initiative known as JazzHub, a free cloud-based software development service, that brings IBM’s Jazz development environment to universities.
At its Innovate 2011 conference here, IBM announced JazzHub along with new collaborative software tools as well as projects to help software development teams build the critical skills necessary for today’s highly complex, intelligent product designs.
According to IBM officials, the proliferation of smart products and devices is driving new levels of software design complexity. The demand for software development and engineering skills is expected to grow significantly. In its 2010 Career Guide to Industries Report, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that computer systems design and related professions will add about 656,400 jobs, and realize a 21 percent increase over the next decade, placing it among the top growth professions.
IBM is initiating three new communities to help diverse development teams, whether in a university environment or a traditional developer group, work more efficiently. The new tools can facilitate innovation across dispersed teams as they build software design and development skills to meet industry challenges. The new software development communities support developers in building the skills necessary for the entire collaborative software development process, from initial planning to implementation and operations.
The new JazzHub enables university teams to develop directly on IBM’s Jazz.net Website at no fee and serve as an open ecosystem for students to build new and innovative software applications. Registered university teams can begin development in under a minute, while still having all of the Jazz.net project dashboards to evaluate the status of the project, IBM said. The new JazzHub, powered by IBM Rational Team Concert, a team-based development solution for both traditional and agile planning, gives software and systems engineering students an ecosystem with tools that make software development and deployment a social experience, IBM said in a press release describing the initiative.
Moreover, as technology continues to advance, with more intelligence infused into systems, processes and infrastructure, levels of complexity are also rising for software and systems engineers. To help prepare their students for these challenges, several academic institutions are participating in the JazzHub Beta Program, including the following:
- North Carolina State University will use the JazzHub in future curriculum projects. The institute previously used Jazz for research analyzing information about artifacts and in an online course in Agile software development.
- Tecnol??gico de Monterrey (Mexico) and the University of Macedonia (Greece) will participate in joint development work with the JazzHub to promote collaboration between students across international borders.
- University of Naples (Italy) is working with seven other local universities on a project, entitled “Enforcing Team Cooperation,” which is using the disciplines of software engineering in a collaborative environment to create new applications.
“Software engineering courses are meant to prepare students for the practice of designing, developing, understanding and maintaining software in the real world, and the effectiveness of these courses has a tremendous impact on the software industry,” Jim Yuill, visiting assistant professor of IT at North Carolina State University, said in a statement. “IBM’s continued commitment to provide collaborative tools, at no charge to students, greatly improves the quality of their learning. We’re planning on integrating the JazzHub into our course work immediately.”
Meanwhile, IBM Rational communities on the IBM developerWorks Website will provide developers and students with a collaborative environment where they can engage in conversations about current product use and future technologies. Visitors can use the communities to find the latest technical information such as articles and white papers, blog entries, discussion threads from around the community, product release information, documentation and other information. These communities will help all visitors engage with development teams and technical experts from a single Web location.
Additionally, IBM said the new Knowledge Paths community, hosted by IBM developerWorks, will allow visitors to build technical skills by stepping through professionally developed roadmaps on various technical topics. The first two knowledge paths, focused on IBM Rational Jazz and Agile, are available online.