IBM Offers Students Free Cloud For Application Development


IBM launched a new initiative at its Innovate2011 conference this week to bring more students into the world of collaborative software development. IBM’s JazzHub and available directly at Jazz.net, a free cloud-based software development service, is aimed at bringing IBM’s Jazz development environment to higher education environments.

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, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Labor In its 2010 Career Guide to Industries that predicts that computer systems design and related professions will add about 656,400 jobs, and realize a 21% increase over the next decade, placing it among the top growth professions.

It’s Rational Team Concert in the cloud,” said Harish Grama, vice president of product development at IBM Rational, who spoke about the Jazz Hub during his keynote presentation at IBM’s annual software developers conference, Innovate. Students can register in under a minute and immediately begin software development in the cloud.

IBM already has thousands of students trying it out, and one University of Florida professor attending the Innovate conference said she expects to include use of the Jazz Hub in her course curriculum. “I’m excited to have this for use,” said Aditi Mukherjee, lecturer in the department of information systems and operations management at the University of Florida. Mukherjee said she anticipates integrating use of Jazz.net into her class curriculum. “I’ll include it in classes next semester for systems analysis and design.”

It’s obvious that IBM hopes that by encouraging a paradigm shift in development practices that such a shift also will lead to adoption of the company’s tools, such as Jazz, Rational, and others. Leveraging the education market should prove to be a good way for IBM to seed a paradigm shift, by focusing on teaching the next generation of programmers new skills and different ways of collaboration.

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