March 17, 2008 08:00 ET

IBM Helps Universities Prepare Future Software Leaders for Globalization

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2008) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is helping leading universities prepare students for how the software industry is evolving due to globalization. Universities are challenged to provide textbook and hands-on experience that adequately prepares students to compete in the global economy. To rectify this learning gap, IBM is awarding six research grants to universities educating the next generation of software developers.

Historically, managing software development projects was done in relative isolation, with software development tools designed to make individual developers more productive. Due to globalization, today software development is more complex, with managing projects that span geographic and organizational boundaries emerging as one of the technology industry's biggest challenges. IBM is tackling this problem head on by arming universities with technology and research grants that can prepare the next generation of software developers -- and future software leaders.

"The challenges faced by today's software developers are about team collaboration, productivity and working across borders and time zones. It's important for our students to understand the global dynamics of software development and Jazz provides us with a platform for that," said Dr. Frank Maurer, head of the Agile Software Engineering group at the University of Calgary. "The IBM Jazz projects we are conducting help our students investigate how to improve communication and collaboration in globally distributed teams using leading edge technology from one of the best software companies in the world."

Every year IBM awards universities with grants allowing the next generation of developers to research software development team collaboration on a global scale. The new research grants will help students embrace programming and software development as a team rather than solitary activity:

-- Brown University is exploring JAZZing for Help and Review to enable undergraduate teaching assistants to remotely supervise and assist students on their projects within Jazz, even though the teaching assistants are not team members.

-- Carnegie Mellon is developing capabilities to support coordination among developers, based on communication and dependency data in the Jazz technology platform.

-- North Carolina State is using its grant to create an educational environment that is more representative of the IT industry's distributed, virtual, and collaborative environment. North Carolina State is researching how to enhance the Jazz technology platform to include distributed pair programming between members of a team and helping students to be part of a collaborative, distributed team within this environment.

-- Saarland University in Germany is examining the data gathered throughout Jazz's collaborative development process to improve code quality.

-- The University of Calgary received two Jazz research grants: AP Jazz will link its synchronous AgilePlanner tool with the Jazz Team Server and integrate test-driven development with Agile project management, while Kode1061 examines providing a social networking platform for software development through a Jazz plug-in.

Products built on the IBM Jazz technology platform allow a global team of developers in multiple countries spanning several time zones to truly collaborate with one another. Some universities are using commercial products based on Jazz technology, such as IBM Rational Team Concert, in the classroom to provide students with a real-world experience of working in large distributed teams. IBM Rational Team Concert is a collaborative environment designed to improve team productivity by enabling real-time communication and collaboration across software delivery teams.

Educating the Next Generation of Developers

Whether at universities or industry conferences, next generation software developers have many opportunities to learn about the future of software development, IBM's Jazz technology platform and IBM Rational Team Concert.

This week at EclipseCon, IBM will host a Developer Day featuring Jazz technology. Eclipse continues to be the core technology in hundreds of commercial products from IBM as well as a number of research projects. IBM Distinguished Engineers Erich Gamma and John Weigand, among other IBM experts, will host an IBM Developer Day on Tuesday, March 18, in Ballroom D at EclipseCon. Topics for IBM Developer Day include "Collaborative Software Development - Developing Software like a band plays Jazz"; "Introduction to the Jazz Technology Platform - Architecture and Extensibility Overview"; "Source Control in Jazz - Agile team development with Rational Team Concert"; and "Digital Communities: Transforming the Future of Software Development." The day will conclude with demonstrations, a reception and Jazz Live! poster session at 8 p.m.

On April 2, 2008 at Virginia Tech, Jazz will be featured in a lecture sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The local ACM student chapter serves as a node of activity for people who share a common interest in computers. Fellow Virginia Tech student and IBM co-op John Ryding will share his experiences working with IBM on the development of the Jazz technology platform and its uses within a large globally integrated enterprise, like IBM, as well as how Jazz technology can be applied to educational advancement and student research.

IBM provides more than 1,200 free tutorials and over 1,200 software technology downloads available to students through its developerWorks site, plus additional resources for course material and curricula development to faculty through its Academic Initiative. Through, IBM offers over 250 course modules on software topics to more than 2,400 member schools, including 56 courses on Rational software with many more new courses being added soon, all of which are available at no cost. In 2008, IBM is offering more than 200 in-person faculty training and workshops on topics including software development, open source initiatives, security, software testing, software architecture and design.

New developers can also tap into information for free on the IBM developerWorks Jazz Space. This Space is the developerWorks focal point for all things Jazz, allowing developers to access IBM's global network of resources. They also gain access to wikis, news, events, products built on Jazz such as Rational Team Concert, technical articles, tutorials and other information about Jazz.

IBM also recently announced its first software Innovation and Collaboration Lab on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in Rochester, NY. This new lab will further provide future software developers with real-world Web-based technologies that better enable collaboration across global economies. As companies increasingly use Web-based technologies to capitalize on new business opportunities, IBM's investment in future developers at RIT is the latest in a series of efforts to address the anticipated IT skills shortage. IBM's university programs bring open software computing and business skills to meet the needs of the enterprise at over 2,400 universities worldwide, reaching over two million students.

For more information on the IBM Jazz Technology Platform, go to

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