February 14, 2008 09:01 ET
The Class of 2.0 -- IBM Teams With Universities on 21st Century Skills
Collaborative Courses at UCLA and NC State Tap Into Web 2.0 and Open Standards Trends
ARMONK, NY--(Marketwire - February 14, 2008) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it is teaming
with University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and North Carolina
State University (NC State) in Raleigh to deliver new courses on
programming languages that have become the foundation of the emerging
web-based economy. These skills are critical for young people entering the
global workforce today.
Businesses today are looking to the next generation of IT experts who
understand the dynamics of the globally-integrated enterprise; who can work
across geographically distributed teams; and easily utilize different
open-standards technology assets to quickly develop enterprise mashups,
plug-ins and other Web 2.0 resources.
As part of today's announcement, IBM is working with UCLA and NC State to
expose students to Web 2.0 technologies using languages such as Java and
Groovy, in addition to programming platforms such as Eclipse and Ruby on
At UCLA, students in computer science class CS130 can opt to work with IBM
mentors on Web 2.0 and Eclipse plug-in projects they themselves design.
Meanwhile, graduate students at NC State in Raleigh have the first-ever
opportunity to get their hands on Project Zero, a new IBM-created Web 2.0
development environment for creating enterprise mashups and rich web
applications for a variety of business needs.
Later this year, IBM will release Lotus Mashups both commercially and at no
charge to the academic community. Lotus Mashups includes an easy-to-use
tool that helps individuals with no IT skills create and share any type of
situational application on the fly. Using Lotus Mashups, business users can
quickly assemble together components from across the Web and in the
enterprise, including functionality built using Project Zero.
According to Connecticut-based labor demand research company Skillproof,
the number of job openings for IT professionals in the United States
increased by 45.2% from 2004 to end of year 2007, with open-standards and
Web 2.0 development skills topping the list of job openings. Even as the
number of IT jobs has declined from mid-2007 through early 2008,
open-computing skills remain proportionately hot.
Choose Your Own Technology Adventure at UCLA
To help prepare students for the ongoing demand for open computing skills
is a class project IBM pioneered for UCLA's CS130 Computer Science class.
"Choose your own (technology) adventure" operates on a simple principle --
harnesses students' interest-areas to shape the coursework rather than on
standard textbooks and syllabi.
Selecting from open technology areas, students propose their own course
projects, ranging from a mobile phone mashup that alerts users about local
events -- to an iTunes-like personal music player that lets users play
music trivia games, share playlists and build communities. From start to
completion, IBM experts provide hands on mentoring to students to boost
their software engineering skills, improve team collaboration and gain
exposure to best-case practices from IBM's own development groups.
"Choose your own (technology) adventure is giving UCLA students a truly
unique opportunity to learn software engineering skills from the best and
brightest at IBM such as working in a team environment while learning
collaboration, networking, rapid decision making," said Professor Paul
Eggert, who teaches the CS130 class in UCLA. "Throughout the project, they
are researching and evaluating technologies and connecting with open source
developers and industry experts. This method is helping us attract more
students to learning about these key technology areas by making things like
Java and Eclipse extremely relevant to their areas of interest. "
With the help of IBM mentors Jeff Tan and his fellow students created an
event planning application called "Bounce" as a part of their CS130 class
last spring -- a learning experience that has inspired Jeff to attempt
other projects -- such as a Web 2.0 gaming portal. "Web 2.0 -- I barely
knew what it was until that quarter, and now I see no way back," he said.
Added teammate Gabe Nataneli: "From a software engineering perspective,
coming up with a well-defined project is one of the biggest challenges.
IBM's course method helps us learn these crucial skills by putting a huge
emphasis on project development and definition," he said. "Students in our
class liked working with IBM because of the freedom 'Choose your own
(technology) adventure' offered. The result is a project we can show to
Now on its fourth quarter at UCLA, over 50 students and 27 IBM mentors have
been working together on mashups, Ruby on Rails and Eclipse plug-in
Project Zero at North Carolina State University
At NC State, an IBM incubator project called Project Zero is being used to
teach students to develop business applications by taking advantage of
simplified programming methods, rich web interfaces, and enterprise
In this spring's graduate level computer science class, students will be
among the first group of developers to work with this new development
environment. They will learn to use Project Zero with Groovy and Java to
develop a time-slot signup system -- a common type of situational business
application -- without the need for in-depth architecting.
The Project Zero incubator is being hosted at projectzero.org.
Bringing open computing skills to the enterprise
IBM's latest efforts expand on its university programs -- emphasizing both
IT and business skills to meet the needs of a competitive, global workforce
at over 2400 universities world-wide for over 2 million students. These
initiatives include a series of mainframe programming skills for Linux
taught at the University of Arkansas to a program designed for the
University of Arizona to help students build, run and manage blogs, wikis
This year, IBM's Academic Initiative plans to dedicate resources world-wide
to drive double digit growth of students reached over 2007. It also plans
to increase the number of world-wide events to host local customers,
software companies and universities on skills such as around large systems
such as IBM System z -- and associated open-standards based middleware.
"By collaborating with universities on new methodologies, the resources
available through its Academic Initiative, IBM is poised to help faculty
and students get an edge on the needs of the marketplace," said Jim Corgel,
general manager of IBM's ISV & Developer Relations group. "The efforts now
taking place at UCLA and NC State are just part of how IBM is helping
universities adapt to the quickly changing world of technology. We
accomplish this by exposing students to tomorrow's technologies today and
sharing best practices from IBM's global development teams."
For more information on the IBM Academic Initiative, visit:
More information about the Project Zero community can be found at the
community website: www.projectzero.org