i was in texas this week. big place, lots of technology companies, lots of great colleges but not many people taking computer anymore. over the past few years there has been a noticeable decline in students enrolling in computer science courses, especially among women. i met with professors from the university of texas, texas a&m, st. edwards and utep. just like rutgers, stanford and mit, they have all seen a decline in students majoring in comsci. yet, according to the u.s. department of labor statistics, software engineering will be among the fastest growing occupations between now and 2012. go figure.......
well, here is how i see it. you would say, buell, it is a result of all those smart young folks that lost their jobs during the dot com meltdown. maybe you would tell me it is because every single job in america is moving to india. maybe it is because, if you are a computer science geek, you have to live in a cubicle. i found the real answer. turns out the future is not plastics... it is working in a pharmacy!! mary ann rankin, dean of the college of natural sciences at the university of texas at austin, said the decline in students majoring in computer curriculum is offset by significant increases in areas like pharmacy.
all kidding aside - i.t. has a major image problem. if it is not addressed, it will have profound consequences. the perception of studying for a degree which builds deep i.t. skills is lousy. see any shows on television lately about sexy programmers? on the other hand, popular shows like csi have young students by the droves signing up for biomed and lifesciences. medical forensics is hot, but how many jobs will really be there?
companies today are re-engineering their business processes to gain a competitive advantage. they are looking for people who understand technology and the connection to real business. strong java and open standards skills are in enormous demand. yet those words are far from exciting, if they mean anything, to high school students and their parents.
through the ibm academic initiative we are working with colleges and universities to build course curriculum around life cycle software development. not simply coding and testing. through meaningful partnerships with universities, with our customers and partners - we are making progress. "in demand skills for an on demand world" will help students find better jobs, attract more skilled professionals and help close a dangerous gap that ultimately can affect u.s. innovation and competitiveness.
we've got to change the image. it is software engineering - not computer science. all of us can play a role here. start by going to texas and telling your kids not to believe everything they see on tv![Read More]
General Manager, IBM ISV & Developer Relations
Buell 110000QTMG 261 Visits
Seems like yesterday I was in Nashville, worrying about my college final exams. I had an opportunity to interview with IBM as a sales new-hire and figured why not give it a try. Just two months later I was off to my first training class in Atlanta. My roommate was a fellow from upstate New York and a recent Notre Dame MBA grad-Jim Corgel. Last Friday, Jim and I met for drinks and dinner to celebrate our thirty years with this great company!
You can imagine that a few things have changed over the past three decades (not to mention the color of my hair!). When I joined IBM in 1975, as a naive 21 year old (I am still naive and often accused of behaving as if I were STILL in college), little did I appreciate the strength of IBM as a leader; not just in the IT industry, but in business in general. Since then, as we all know, there have been ups and downs. What has been consistent through it all though is the quality of IBMers like Jim, who make this such an incredibly special place to work. It really isn't about the technology at all, but the values of the people that define a great company.
Sam Palmisano was a young salesman thirty years ago. He understood and appreciated the impact individuals have on defining the quality of a company. Today, we are working hard to deliver that sense of value-integrity, teamwork, innovation, through IBMers and our business partners to our customers and the communities in which we live. The technology industry is far more complex and competitive today than when I started. It will continue to change and transform, just as we will need to as a business. Listening to our customers, delivering value and being personally accountable will make the difference - no matter how the market evolves.
Change is a good thing as long as it is anchored in a set of values. Heck, I used to be a Braves fan- Niekro and Murphy, now I am nuts about the Mets - Pedro and Reyes! I have been very fortunate. I honestly believe I may have the best job in the entire industry, but then I've felt that way in virtually every assignment I've had. After all, its the people that make the difference. This is a very special place. To all the IBMers over the past 30 years and the ones that came before.......here is a toast for you!!![Read More]
Buell 110000QTMG 244 Visits
There is something happening in the technology world with software application providers. There's an obvious change afoot. To succeed today you have to have much more than hot technology. Technology for technology's sake may be interesting, but its not what customers are looking for. They are looking for IT solutions that address real business problems. At last weeks Israel Hi-Tech Conference in Tel Aviv, the message to entrepreneurs was clear. What both small and medium sized companies, as well as large global enterprises like Ford Motor Company want, is value -- not flash. Now, for the thousands of technology firms based in Israel (numbers which may be second only to the United States), that means their technology, as good as it may be, isn't good enough by itself.
What is the secret sauce then? I'd argue it's finding the right partner that genuinely shares your interest and is willing to commit to your success. ISVs want to connect with companies that not only help them build technology and support it, but also reach new markets. Its all about the go to market!! It's partners who can help companies with technology created on one side of the world more effectively reach customers 12 time zones away.
IBM's ISV and Developer Relations, Global Technology Unit (GTU) does just that. They have established relationships with hundreds of Israeli-based technology companies. The GTU brings world class technical support to these businesses locally, including deep expertise from our Haifa Research Lab. More importantly though, they work to connect these companies to IBM customers around the world, linking start-ups and more established ISVs with IBMers and business partners who can help them not just sell but sell more than they or we could by ourselves. Firms like Aduva, Idit and Mainsoft can team with IBM and bring real solutions to customers from Stuttgart to St. Louis.
An IT solution addresses more than just technology. Putting together a solution and reaching your market takes more than just one company. Its about partnership with someone who believes your success is their success![Read More]