IBM is stepping up its efforts to attract cloud developers. Big Blue today announced a three-pronged approach that includes a new collaborative platform to help developers stay on top of open source technologies, the release of 50 tools and services to the open source community and partnerships with 200 academic institutions across 36 countries.
The new platform, developerWorks Open, is a cloud-based environment through which developers can download code and access blogs, videos, tools and techniques. The goal is to accelerate their ability to build and deploy open source apps.
IBM has deployed a broad range of technologies on developerWorks Open to support the platform, including projects in key verticals. For instance, IBM has open sourced a number of apps from its MobileFirst portfolio, including the following:
- IBM Ready App for Healthcare. This app tracks patient progress for at-home physical therapy programs via mobile device.
- IBM Ready App for Retail. This app personalizes and reshapes the specialty retail store shopping experience through direct line of communication.
- IBM Ready App for Insurance. This app improves the relationship between homeowners and insurers and uses Internet of Things sensors to synch home with utilities.
- IBM Ready App for Banking. This app helps financial institutions address the mobile needs of business owners and attract prospects.
IBM is also open sourcing a number of analytics technologies, including the following:
- Activity Streams. Activity Streams provides developers with a standard model and encoding format for describing how users engage with both the application and with one another.
- Agentless System Crawler. Agentless System Crawler offers a unified cloud monitoring and analytics framework that enables visibility into cloud platforms and runtimes.
- IBM Analytics for Apache Spark. This puts the analytics capabilities of Spark at your fingertips. A beta is now available on Bluemix.
In addition, IBM is open sourcing cloud data services, including its IBM Object Storage on Bluemix Service Broker, which can be used to integrate OpenStack Swift with Cloud Foundry.
"IBM firmly believes that open source is the foundation of innovative application development in the cloud," Angel Diaz, vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology at IBM, said in a statement Wednesday. "With developerWorks Open, we are open sourcing additional IBM innovations that we feel have the potential to grow the community and ecosystem and eventually become established technologies."
As part of its push, IBM introduced Academic Initiative for Cloud, a program that will bring cloud development curricula using IBM's Bluemix platform-as-a-service to more than 200 universities in 36 countries.
"Putting Bluemix in the hands of today's and tommorrow's innovators creates the opportunity to foster a new generation of talent in cloud application development," Sandy Carter, general manager for Cloud Ecosystem and Developers at IBM, said in a statement Wednesday.
The program will put cloud application development technologies, including Internet of Things applications and the cognitive capabilities of Watson Analytics, into the hands of students. Through the program, faculty will receive 12 months of access to the Bluemix trial for themselves and up to six months of access for students in their program. The accounts will be renewable and won't require a credit card.
Participating institutions include the following:
- Ben-Gurion University (Israel)
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Imperial College of Science (England)
- International Institute of Information Technology (India)
- National College of Ireland
- National University of Singapore
- Northwestern University
- University of California Berkeley
- University of California Irvine
- University of Cambridge
- University of Southern California
- University of Stuttgart
- University of Texas Austin
- University of Tokyo
Big Blue also announced an expansion of its partnership with Girls Who Code and a new collaboration with GSVlabs on the ReBoot Accelerator for Women program to aid in the diversification of the tech talent pipeline.
IBM has been hosting a class of female high school students in New York City for a seven-week summer immersion program with Girls Who Code. It plans to further expand the relationship in 2016 to support additional programs in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin.
Meanwhile, ReBoot Accelerator for Women is designed to help women become current, connected and confident when they return to work after a multi-year sabbatical. IBM plans to hose a number of instructional sessions focused on cloud development using Bluemix. It will also provide mentorship and assistance with job placement strategies in an effort to attract more women back to the workplace, including at IBM.