SysMag PSAIDec2017 (PDF)

File information

Title: ibmsystemsmag_ibmsystems_power_201712_Offline.pdf
Author: lenovo

This PDF 1.6 document has been generated by Adobe Acrobat Pro 11.0.0 / Acrobat Distiller 11.0 (Windows), and has been sent on on 05/12/2017 at 16:58, from IP address 75.135.x.x. The current document download page has been viewed 609 times.
File size: 5.42 MB (6 pages).
Privacy: public file

File preview

December 2017



Stefanie Chiras talks
AI and POWER9 in 2018

Getting on board
with PowerAI

Academic Initiative
strengthens Power
skills pipeline

The Path to Po
The Academic Initiative ensures a steady supply
of skilled developers and administrators
By Kristin Lewotsky k Illustration by Richard Mia


ometimes a CIO’s most
challenging task isn’t
finding the right hardware
or software, it’s finding the right
peopleware. Organizations depend
upon the IBM Power Systems*
platform to run mission-critical
workloads ranging from online
transaction processing to reports
and analytics to mobile apps. To
keep those workloads running
requires skilled staff.
The challenge is that the
programmers and system

administrators who came of age with the
Power Systems platform are now retiring and taking
their skills with them. Fortunately, IBM can help. Just
as design teams constantly upgrade Power Systems
hardware and developers increase the number and
availability of software options, IBM also has a
program focused on people—the IBM Power Systems
Academic Initiative (PSAI) (
The PSAI was launched 21 years ago with
an explicit mission: To work with colleges and
universities worldwide to connect individuals
with in-demand Power Systems skills to IBM
clients. The program equips schools with the
materials, technology and resources to effectively


The IBM Power Systems
Academic Initiative (PSAI)
collaborates with academia and
industry to deliver in-demand
Power Systems skill sets.

The program provides free
teaching materials, covering
AIX, IBM i and Linux.

The associated job board
facilitates matchmaking between
employers and potential

The PSAI Academic Cloud gives
students practical experience.

For best results, organizations
need to get involved with their
local schools to weigh in on
curricula and begin recruiting
students early.

k By the Numbers

in operation

Academic Cloud
Environment with
POWER7+ and
POWER8 hardware

20 // DECEMBER 2017

wer Careers
teach Power Systems skills
and applications—at no
charge. Program staff work
to connect educators with
the local Power Systems
business community to foster
collaboration. All of the elements
and features of the PSAI work to
advance the ultimate goal: filling
staffing needs for IBM clients.

Real-World Skills
The program is built around a
four-part structure that includes
IBM courseware, IBM educational
resources, a job board and the
Power Systems Academic Cloud,
all of which IBM provides to
participating schools at no cost.
The current lineup includes
specific courses for AIX*,

Name: Kristian Broggi
School: Catawba Valley
Community College
Degree: Associate degree in
computer programming
“We primarily studied CL and RPGLE,
both of which I use regularly at my place
of employment, all on the IBM i series.
I actively code RPG, SQL, CL and even
maintain existing COBOL applications.
I also took advantage of the PSAI job
board to look for work and internships;
that is how I got in contact with
some of the companies
I interviewed with.”

IBM i and Linux*. Written by IBM
professionals, courses are classified
as a beginner, intermediate and
advanced, and they frequently
have specific objectives. Given
the longstanding availability
of Linux on POWER*, the PSAI
includes a full slate of Linux
courses, including individual
courses on installing and running
Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE Linux.
IBM i offerings include courses targeting
Linux professionals who need to learn
RPG programming for IBM i, or using SQL,
for example. And AIX courses cover topics such
as AIX jump starts for UNIX* professionals, AIX
storage-area networking management and TCP/IP for
AIX administration.
South University in Savannah, Georgia has taken
advantage of the PSAI to offer IBM courses to the 550
students in its Information Systems and Technology

department. “We wanted to
provide our students with
employable skills out of every
single course,” says Department
Chair Angelo Thalassinidis. “We

Linux on

Job board
with more than

visitors DECEMBER 2017 // 21

found the answer in the IBM
With the help of graduates
who have entered the workforce,
Thalassinidis has been educating
students on the value of
learning skills such as RPG.
“We are showing them the job
possibilities,” he says. “We
have three workshops where
we can teach them RPG. If they
are dedicated and give us four
weekends, we will do a 30- to
40-hour workshop and give them
a good background.”

Embracing New
The PSAI isn’t just about
replacement skills, though.
“We need skills to support the
IBM i install base, but we need
to look at the future as well,”
says Peter T. Glass, program
manager for the PSAI. In the
last several months, the PSAI
has added courseware from Red
Hat encompassing both Red Hat
Linux administration training
and application development.
SUSE courses include SUSE
storage management and SUSE
administration. Rogue Wave
Software has contributed PHP

What Can You Do?
Help support the talent pool you’ll draw from tomorrow:

Get involved with your local university. Work on an advisory board to help
colleges develop the curriculum that addresses your business needs.
Encourage your staff to guest lecture at nearby schools. Topics can range
from specific skills to a discussion of their particular career path.
Have your IT shop occasionally assist with technical support of the
university systems. Students can learn a great deal and professors who
are operating outside of their primary skill set will appreciate the aid.
Offer internships. By the time students near graduation, many already have
jobs lined up. Get involved in their education early for the best choices.
Post open positions on the Power Systems Academic Initiative job board.

and Zend Framework materials:
hypertext preprocessing (PHP)
courses and Framework 2 courses
for developing web applications
and services with PHP.
“A good mixture of resources is
available for IBM clients, whether
they need legacy skills or because
their workforce is retiring or
because they need new staff or
to train existing staff to address
up-and-coming business needs,”
says Glass. “Regardless of what
organizations require, the PSAI
has a strategy in place to help
provide it.”
Participating schools can also
take advantage of additional

k By the Numbers

Since 2012,
the number of
schools has risen
from 135 to over


IBM educational resources
such as IBM technical libraries,
Redbooks* publications and
IBM subject-matter experts. This
includes a “Teach the Teachers”
program, which enables professors
at colleges and universities who
may not have Power Systems
knowledge to take a deep dive in
the technology and equip them to
more effectively teach it to their
Of course, programming
and system administration are
hands-on subjects. That’s why
a key aspect of the Academic
Initiative program is the
Power Systems Academic Cloud.

More than

300 colleges
and universities using
Academic Cloud

22 // DECEMBER 2017


Through this valuable resource,
schools can give their students
free round-the-clock access
to a dedicated PSAI system
that includes POWER7+* and
POWER8* servers for teaching
and research.

Filling Job Openings
The final component of the
program is perhaps the most
immediately relevant to CIOs
and IT shops: the PSAI job
board (,
where organizations can post
openings for internships,
entry-level positions and
experienced employees.
By offering internships,
organizations give students
experience with the technology
while working in the corporate
world. At the same time, those
internships enable IT shops to
gauge the best fits for later hires.
Michael Picerno, director for
computer science and criminal
justice at Baker College in Flint,
Michigan, took a pair of students
to the COMMON Conference
and Expo last year. They were
hired on the spot, with multiple

companies vying for their skills. “Those employers
Since 2012, the number of
needed employees so badly that they were just
participating schools has risen
looking for someone who was educated and
from 135 to over 600. Although
trainable,” says Picerno. “One of the employers said
the program is flourishing, the
that they would train them on RPG. That’s how in
management team continually
demand these students were.”
focuses on new skills and
Baker offers both on-site and online courses. The
technologies to better serve
curriculum includes minors in IBM i and information
future needs of the IBM client
systems. Picerno is adding an IBM i minor that will
base. “Going forward, we will
include courses on CL programming and RPG, as well be adding offerings to support
as other offerings such as IBM Watson* technology,
IBM’s directions in big data
Db2*, Web Query and Cognos.
and cognitive computing,” says
The school’s online offerings have become
Glass. “We have a pilot school
increasingly popular with corporate IT shops
running big data courseware
that want to augment existing employees’ skills.
now. We know it’s important to
“Companies send valued employees they want
our clients, so we are committed
to promote but who don’t have specific skill
to making it a part of the PSAI.”
sets,” says Picerno. “They take a range of classes.
In a separate development, the
There are lots of instances for
PSAI has been extended to high
professional development
schools, particularly those
where IT departments
with science, technology,
want somebody they
engineering and math
Name: Ben Leon
currently employ
(STEM) programs.
School: Gateway Technical College
to add to their
The experience will
Degree: Software development
better equip high
“The program was geared toward
school students
Power Systems. RPG was the main
for college-level
Plans for
course that I took, and that is the main
courses once
the Future
technology that is being used at my
they graduate,
As the
employer. Just getting introduced to
RPG and Power Systems was pretty
to work with
trend grows, so
fascinating. This is what business
does the PSAI:
runs on. It’s not phones; it’s

the big computer running in
the back room.”


More than
participating schools

68 countries

courses DECEMBER 2017 // 23

hardware and software once they
are working in the industry.

Creating Talent
The core mandate of educators
is to educate, but above all, they
want to provide students with
employable skills. This goal puts
the focus on collaborating with
the industry to discover what
capabilities are in demand and
helping students acquire them—
but that’s easier said than done.
“What happens in the corporate
world is that you are assigned
deliverables this morning that
are due yesterday,” Thalassinidis
says. “I understand that, but
there’s a skills gap in many
companies and that gap keeps
growing. If IT departments don’t
take time to work with our school

A Matchmaking Service
IBM clients with limited time may be
wondering where to start. Fortunately, at its
core, the IBM Power Systems* Academic
Initiative (PSAI) is a matchmaking service.
“If, after reading this article, an IBM client
is interested in finding member schools in
their area, we are happy to facilitate those
relationships,” says Janet Caruccio, project
manager for the PSAI. “We can reach out
to see what the school is teaching and the
client can work with them to help develop
curriculum for the skills they need.”
Clients can email
com with questions.
and others like it, they will end up paying the price.”
The organizations ready to be part of the solutions
are the ones who will have the opportunity to hire
the best and brightest. “Don’t just call us and say that

24 // DECEMBER 2017

you need five people yesterday,”
says Thalassinidis. “Help us
develop people with the skills
you need. Let’s sit down together
and collaborate, and perhaps in
a year from now you will have a
steady pipeline of job candidates
to choose from.”
That flexibility goes beyond
member schools to the PSAI
itself. “If there are other skills
that clients need, we want to
hear about it so we can enhance
our program to satisfy the need,”
says Janet Caruccio, project
manager for the PSAI. “At its
core, this program serves our
Kristin Lewotsky is a freelance
technology writer based in Amherst,
New Hampshire.

Download SysMag PSAIDec2017

SysMag_PSAIDec2017.pdf (PDF, 5.42 MB)

Download PDF

Share this file on social networks


Link to this page

Permanent link

Use the permanent link to the download page to share your document on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or directly with a contact by e-Mail, Messenger, Whatsapp, Line..

Short link

Use the short link to share your document on Twitter or by text message (SMS)


Copy the following HTML code to share your document on a Website or Blog

QR Code to this page

QR Code link to PDF file SysMag_PSAIDec2017.pdf

This file has been shared publicly by a user of PDF Archive.
Document ID: 0000704811.
Report illicit content