Over the past months, I’ve attended events and workshops run by three of the best-known (and biggest) IT vendors – Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.
And, three common themes have been emerging about where the IT industry is heading, and what skills students need to have by the end of a degree within a Computing discipline.
First Mobile. A substantial amount of Computing now goes on within mobile devices, whether these are phones or tablets. Students need to be able to develop apps and mobile websites for different purposes and to present a seamless experience, whether a site is being accessed on a mobile or desktop device.
Second, Social. Integrating social media technology into applications and web sites is essential, both to ensure that content can go viral and to increase the uptake of that content.
Thirdly, Cloud. Developing software and data that is only available on one device is of limited use. Even for something as a game to be successful, it would want to have the opportunity for people to compete against one another and have scores appear in a single high score table. This is something which requires remote storage of the data.
All three of these themes clearly link together. For instance, a mobile web site could be developed to store all of its data in the cloud so that it can be accessed from any device. It could use “Login With Facebook” to speed up access to the site and to promote activity on the site automatically on Facebook.
The challenge will be to what extent universities respond to these changes and integrate these skills within the technical remit of their courses. Certainly, an interesting area to explore further, particularly in my case, the more technical social media opportunities.