Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Institute aims to encourage local software

Institute aims to encourage local software

To strengthen the country's software industry, Sripatum University is collaborating with Software Park Thailand and a private company, initially to establish the Information Science Institute.

Published on December 18, 2007

The move is an attempt to lift the profile of the software industry and requires not only research and development in many areas of software but also training as well as collaboration between academic institutions and the private sector to offer job opportunities in software areas.

Manoo Ordeedolchest, chairman of the committee for information and communication technology policy at Sripatum University, said the institute is designed to provide an advanced software laboratory, training and career opportunities for the local software industry.

The institute's first function is training and certification and a three-month software engineer and software architect course for 30 people is to begin next month.

Second, it will provide a diploma course for graduate students who want to be trained in software engineering and software architecture. This programme is scheduled to be launched by the middle of next year. The last training effort will be a Master of Science course for software engineers and software architects, expected to be ready by 2009.

Normally, around 13,000 to 14,000 students graduate per year from IT-related courses in such subjects as computer business, information systems, management-information systems and information technology, but only 3,000 to 4,000 graduate from software engineering, computer engineering and computer science courses and enter the information and communication technology industry. The remainder join businesses which use software systems.

The institute aims to train these 3,000 to 4,000 software-engineer, computer-engineer and computer-science graduates into professional programmers to serve the supply side of the software industry.

Meanwhile, the institute aims to train the other IT-related graduate students to become basic professional programmers, aiming for about 10,000 people per year. These people will move to the demand side of the local software industry. The basic professional programmers are people with the ability to develop application software - sometimes called situated software - applications developed to serve specific situations or purposes under the Software as a Service model.

These people will become casual programmers who can develop basic applications for company business units such as payroll, staff management, accounting and purchasing.

Apart from training, the Information Science Institute is also to provide a facility for software development among local software companies and universities. The facility will play the role of an advanced software lab and be established as separate research and development units linked together in the same network.

"The advanced software lab could be located at Sripatum University or at Software Park. It will work as a proof-of-concept facility for research and development around Service Oriented Architecture technology, especially what's known as Enterprise Service Bus," said Manoo.

The role of the advanced software lab is to investigate new software technologies and research how to apply the new technologies to enhance local small and medium enterprise's business capabilities.

The institute will be managed by Sripatum University, Software Park Thailand and other private companies and universities.

The board of Software Park Thailand has already approved the establishment of the institute and provided seed money of Bt5 million per year to operate the institute.

Another main function of the institute is to provide employment for software engineers and software architects who have passed through all its training programmes. The institute will collaborate with the Association of Thai Information and Communication Technology Industry to encourage software engineers and software architects from the institute's training programmes to work in the companies of association members.

Around 40 to 50 firms who are local software companies' customers in various sectors will join this program to provide jobs for software engineers and software architects from the institute's graduates.

"After this programme is launched officially next year, many universities and private companies will be welcome to join the scheme as well," said Manoo.

Asina Pornwasin

The Nation

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