One of Sun's long-term involvements with higher education has been the creation and support the company has provided to the Campus Ambassador Program, which now has representatives on the campuses of 170 universities located in 30 countries. Sun's purpose in this venture is to provide academic developers with the educational tools and resources they need to cultivate important IT skills, participate in today's global economy, and contribute to the innovation of new technologies.
The more than 170 student evangelists will introduce Sun platforms to academic developers, including the SolarisTM 10 Operating System (Solaris OS); JavaTM-based technologies; community projects such as the OpenSolarisTM project and OpenSPARCR project; and the NetBeansTM integrated development environment and Sun StudioTM software tools.
Sun provides its student ambassadors with free training and support to give them the proficiency to demonstrate these technologies throughout the academic year. The ambassadors are also trained to help student developers take advantage of Sun's robust portfolio of high-value, no-cost resources, such as free web-based training, free developer tools, open source technologies and communities, and easily accessible technical support via forums and communities.
"The next great technology innovation can come from anywhere," said Kim Jones, VP of Global Education, Government and Health Sciences for Sun Microsystems. "It's as likely to be invented by a student in China or India as one in London or Silicon Valley. Sun's goal is to empower academic developers through sharing, collaboration and open innovation -- the key elements of what we at Sun refer to as the Participation Age. The Campus Ambassador Program lets students help each other gain hands-on experience with leading-edge, open source technologies. Not only will these students be prepared to compete in the global economy -- they'll go on to create amazing new innovations, and we will all benefit."
Both the Campus Ambassador Program and Sun's Academic Initiative (SAI), a collaborative program between Sun and academic institutions, enable Solaris 10 developers to gain the skills they need to meet immediate business challenges and to gain industry-recognized credentials. As part of this program, non-profit institutions (not individuals) become authorized, enabling those institutions to deliver training on Sun technologies to their faculty, staff and students. In addition, Sun offers academic developers free access to selected online courses through the Sun Learning Center.
Sun is also working with student developers through the NetBeans community and the University of Kent in the U.K., where developers produced the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition, a new version of the open source NetBeans IDE. This freely available edition of NetBeans offers a seamless migration path for students transitioning from educational tools such as BlueJ to a full-featured, professional IDE. More details on the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition are available in article .
The Campus Ambassador Program and the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition are both part of the Sun Developer Network (SDN) Academic Developer Program. Since 2005, this program has extended Sun's resources for the developer community to students, researchers and faculty around the world. The program aims to increase the access that students have to educational developer tools, thus helping them graduate with the skills they need to contribute to the advancement of technology.
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