IBM has opened up a selection of its apps in the cloud to help the open-source community bring products to market faster, and announced partnerships with over 200 universities to train future developers.
IBM is one of the biggest IT firms in the world, and often uses its own funds to stimulate software development and help educate the next generation of technology experts.
The latest move is the launch of developerWorks Open, a cloud-based environment through which developers can access IBM technologies and expertise and collaborate with others.
IBM is making available over 50 of its own apps to the open-source community to spur development and enterprise adoption of new tools for mobile, analytics and other high-growth areas.
"IBM firmly believes that open source is the foundation of innovative application development in the cloud. 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," said the firm's vice president of cloud architecture and technology, Dr Angel Diaz.
Among the apps being released to open source is a selection from the firm's MobileFirst Ready App portfolio for Apple devices, aimed at the healthcare, retail, insurance and banking sectors.
IBM is also open sourcing analytics technologies including IBM Analytics for Apache Spark, Activity Streams and Agentless System Crawler that offers a unified cloud monitoring and analytics framework.
Developers will be able to download the code, and have access to blogs, videos, tools and techniques to accelerate their own projects, IBM said.
Also announced is the Academic Initiative for Cloud, which is aimed at fostering the next generation of developers through a partnership between IBM and over 200 universities in various countries round the globe.
The initiative will see IBM provide access to resources on its Bluemix developer cloud, as well as working with the universities to set their curricula.
By making Bluemix available this way, IBM will equip the developers of tomorrow with the capabilities and skills to join the workforce and create enterprise-class cloud applications at consumer scale, the firm said.
"Putting Bluemix in the hands of today's and tomorrow's innovators creates the opportunity to foster a new generation of talent in cloud application development," said Sandy Carter, IBM's general manager for cloud ecosystem and developers.
Faculty members at participating universities will receive 12 months' access to the Bluemix trial for themselves, with up to six months' access for students in their programme. Faculty and student accounts are renewable and do not require a credit card, IBM said.
As well as US institutions such as Carnegie Mellon and the University of Southern California, the list of participating universities includes Cambridge University and the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in the UK, plus others in 36 countries.
The open-source cloud development plans come on the back of a disappointing set of results for IBM, which recently reported its thirteenth consecutive fall in revenues.
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