Thursday, July 24, 2008

More DB2 Student Ambassadors hired by IBM

One of the benefits of becoming a DB2 Student Ambassador is that you can showcase your skills and network with different IBM employees. This was the case of Nuno Job, a DB2 Student Ambassador from the University of Minho, Portugal. Nuno became a DB2 Student ambassador after attending a DB2 on Campus presentation at his university, and delivered by one of my colleagues (Vitor Rodrigues). After volunteering to work on several tasks (one of them was the development of some Industry bundle demos, and working on the DB2 on Campus community web site), he impressed several IBMers with his skills and hard work. This is how he got his one-year internship at IBM in New York which will start this October. Congratulations Nuno!

Another example is the one from Caroline Beatriz Perlin, a student from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) in Sao Carlos, Brazil. Caroline volunteered in many DB2 on Campus related tasks organizing DB2 certification events and getting certified herself on DB2. She also worked voluntarily at the Center of Training in Databases at her university where she studied DB2 in detail with other classmates; and helped translate the Getting Started with DB2 Express-C book from English to Portuguese. This is how she networked with Hiro, an IBM Brazil employee and UFSCar alumni, and through this relationship, she joined IBM Brazil, first as an intern, and now full-time as a DB2 DBA!

Then we have the example of Sara Perez, a student at UNITEC in Mexico City. Sara was a DB2 Student Ambassador in 2007 and was the president of the DB2 User Group at her university. Thanks to her initiatives, several of her classmates including herself became certified on DB2 as "Database Associates". After graduating, Sara "passed the torch" to her classmate Lourdes Fragoso, who became the new president of the group, and who continued pushing even further to obtain the DB2 DBA certification. Even though Sara was no longer a student, she kept in touch with the group, and prepared with them for the DB2 DBA exam which she successfully passed with Lourdes. Now Sara is working as a contractor at IBM through an IBM business partner. Congratulations Sara!

Lastly...before this blog entry gets too long, we have the "case" of Felix Mahimai, a Master's student at Politecnico di Milano, in Milan, Italy. Felix became a DB2 Student Ambassador after one of my visits at his school in 2007. As a DB2 Student Ambassador, Felix has been in constant contact with a manager at IBM Italy (Carla) who organizes the Italian DB2 on Campus visits. He is working now on translating the Getting started with DB2 Express-C book to Italian, and trying to continue the work that Nuno started with the community DB2 on Campus portal at (Ruby on Rails application). Recently Felix was selected to join IBM Italy on a 3-month internship position!.

Becoming a DB2 Student Ambassador is not a guarantee for a job at IBM or any other company, but if you have the willingness and put the effort, it can allow you to become "visible" to different employers, and open you the doors to the career you want... So don't be shy and participate! You can read more about this program at the community DB2 on Campus portal: including other student testimonials.

Networking: The key to finding the job you want!

When I was a student, I attended several seminars to learn how to find a job after graduation. Several of these seminars indicated that "Networking" was the number one method of landing the perfect job at the company you dreamed to work for. Now that I work for IBM, in a job I really enjoy, I can confirm this is very true. When I deliver presentations to students, I also provide them with hints about finding work, and I often say:

"Don't wait until you graduate to apply for jobs. Don't just send your resume by email or regular mail to the Human Resources department of a company. Instead, take advantage of visits from company employees (like me!) to network and get good contacts."

On some occasions, many students would approach me after the presentation, and indeed try to network with me. Surprisingly though, in most universities I visited, students are shy, and only one or two approach me after the presentation. But these one or two students, are the ones who eventually become DB2 Student Ambassadors, and in some cases end up being hired by IBM! So... network! network! network!

Cheers, Raul.

New DB2 on Campus community Web site

The growing student and faculty DB2 on Campus community has created a new site: This site is ran by students and currently hosted at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) in Sao Carlos, Brazil!. Several parts of the site are still under construction, but what is already available explains the DB2 on Campus program and how it can benefit students, teachers and DB2 professionals. Check it out!

DB2 on Campus program redesigned in 2008

Starting in 2008, the DB2 on Campus program has been redesigned as follows:

1. It promotes the IBM Academic Qualification (AQ) Program. The AQ program has been running successfully in Latin America since 2002, and it's main objective is to include DB2 in the university curriculum, and prepares the students (to a certain extent) to be ready to become DB2 certified.

2. DB2 Express-C is not the only software that is promoted/demo-ed, but also Rational Data Architect (RDA) (a modelling tool) and IBM Data Studio (a full lifecycle data management solution for database application development and management.)

3. The introductory DB2 on Campus presentation used this year is about Web 2.0 and DB2 demos. In this presentation, we discuss the importance of XML as the foundation of SOA and Web 2.0, and how DB2 supports XML with pureXML™ technology. A few demos are provided, one of them about an application using Ruby on Rails and DB2 Express-C, and another one showing how to create Data Web Services in IBM Data Studio.

The redesigned DB2 on Campus program has been successfully deployed in some ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam) where we reached almost 2000 students and 150 teachers in about 50 different universities! It will be later deployed in some countries in Europe.


Learn DB2 Express-C in one day (OK, maybe in two!) from these free resources

Videos, PDF presentations or a book - choose the format you prefer to learn DB2 Express-C quickly! The content is the same but in multiple formats:

- Download and watch the DB2 on Campus Videos
- Review the DB2 on Campus presentations (PDF included when downloading the videos)
- Review the book “Getting Started with DB2 Express-C

Hands-on exercises (“Quicklabs”) are included. Moreover, the “Getting Started with DB2 Express-C” book is available in several languages including Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, and Portuguese (Brazil). The translated versions of the book can be found with the English version here, and were translated by volunteers of the DB2 community!

This material is also used during the two-day DB2 on Campus instructor workshop. It is also included in the DB2 on Campus DVD that is distributed during DB2 on Campus presentations worldwide.

On a recent visit to Indonesia, the Indonesian Ministry of Education indicated they would be uploading these videos to their online e-learning system reaching at least 14,000 students!

Cheers, Raul.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

DB2 on Campus Program - How it started

DB2 Express-C, the free edition of DB2 was announced on January of 2006. Given that I was traveling to Brazil to deliver training to IBM Business Partners, I took this as an opportunity to promote DB2 Express-C, and pureXML technology at universities in Brazil.

My visit coincided with riots taking place in Sao Paulo, and I almost had to return to Canada!. Fortunately the situation improved, and I was able to visit 5 universities in the area. Organizing these events required a lot of planning from the local team, so canceling last minute would have been a big problem.

The presentations were very successful. The IBM Brazil team did an amazing job to get a great audience for the presentations (close to 500), and I was glad I received comments like "This was a very interesting presentation. I normally don't stay for the entire duration of a presentation, but I really enjoyed this one!". From my part, one of the things I like the best about Brazil is the people!. They are very hospitable, happy and kind.

I started blogging about "DB2 on Campus" in the DB2 Express-C blog but from now on, I will be blogging here since it's more specific to DB2 on Campus activities.

Send me a note or comment on this post if you'd like to join as a contributor to this blog.

Cheers, Raul.

Welcome to the DB2 on Campus blog!

Hello everyone,

I'm starting this blog to talk about things mainly related to the DB2 on Campus program. If you'd like to be a regular contributor to this blog, send me a note or comment on this entry to contact you!. The blog is mainly in English, but feel free to write things on your own native language.

Let's start blogging!

Cheers, Raul.