Latest Happenings In Focus
ST Team
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Red Hat India launches open source community development program

As part of its efforts to encourage open source development in India, Red Hat Inc. recently announced the commencement of an open source community development program, through the launch of a portal http://108.redhat.com/.
The company also celebrated the first Red Hat Developer Day, an event aimed at bringing together Linux developers and users, and through sharing of technical knowledge and expertise, help grow open source technologies, development, techniques, tools and standards.
Red Hat believes that such events and the portal will encourage interaction among the users and developers of open source programs. Such collaboration will help customers define the technical content they need, and, in some cases, help them become editorial voices themselves.

“In the last year, India has been witness to large-scale enterprise deployments of Linux across verticals, including government, financial services and telecommunications,” said Nandu Pradhan, President and Managing Director, Red Hat India. He hoped that the site, apart from reducing barriers to open collaboration between Red Hat, customers, partners, and the open source communities, would also help the large enterprise customers of Red Hat globally.

The portal can draw project members together to solve real problems, making it easier to work with open platforms in various environments, facilitating collaboration and improving software. “A large objective of the Red Hat Developer Program is to bring awareness of the fact that open source makes developers out of everyone,” said Satish Mohan, Head-Engineering, Red Hat India. He said that everyone has the capability to become bug testers, interface designers, idea creators, information architects, and so forth. “We want to connect and empower developers, as well as learn from them,” he added.


IIT and IIM among world’s top institutes

The recent Times of London global ranking of universities shows that the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) are among the world’s best 100 institutes. The university ranking compiled by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) features the prized family of technical and management universities at 57th and 68th positions respectively.

The top slot has been bagged by Harvard University followed by Oxford and Cambridge universities, while the highest-ranked Asian university was Beijing University, taking the 15th spot.

Although the IIT ranking dropped by seven places from last year’s, the IIM’s leapfrogging of 24 notches is believed to be an important achievement. Another Indian institute to join the global ranking bandwagon this year is Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which was ranked at 183 this year, nine points up from last year.

The survey further shows that American and British universities remain nearly half of the world’s top 100 universities. The U.S. leads the race with 33 universities and Britain following with 15, Australia and the Netherlands have seven universities each in the ratings. Switzerland and France have five each. India along with China, Singapore, New Zealand and Belgium has two universities in the league.

John O’Leary, Editor of the THES, suggested that the dominance of American and British universities at the top of the table had something to do with the dominance of English language in the academic world. The rankings were based on a survey by THES of 3,703 academicians worldwide, spanning several disciplines.


Sabeer Bhatia re-launches Arzoo

Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia has relaunched Arzoo.com as a travel portal. The “one-stop online travel shop” would help people book tickets for domestic and international flights, make hotel reservations, buy domestic and international vacation packages, besides finding weekend getaways and service apartments.

Arzoo, meaning ‘wish’ in Hindi, was first launched in 1999 but did not survive the dot-com bust that happened two years later. “We lost a lot of money in a short time and did not get expected returns,” said Bhatia.
Arzoo will soon launch its U.S.toIndia operations, and promises to increase the range of services like car rentals, travel insurance, foreign exchange and visa assistance. “Online travel in the country is expected to grow 10 fold over the next five years and we believe that this represents a great opportunity for us. The need of the hour is to provide customers with a one-stop travel shop that offers them a wide-range of options to choose from and a world class service,” Bhatia said.


Cluster Computing—The Way Ahead

Cluster computing is currently gaining grounds in India. But techies often have doubts and queries about this neophyte technology. Recently, the Bangalore IT Pro User Group organized a forum to create awareness on the trends and usage of cluster computing and also to answer the queries of the participants on the same.

The event saw a motley group of IT and management professionals from companies like Wipro, Hewlett Packard (HP), SunGuard Systems et al. all ears, as seasoned IT professionals Aresh Sarkari, Senior Systems Engineer, HP and Krishna Kumar, Senior Systems Engineer, Thomson India—elucidated the trends, career options and future of cluster computing.

The speakers indicated that there is a high demand for software programmers working in the area of exchange clusters and servers today and it is fast becoming a savvy career optionfor techies. They further mentioned that there would be tremendous demand for the new technology, due to its scalability, availability and high performance, besides being inexpensive x86 boxes that run both on Linux and Windows.


Symphony’s Crescendo goes Agile

Symphony Services’ Bangalore edition of ‘Crescendo’ is a series of technology seminars to enable software professionals meet customer expectations better and understand new vistas in software product research and development. This is the second event in the series of various technology seminars from Symphony Services with the first one being held in Pune on the topic “SaaS”. This time, the company had a discussion on “Agile Software Development Methodology” as the next career opportunity for software professionals.

On the ‘Crescendo’ initiative, Amitava Roy, president, Symphony Services India, said, “This initiative is an opportunity for the software community to get abreast with the newer technologies and trends, that can be the potential areas for adding value to your career graphs in software product engineering.”

Key speakers at the seminar—John Bradway, Software Quality Assurance Manager and Pradeep Prabhakar, Program Manager, Primavera Systems Inc. and Balasubramaniam Muthusamy, Program Manager, Symphony Services—provided various insights into the agile methodologies, such as trends, best practices and challenges while implementing the software and its future in india.
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