IBM has a long-standing commitment to provide its best technology to colleges and universities around the world through its Power Systems Academic Initiative (PSAI). Professors get free or low cost access to IBM systems and software, and in return, students have cutting edge skills when they join the workforce. IBM clients are able to find and hire the skills they need, thus building a complete ecosystem.
And that ecosystem is all the more robust when educators can also add critical application development environments. PHP is the world’s most popular development language for web and mobile web sites, and is especially well-suited to IBM i customers who want to modernize their RPG and COBOL applications without a wholesale re-write of the application logic.
Academic curricula for PHP is available for colleges and universities participating in IBM’s PSAI. The curricula is tailored to the IBM i developer; students connect remotely to an IBM i server where they build and run PHP applications.
There are currently 32 member schools currently using the Zend PHP curricula to ensure that the next generation of developers is skilled in web and mobile development, as well as in Power Systems technology.
The PSAI program includes “PHP Foundations for IBM i Professionals,” which is designed for developers who are familiar with IBM i but new to PHP. It starts with basic PHP concepts, taught in a procedural programming style and in the context of IBM i terminology. It’s an excellent way for traditional IBM i developers to get comfortable with a development environment built for application modernization.
Once students grasp the fundamentals, professors can then offer “PHP II: Higher Structures.” This course introduces students to the higher level PHP concepts, including a detailed introduction to object oriented programming. Students will apply advanced language and web development methodologies to create more advanced web-based PHP and mobile back-end applications. The class provides students with the skills and knowledge required to advance to modern PHP enterprise grade Frameworks development.
With this solid foundation, professors can then offer introductory and advanced courses in Zend Framework. Often called a “component library,” Zend Framework lets developers build applications using advanced design patterns and object-oriented components. It gives students a highly modular approach that is efficient and well suited to satisfying user demand for consuming business data from “any device, any where, any time.”
And although professors can leverage the PHP Foundations course that is specific to IBM i, professors also have the options of teaching PHP using Zend Server running on Linux on Power. Linux on Power leverages all the performance advantages of POWER8 while running Linux distributions that open source developers recognize: Ubuntu and RedHat.
PHP courseware from Zend Server helps professors deliver cutting edge computer science curricula on a hardware platform that used by thousands of businesses large and small. Students develop great skills that will be the highlight of the resumes, and employers can hire with confidence—a win-win-win for the IBM Power Systems ecosystem!