Willie Tejada, Chief Developer Advocate, IBM
Willie Tejada, Chief Developer Advocate, IBM

Empower developers to solve the world’s problems—smarter, faster, together. That’s our creed, our mission, our commitment to developers working with IBM. Developers need an essential partner to help them innovate and build solutions for today and tomorrow. This means providing an ecosystem—filled with the best tools, resources, education, and experts—on a global scale.

It’s a commitment requiring investments in several key locations and communities, both online and offline, where developers thrive. But today I want to focus on one region in particular: India.

With the second-highest population of developers—forecasted to be number one by 2018—India is in a critical position to influence the developer sphere and champion tomorrow’s cloud, cognitive, and data solutions. According to the Evans Data Corp, India has 3.3 million developers and is poised to reach 5.5 million by 2021.

This year in India we’ve done some deep, technical work with leading clients in the banking and telco domains, as well as enabled several early and mature stage startups to embrace the IBM Cloud and Cognitive platform in their solutions. However, the next phase in our commitment to the local developer community means growing some key skills to enhance their cognitive development capabilities and build the impactful technology of tomorrow.

Starting tomorrow, IBM Chief Developer Advocate, Willie Tejada will be visiting several key developer hotspots across India: Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, for the IBM India DeveloperConnect Roadshow 2017. These are intimate gatherings for developers, diving deep into cloud, AI, and data technology with a combination of technical sessions and hands-on activities, led by IBM SMEs and developer advocates with a common goal of growing cognitive skills.

The developerWorks team caught up with Willie this past week to ask him a few questions before his trip:

Q: Why focus on India for the Roadshow?

A: India is a hotbed for technical talent. According to the Evans Data Corp, 26 percent of India’s developers use cloud today, with 52 percent planning to start using cloud in the next 12 months. As this cloud adoption continues to rise, in combination with the evolution of data science to cognitive development, so too will the growing cognitive skills gap. IBM is equipped to help developers navigate the sizable transformation in how they work, by enabling them with new cloud, data, and AI skills—the foundations of the cognitive developer. The growth of these developer skills is the crux of the Roadshow.

This community—motivated by innovation, learning new skills/technologies, and teamwork—represents a vast market of developers looking to overcome new challenges. With our IBM developer mission focused on empowering developers, we believe it’s necessary to provide the skills, tech, and relationships to help this community prosper in their cognitive development pursuits.

Q: What does the IBM India DeveloperConnect Roadshow offer?

A: The roadshow is designed to focus on engaging the developer audience with deep, critical, and technical content. We have three unique educational tracks targeting the most important developer roles today, and each track offers a chance to get hands-on with Watson, the Data Science Experience, and other popular tech.

Q: What three developer roles will the IBM India DeveloperConnect Roadshow cover?

Each location will offer three different tracks catered to specific interests and needs as a developer:

  • The Cloud developers track – is perfect for developers interested in modernizing their infrastructure or adopting a hybrid approach to run their workloads on the cloud.
  • The Cognitive developers track – provides a deep dive into Watson services and APIs for cognitive coding, then how to apply them to industry-based developer journeys.
  • The Data scientists track – shows you how to solve some of your toughest data challenges with machine learning, through the Data Science Experience and IBM Watson Data Platform.

Q: Why are cognitive skills such an important focus for the Roadshow?

A: We’re in a significant technological transformation with the evolution of data science, the move to cloud architecture, and the increasing importance of open source software and standards. These are all critical areas with a common need: cognitive skills, and the lack of which is creating a serious gap that needs addressing. Through more than 40,000 learning resources, including tutorials, training courses, webcasts, certifications and more, IBM is bridging the cognitive skills gap.

Growing cognitive skills means being enabled to build in new ways and advance your career—with “new collar” jobs like the Data Scientist—and that’s what IBM is bringing to India. This means addressing important topics like machine learning, deep learning, Hadoop, Spark, Python, R, Scala and more.

These are the skills of the future, the skills to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

Q: Are you bringing any other developer opportunities to India beyond the Roadshow?

A: We’ve talked before about there being a silent skills gap in the Cognitive and AI field. This week, we will announce an expansion of our partnership with Galvanize in India to continue to bring cognitive skills to local developers.

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