Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

What is really important for students - the ex-student perspective

In retrospect many things are obvious, or at least more easy to understand. So what I wanted to know from teachers, Sun engineers, sun partners and customers was this: "What do you think is important for a student - what should a student do right now to get prepared for the future?"

I got a bunch of answers and would like to share some perspectives with you:

Current trends indicate that the amount of data which is currently produced will continue to grow exponentially. That introduces new challenges in managing and archiving this data, as well as working with it. So jobs which currently seem currently unattractive, like infrastructure for network and data centers, might become cruicial and very well paid.

Handling the vast amounts of data, for example at the large hadron collider at CERN, leads to new approaches to distributed and parallel processing. Hardware, the tools (software) as well as the underlying algorithms need adoption and synergetic development to utilize new possibilities in each field. For example, the Nvidia CUDA technology is very promising, but currently hard to handle for computer programmers. Let alone physiciscs who eventually should make use of it..

Community building is important for students, as for companies, too. A social network by any means allows you to share knowledge as well as job opportunities. So get engaged in communities that are relevant to you. Don't be shy, connect to people with a mutual interest.

(By the way - did you know http://osum.sun.com/  ?)

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Andy McFarlane

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