Maxava iFoundation Grants Available; IBM i Community Benefits
June 14, 2017 Dan Burger
When it comes to investments in the IBM i community, the leading-by-example philanthropy of Maxava, now in its seventh year, has hit the target of making meaningful change. The company’s iFoundation has put funds in the hands of local user groups where it encourages IBM i professionals to become active in the community and get people thinking and moving and becoming more connected and more engaged.
Maxava just confirmed another $50,000 to fund foundation grants to local user groups that promote training and education in IBM i technology. This program reminds me that change is better served by good examples, rather than loud opinions.
Helping IBM i professionals meet the challenges of the changing IT landscape has never been more important. The demands of the IT workforce are going to change more in the next 10 years than in the last 30. Increased computing power and artificial intelligence mean the skills that are needed will be dramatically different than anything we’ve seen in our lifetime.
Providing local user group funding for educational purposes is a thoughtful gift. Individuals and organizations with memberships in local user groups have benefited, which means the IBM i community has benefited.
Applications for individual grants up to $2,000 are being accepted. They are accessible at http://www.maxavaifoundation.com/. Applications must be received by July 15, 2017.
Successful grant applications have been used to support activities such as educational conferences and workshops, speaker expenses, marketing and educational collaboration with local colleges and universities, and other similar growth activities.
Christoph Cuscoleca from Schule Fuer Edv, Schulen des BFI Wien (School for IT, Vienna) has received grants for many years. In a statement provided by Maxava, Cuscoleca says, the grant money is used for an annual careers day, often with COMMON Austria. The event matches companies searching for new “i-co-workers” and students who are interested in new jobs.
“This keeps the ‘young blood’ in the workplace and encourages companies to stay with the platform,” Cuscoleca says. “Without the ongoing support from the Maxava iFoundation, all this would not be possible.”
Another example of how the grant money is being used is provided by the Southeast Michigan IBM i User Group. SEMIUG purchased access to a cloud-based IBM i, which is used for hands-on activities, to help user group members learn new skills and improve existing skills such as free form RPG, SQL, PHP, Navigator, Web Query, application modernization, CLP, and Ruby on Rails.
“This ‘sandbox’ has helped participants improve skills by providing a safe alternative to practicing on their production box at work and in some cases by allowing independent up-skilling in preparation for new jobs,” says Laura Ubelhor, president of SEMIUG. “The task of administering the box has also given valuable, valid work experience to the volunteer students who are its administrators.”
The Maxava iFoundation this year is also promoting the Maxava iFoundation Bowling Tournament. It has been launched in the US and if embraced by the community similar events will be promoted worldwide in coming years. The tournament with the catchy name “i Community Strikes Back,” is open to all IBM i community members based in the US. The winners will receive a trip to COMMON Fall 2017 (October 2-4 in St. Louis) with flight, accommodation and entrance fees paid. Visit bowling.maxava.com for more information.