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TGMC SriIndu 01

Thursday, the 13th dawned on a high note and the lazy morning promised to be just the atmosphere for fun and frolic; but, classes were going on in full swing much to the agony of students. The next day was Janmashtami and since most of the students were absent, the students were hoping for half a day. However, labs proved to be the spoilsport. Suddenly the IT students were called in for a seminar, while the lab was going on and were told to return to classes. “Now what!” thought the students but some were pleased because the lab was very boring that day as the lecturer concerned was absent.

“Welcome students”, greeted Mr. Vinay and Mr. Sangesh. Everyone started booing first thinking it would be something very boring. They both maintained dignity on the stage and spoke about the purpose of their visit. All of them were ashamed and listened attentively, especially the front benchers. They had come from IBM and were part of the program called  “IBM Academic Initiative” and were conducting “The Great Mind Challenge ’09” for engineering students wherein they had to prepare projects on various platforms and submit by December 15, 2009. This is a Nationwide Software Development contest conducted by the IBM to nurture students and groom them to become part of the competitive workforce by arming them with market-ready skills. Various IT tools from IBM are used in complex real-time solutions to develop innovative products.

The Talk. Credit: Pearl Rive

The Talk. Credit: Pearl Rive

The index for the contest where all the resources  are available for students is at www.tgmc.in. This page contains websites for reference, E Books, Important online references, Tutorials, Discussion Forums, E-Mentors, Resources Section, FAQ’s and the most important part- Prizes and Mode of Evaluation. It also contains tabs such as Team Registration, Ask for Software, Project Scenario and Feedback option, which are used during the project creation. The added advantage for students, who have participated is that IBM will provide FREE training for students and faculty in technologies used to make the projects for TGMC 2009.

The development platforms to be used are DB2 9 Express C, WebSphere Application Server, Tivoli Storage Manager Express, Rational Unified Process etc and the technology to be used is Java or Eclipse, as mentioned in the brochure given by them.

To enroll/register firstly one needs to log on to the site www.ibm.com/in/tgmc09 and click on the register tab at the bottom of the page. Register the team and submit the form by filling in details correctly. Confirmation is sent with the mail, username, password and activation link, which will reach all the members of the team as mentioned in the registration form. All members can now use this User ID and Password. Students, who have registered last year can also register again.

2008 saw the winners walk away with Lenovo laptops, Certificates and Trophies. The 20 winning teams were also awarded Digital Cameras along with certificates. All duly completed projects for the contest receive an IBM Certificate of Participation, says the brochure.

Everyone listening to the Talk. Credit: Pearl Rive

Everyone listening to the Talk. Credit: Pearl Rive

The students were all ears for the talk and many expressed interest as the project gets good recognition as it gets certified by IBM and can also be submitted as part of Project for the 4th year.  A student volunteer was selected to whose email account the updates for the contest will be sent from time to time. The software CDs and Instruction Manual for the contest were handed over to the HOD.

However, a lecturer expressed doubts regarding the consistency of the students to work throughout the contest. He told that last year, many students initially began the contest with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm but dropped out later as they had to use their skills and make a lot of effort to learn a new language/platform, which was not present in the curriculum. Also, deadlines mentioned in the website coincided with the semester exams, which the students were finding it difficult to cope up with. “A group had managed till the last minute but were unsuccessful due to these reasons”, he said.

This is a nationwide contest with students participating all over India. This is a challenge to most students and like Ayn Rand said  “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity”. Students need to use this wonderful opportunity and reap maximum benefits

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