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WTAMU Hosting Technology Summit

Oct. 9, 2013

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Hosting Technology Summit

Fortune 500 executives will be keynote speakers

CANYON, Texas—More than 200 high school and community college students from across the region will converge on the West Texas A&M University campus Friday, Oct. 11 for a Technology Summit featuring top executives from Fortune 500 companies as keynote speakers.

The WTAMU School of Engineering and Computer Science and the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) are hosting the event to focus on the shortage of talent in the world of technology and software development. The one-day event will begin at 10 a.m. and end with campus tours at 1 p.m.

Scheduled presenters include IBM’s Phil Weintraub, senior vice president for ZEnterprise Software North America; Vicky Scott with Fidelity Investments, senior vice president for infrastructure and mainframe hosting; Kevin Shuma with CA Technologies, vice president for software development;  Allen Carter, manager of mainframe operations at Texas Instruments, and CSI Meridian’s Joe Nash, product specialist.

H. Paul Haiduk, computer science coordinator in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been working with Brett Dawson, president of the WTAMU student chapter of the ACM for several months to plan the event.  A round table discussion at the Summit will include a number of key executives from industry as well as key decision makers at WTAMU and will focus on building WTAMU/industry partnerships to help meet critical skills shortages. 

According to Haiduk, large companies that rely on IBM’s mainframe computing are facing a crisis of talent. Ninety five percent of Fortune 500 companies use the mainframe to support their corporate mission. With baby boomers retiring and with huge increases in need for more software engineers, universities as a whole are only producing about one-third of the talent needed for the entire spectrum of software development.

Universities are producing less than 20 percent of the needed systems programmers and software engineers for mainframe systems. WTAMU’s Computer Science program is one of only three in the United States that affords students an opportunity to focus on mainframe computing. Graduates of the WTAMU Computer Science program are aggressively recruited by Fortune 500 companies and are offered some of the highest starting salaries of any WTAMU graduates. 

For more information about the Technology Summit, contact Haiduk at 806-651-2450 or hhaiduk@wtamu.edu.


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