Center of Excellence in Advanced Software Technologies and Open Source (COEASTOS)
The Center of Excellence in Advanced Software Technologies and Open Source (COEASTOS) is an important new program at PSEB, where the technical and managerial capacity of middle-tier HR of IT companies will be strengthened. This Center of Excellence solves the following three major problems of Pakistan's IT industry:
- The IT industry is growing and maturing. There is a need for an increasing number of mid-tier managers who can assume more responsibility, handle clients and projects independently without senior managers' intervention, and build advanced technology solutions without bogging down the senior-most technical resources in a company. The human resource available for the middle-tier is very thin in the country, and existing staff at companies needs to be trained to become more effective mid-tier managers and technology team-leads.
- There is a persistent skills gap between what the various IT degree-awarding institutions are teaching students, and the industry's needs. Cutting-edge and emerging technologies are not taught at schools. The companies have to invest heavily in the first 3-6 months after an employee is hired in order to bring the skills-level of recent graduates to a point where they can undertake productive work.
- Open source software has been used to build world-class web infrastructure, including Yahoo!, Google and many other marquee brands on the Internet. Open source education is suffering due to the preference of computer science schools to impart education using Microsoft, Oracle and other big vendors' technologies, resulting in Pakistan's IT industry missing out on a large portion of this highly value-added work chain.
COEASTOS will offer classroom training sessions, seminars, and computer-based training material to IT professionals. These courses, seminars and material will be developed by the academia, universities, individual professionals and training organizations that have the capacity to offer highly-advanced training. Preference will be given to the academia and universities to develop this content for the IT industry. In cases where no local instructor can be found, a foreign trainer may be invited to conduct the required training program.
The project has the following aims:
- Training in selected areas, including project management, B2B sales, gaming and animation development, visual art and animation development, search engines, communication skills, human resource management, contracts/NDAs and CISA, etc.
- To develop online computer-based training resources, including audio and visual material, and educational content to improve professional skills using a Learning Management System (LMS).
- Invite prominent trainers to deliver seminars and conduct short courses for IT industry personnel.
- Work with academic and international institutions to develop courses in high-potential, new/emerging areas.
This project will be a major leap forward in the capacity-building of HR within Pakistan's IT industry, and the introduction of open source software. PSEB will collaborate nationally and internationally with IBM and Red Hat for open source education. Speakers from the industry will share their work experience at seminars, knowledge-sharing interactive sessions, workshops, and conferences. This will result in the creation of a highly skilled resource pool matching international standards by offering designing and implementation of world-class IT models. Pakistan's IT industry will find itself in a much better position to compete in the global IT market.
Methodology for Selection of Trainers
The selection criteria for the trainers will be as follows:
The firm/institution must have authorized/licensed/certified trainer(s) to conduct the training program.
Process of Selection
- An advertisement will be placed in the national newspapers, inviting the companies to submit their applications. It must be a Pakistani company. There is however, no restriction regarding collaboration with a foreign company, in case local companies do not have the capability to fulfill the criteria. In case of a foreign partner firm, the local company will provide an assurance for the visit of the foreign trainer to Pakistan, as and when required during the lifetime of the project.
- A committee will be formed to select the trainer.
Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman Korai
Pakistan Software Export Board (G) Limited
2nd Floor, Evacuee Trust Complex (ETC)
Sector F-5, Aga Khan Road
Islamabad – 44000
Telephone: 92-51-9204074 Extension 128