Boise State is addressing the need to support the growing software and computer science industry in the Treasure Valley by founding and participating in multiple initiatives that will help bolster ties with technology businesses and produce more graduates. The university recently was the educational sponsor of develop.idaho 2012, a premier conference in Boise for software professionals, entrepreneurs and students.
“We have been commissioned to fundamentally change our approach when it comes to educating and preparing computer science students and software programmers,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “Boise State is in a truly supportive role in this challenge and we are preparing a plan to increase computer science research, strengthen ties with industry and support workforce development.”
The Idaho Department of Labor estimates that nearly 1,000 jobs for software developers and related technical workers have been posted over an average 120-day period, and Boise State will play a crucial role in meeting that demand in the Treasure Valley. The university already has started working with local industry and is prioritizing the education of computer science graduates with a focus on the quality of the program and increasing the number of graduates. Part of the mission revolves around the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, or IGEM, which would provide money to fund and expand technology research to create jobs.
The university is addressing the rising technology need on other fronts. For example, Boise State recently hosted Boise’s Code Camp, which is among the largest gatherings of software and technology professionals in the Inland Northwest, attracting around 400 participants. The university also recently hosted the inaugural Bronco App-athon where student programmers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs participated and worked in teams to create mobile or web software applications, or apps.
“We need to collaborate domestically to compete globally,” said Mark Rudin, vice president for research and economic development. “Events such as develop.idaho and others highlight just how important software and the tech industry are to the economic development and growth of Boise and the entire Treasure Valley.”
The develop.idaho event allowed software developers and companies from around the state to share advice with other software companies that are just emerging. Boise State faculty, students and staff were among the software companies and hundreds of developers who participated in the event.
The focus for the conference was “Software: Imagine the Possibilities,” which showcased the vision of Idaho’s software community and demonstrated how software has created solutions for numerous Idaho-based businesses. Software professionals from several Boise-area companies presented on industry topics such as mobile software development, data analytics, software technology law and the future of software in marketing.