SAN JOSE and SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — /PRNewswire/ — Like most technology firms, DataCare Corporation is always looking for talented and well-educated technical professionals. According to Dr. Paulo Franca, President and Chief Technology Officer of DataCare Corporation, “DataCare has been very pleased to hire graduates of the University of California in general and of the University of California, Santa Cruz in particular.” But Dr. Franca adds, “As a developer of web-based products, DataCare has need of young professionals proficient in Internet technology. But we noticed that UCSC had not been able to directly address this field in regular classes because of a lack of funding.”
So DataCare decided to help with a $10,000 donation to sponsor a class during the Fall quarter of 2011. As Arthur Ramirez, Dean of the Computer Science Department at the UCSC Jack Baskin School of Engineering notes, their department “is helping to build the intellectual capital of US Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley communities.” UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal adds, “DataCare Corporation’s contribution will enable the department to accomplish vital research.”
UCSC Professor Jim Whitehead explains why that’s so important. “We feel it’s critical for our students to learn about making web applications, since it’s a core technology for many innovative companies like DataCare.”
Whitehead further notes that students seem to recognize the importance of this technology for the future of the industry and their careers. “The Hypermedia and the Web class has an enrollment of 62 students, which is remarkable for a few reasons. First, the class wasn’t even available for registration until mid-August, several months after fall registration opened. Second, the class is at 8am, never a popular time for students. Yet, after just three weeks, the class filled its original 50 seats. We then opened up another 10 slots, which filled within days. Two more students managed to convince the instructor to let them in. Unlike many of these early classes, this one has not lost enrollment. I think this speaks to the thirst students have for this knowledge, and recognition of its importance for their careers.”
Students learn about the construction of web sites where readers are interacting with a sophisticated program that is running inside the web server, pulling data from a database. This is the basis of software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model DataCare uses.
Teaching the class, Professor Luca de Alfaro has just returned from a two-year leave at Google, where he worked on the ability for people to contribute business information to Google Maps. Assistant Adjunct Professor Reiner Kraft is currently a senior architect at Yahoo, where he also leads the development of very-large-scale web applications. It’s a really strong team, which is bringing leading-edge industrial web engineering techniques into the classroom.
Professor Whitehead adds, “The DataCare donation has made it possible to bring Reiner Kraft into the classroom, thereby bringing his world-class knowledge to students. In a very real and concrete way, the DataCare donation is allowing UC Santa Cruz to offer a world-class education to its students.”
As Dr. Franca notes, this leading-edge education is also helping to train the professionals who will help build the future of web engineering.