Islamabad - The planned Center of Excellence in Advanced Software Technologies and Open Source (COEASTOS) needs early launch to compete in global IT market, enhance software exports and earn precious foreign exchange for the country.

The programme planned, two years ago by Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Ministry of Information Technology and Communications is of great importance and needs immediate concentration of authorities with regard to its launch and release of funds so as to meet its objectives effectively, representatives of Information Technology companies in Pakistan said here.  They said being an important new initiative, this programme would help strengthen technical and managerial capacity of middle-tier HR of IT companies.

The representatives said IT industry is growing and maturing and 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, they said and added the Center of Excellence can help solve the problems of country’s IT industry. 

They said open source software has been used to build world-class web infrastructure including Yahoo, Google and many other marquee brands on the Internet, adding that 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.  As per its objectives, the COEASTOS would offer classroom training sessions, seminars, and computer-based training material to IT professionals.

These courses, seminars and material would 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 programme.

The other objectives of the programme are 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.

Also 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).

Speakers from the industry will share their work experience at seminars, knowledge-sharing interactive sessions, workshops, and conferences which would result in the creation of a highly skilled resource pool matching international standards by offering designing and implementation of world-class IT models.  The early launch of the Centre would help IT industry to compete in the global IT market that would help enhance country software exports and earn precious foreign exchange for the country.