As part of IBM’s annual InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, the company is announcing a new machine learning course in partnership with workspace and education provider Galvanize to familiarize students with IBM’s suite of Watson APIs. These APIs simplify the process of building tools that rely on language, speech and vision analysis.
Going by the admittedly clunky name IBM Cognitive Course, the class will spend four weeks teaching the basics of machine learning and Watson’s capabilities. Students will be able to take the class directly within IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform.
“Not everyone knows what to do with a Watson API,” says Bryson Koehler, CTO of IBM Watson & IBM Cloud. “The group of engineers that are experts is really small.”
The cities of Austin, Denver, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston will be host to two-day, in-person, workshops for students called Builder Fairs that will help support the course. Additional Builder Spaces will established to host a wider range of events like hackathons and office hours.
“Giving them access to workshops and helping them in this journey is really critical,” added Koehler. “Hands-on learning will help them become productive developers.”
Galvanize has experience putting on these sorts of events itself — building community among a largely transient tech crowd by creating an environment where engineers can network and socialize with peers. The IBM InterConnect conference will be home to the first Builder Space.
Cloud computing providers are in a race to get in front of developers as early as possible, even if it means jumping in to teach them before they’re ready to start programming. IBM’s new partnership with Galvanize will give them exposure within a large community of engineers. This should sound familiar, Google’s acquisition of Kaggle is a larger scale version of the same recipe.
Resources exist across the internet to support the developer ecosystems around AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Google, for example, worked with Udacity to create a three month course for students to learn deep learning techniques — through the lens of TensorFlow of course.
IBM’s relationship with Galvanize isn’t new. Galvanize’s Director of Data Science, Nir Kaldero, was named a 2017 IBM Analytics Champion. Last fall, the pair worked together to train and assess executives on data science. And earlier the same year, Galvanize and IBM worked side-by-side to launch a Bluemix Academy for enterprise customers. The first Bluemix “Garage” was run at Galvanize in San Francisco to support the adoption of IBM’s cloud platform.