The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University, together with the PBT Group, are bringing international independent consultant and author Andrea Provaglio to South Africa for a series of master classes and a public lecture this month. 

Barry Dwolatzky, JCSE Director, says Provaglio is a specialist in the fields of Web 2.0 technology and the Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform.
“His specialties lie in the fields of enterprise and web applications, object-oriented design, enterprise application architectures and distributed teamwork. He will be presenting two master classes, in Johannesburg and Cape Town on 16 and 29 January. The public lecture will be held on 17  January at Wits University," he says.
The master classes and public lecture form part of the JCSEs plans for 2008 to host a number of local and international experts as part of its mandate to improve the level of software engineering practice in South Africa.
By working with partners like PBT to make experts like Andrea available to the software development sector, were able to facilitate valuable input to assist in growing the skill and knowledge base of developers and software engineering companies, Dwolatzky says.
Aslam Khan, PBT Technical Director, says the master classes and public lecture give local software development professionals the chance to rub shoulders with one of the best in the J2EE space. It’s an ideal opportunity to improve the skills of our local people. Bringing Andrea out was a natural match for PBT as the J2EE space is a key focus area for PBT, he says.
In his public lecture on Social Networking and the New Internet Cultural Trends on the Thursday, Provaglio will unpack how the Internet has been transforming itself from a publishing platform into a technological platform that allows for user-generated content, user participation and social networking.
This transformation, sometimes referred to as Web 2.0, is still on its way and its boundaries are constantly shifting hence the confusion about new terms and the general use of buzzwords. Underpinning these changes we find the technological convergence of a few enabling technologies, the large-scale adoption of Web standards and a network infrastructure that allows for larger bandwidth, says Provaglio.
After the inevitable but short technical introduction, Provaglio will discuss the social forces that drive these changes and how they act as the glue that keeps together all the pieces in the new Internet jigsaw.
“We won’t forget business, of course, and well analyse the model of a few service providers, trying to figure out what we can expect from the Internet in the next few years," he says.
In the master classes Provaglio will be focusing on the Ruby programming language, which has rapidly gained popularity in the last couple of years, thanks mainly to the Ruby on Rails framework for Web applications development.