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Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code? Rupert Murdoch

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the ted-nugent-unavailable dept.

Programming 138

theodp writes "For all of their handwaving at Code.org about U.S. kids not being taught Computer Science, tech execs from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook seem more focused lately on Plan B of their 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy. So, who's going to teach your children CompSci? Enter friend-of-the-Gates-Foundation Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's Amplify Education is launching an AP Computer Science MOOC this fall (Java will be covered), taught by an experienced AP CS high school teacher (video). An added option, called MOOC Local, will provide additional resources to schools with students in the CS MOOC. MOOC Local will eventually cost $200 per student, but is free for the first year."

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Included subjects: (4, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#44193691)

Some of the subjects that will be included are:
* wiretapping for beginners
* how to put up ineffective paywalls
* how to run a thriving social media network into the ground

Of course, being a "computer science" class (by which I'm sure they mean "ICT for dummies"), there won't be some of Rupert's other specialties. Such as:
* How to influence people by a coordinator national campaign by the newspapers and other media you own (and thus ensure a victory for the side who promised you the most in the next election)
* How to lie, cheat and steal your way out of trouble
* News? We're not a news channel, we're an entertainment channel. And we'll take it to court to ensure we can lie while pretending it is news.

Re:Included subjects: (2)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#44193725)

Excellent first post - couldn't have said it better.

Re:Included subjects: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193741)

* News? We're not a news channel, we're an entertainment channel. And we'll take it to court to ensure we can lie while pretending it is news.

So their going to teach them to fauxde rather than to code?

Re:Included subjects: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193775)

Some of the subjects that will be included are:
* wiretapping for beginners
* how to put up ineffective paywalls
* how to run a thriving social media network into the ground

And starting next year:
* give me your money

Re:Included subjects: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193921)

You are very cynical. I predict that this course will be educational, entertaining and useful - but it will be discontinued after only a few weeks.

Re:Included subjects: (0)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#44194149)

If we are going to teach our kids computer science, shouldn't one of the first subjects be on how they can best train their replacements in other countries when their jobs are outsourced?

Why would a kid want to pursue a career in computer science? Wouldn't it be a better career choice to become a lawyer, marketing insultant, MBA or politician?

No. Stop laughing. I am serious.


--
The pessimists are usually right because optimists are full of crap.

Re:Included subjects: (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about a year ago | (#44194419)

Median salaries for new JD and MBA graduates is pretty low these days, because schools minted a boat load of them and then the economy went to pot. Much like anything else, things are still OK for the best graduates from the best schools, but the average aren't doing so swell because there are too many of them. Marketing and politics both generally require being attractive to succeed (although in politics, you can substitute wealth for attractiveness, but if you're already rich, why are you worrying about a "career"? Jobs are for poor people and suckers).

Re:Included subjects: (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44195253)

If we are going to teach our kids computer science, shouldn't one of the first subjects be on how they can best train their replacements in other countries when their jobs are outsourced?

  Why would a kid want to pursue a career in computer science? Wouldn't it be a better career choice to become a lawyer, marketing insultant, MBA or politician?

  No. Stop laughing. I am serious.

Coding is not computer science. Coding is a trade job like plumber, electrician, etc. Comparing coding to computer science or computer engineering is like comparing an electrician to an electrical engineer.

They're separate and quite different occupations. An EE is not an electrician unless they also choose to take up the trade, just like an electrician is not an EE unless they decided to study it. They both have different licensing criterion, as well.

You have the science (the study of the subject), the engineering (the application of the subject), and the trade (the hands on skill).

Re:Included subjects: (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#44195379)

> Coding is not computer science. Coding is a trade job like plumber, electrician, etc.

While I agree with you. Marketing and management people might not. :-) It's all got something to do with a computer, right? And we can sell it, right?

Re:Included subjects: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195719)

Coding isn't a trade. It was a trade, just like textiles, meat packing, and migrant workers.

Now, with the fact that you can get a CCIE for $30,000 a year and import H-1Bs with 5-10 years of programming experience to work at minimum wage in mass numbers, why try to compete with this? Even if one could live at minimum wage, there are offshoring houses that can do coding jobs overseas for a fraction of the cost of employees on this side of the pond, with written guarentees of code quality and security.

I tell people to go law. There is no such thing as an unemployed attorney. One may not be working at the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe, but there is always work somewhere.

Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194485)

...they want more American students to learn how to program, so that even more Americans will be educated but jobless as the market continues to be flooded with H1Bs?

Ah, no, that's not it. They would rather hire American programmers at even lower wages than the H1Bs require. They absolutely hate having to pay someone enough money that they can raise a family on a single income and still retire after 65 years of work. Paying programmers THAT much means not being able to afford that third jet!

Re:Included subjects: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194577)

Some of the subjects that will be included are:
* wiretapping for beginners
* how to put up ineffective paywalls
* how to run a thriving social media network into the ground

Of course, being a "computer science" class (by which I'm sure they mean "ICT for dummies"), there won't be some of Rupert's other specialties. Such as:
* How to influence people by a coordinator national campaign by the newspapers and other media you own (and thus ensure a victory for the side who promised you the most in the next election)
* How to lie, cheat and steal your way out of trouble
* News? We're not a news channel, we're an entertainment channel. And we'll take it to court to ensure we can lie while pretending it is news.

This sounds exactly like CNN, MSNBC, and the Obama admistration

But . . . But . . . TEH OBAMA!!11!!1!!11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195387)

But . . . But . . . TEH OBAMA!!11!!1!!11 !11!1!!1!1 !!1!!!11! !11!11!!1!1 !!!11!111!! !11!1!!1!1 !!1!!!11! !11!1!!1!1 !!!11!111!! !11!11!!1!1 !!1!!!11! !!!11!111!! !11!1!1!1!1 !11!1!!1!1 !!1!!!11! !11!1!!1!1 !111!1!!1!1 !!!11!111!! !!!11!111!! !11!1!!1!1 !!1!!!11! !!!11!111!! !!1!!!11! !!1!1!!11! !!1!!!11! !!1!!!11! !!!11!1111!! !!!1!!!11! !!1!!!11! !!!111!111!! !!1!!!11! !!1!!!11! !!1!!!11! !!!11!1111!! !11!1!!1!1

Re:But . . . But . . . TEH OBAMA!!11!!1!!11 (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#44195491)

if you're going to be a computer scientist, you're going to need some zeros...

Re:Included subjects: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195429)

Why don't you lib'ruls pay attention to BENGHAZI???/?????@)(#??

Re:Included subjects: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44196029)

wiretapping for beginners? Sign me up.

Cyberwarriors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193699)

...need to know how to code

Re:Cyberwarriors... (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#44194179)

No they do not. Cyberwarriers do not need to know how to code.

Mere coder peon jobs can be outsourced to the countries we are at cyberwar with.

What do you fail to grasp in the job title of Cyberwarrier? It is about good management skills, marketing and politics.

Biased article submitter much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193713)

Yup more biased crap from what some site called disinfo.com that says they're going to be "tracking" the students. I have to wonder if the submitter is the author...

Re:Biased article submitter much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195911)

It seems these days "Biased" is a codeword for, "Doesn't sufficiently adulate and glorify the conservative agenda."

This slowly drives me nuts (5, Insightful)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year ago | (#44193733)

When are people going to realize "coding" != "computer science"? (or <>, or ! .equals(), or ne, etc. depending on your flavor). Nothing against Java devs, but IT needs a little more than programmers in language X. There are millions speaking English, Spanish, etc., but not that many of them churn out bestsellers, or even mundane but usable prose. You're certainly not going to make good or even adequate writers by (only) teaching a language. You're not going to improve the IT industry by training a million more monkeys to (only) tap away at a million more keyboards.

But perhaps Oracle does like to see an increase in their user base.

[OK, rant over]

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (5, Insightful)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#44193743)

Also, what I have found, is that only certain people have the inbuilt 'logic' to code. Sure, you can teach them the language syntax etc., but the logic part needs to come from the head. A lot of people, no matter how hard they try, just cannot do it!

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (5, Insightful)

mmcxii (1707574) | about a year ago | (#44193913)

Perhaps but the sooner you give a young mind a chance to work with these concepts the earlier you'll find people with "natural" talent and the sooner it will be cultivated.

BTW, as I'm sure you can tell I'm not 100% convinced that this is "inbuilt." I really think it is a matter of upbringing. Whatever kids are introduced to at an early age and whatever they find positive reinforcement in (and negative reinforcement for that matter) will create the kinds of adults that they grow into. They'll simply grow to be dependent if you just fix every problem a child has instead of giving them the tools and knowledge to fix it themselves.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (2)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#44195241)

I disagree. Think sports. Why can some people run faster than others? Why can some people play tennis better than others? It is nothing to do with upbringing, just the way we are. Everybody is good at something, so sometimes no matter how many tennis coaches you have, or training on a bike to win the tour de France, will never work. Sure, you can be taught how to play tennis, chess et al, but to be GOOD you need the natural ability to be able to do it anyway.

The same with logical good programming. Some have got it, a lot haven't.

High school is too late (4, Interesting)

Narrowband (2602733) | about a year ago | (#44194505)

I took AP computer science in high school, myself, and it really wasn't programming, it was pretty much the same as a college data structures class (arrays, linked lists, trees, sparse matrices, searching and sorting, etc.) Going straight into that without some earlier programming foundation doesn't really work so well. We need to start kids earlier to really get proficient.

The logic skills needed to code can be developed, too, but it needs support much earlier, including in elementary school math. I remember in 2nd-4th grade, our textbook was called "sets and numbers," and we did a lot with set theory, which my son's school hasn't. There are tradeoffs: he was into algebraic equations in 4th grade, which I never did until at least middle school. But overall it seems like he's had less emphasis on logic and discrete math and more on general/continuous math. My wife and I have tried to supplement it, but it isn't really standard anymore, where we live.

Anyway, if kids get enough practice with sets and set operations in elementary school, then logic operations a bit later (which and teach them how it's really the same, AND = intersection, OR = union, etc.) and throw in a few other concepts like variables, then they should be ready to start getting some early programming classes in middle school, which will stick with them a long time.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44195081)

Really I'd put teaching of concepts of logic ahead of teaching any kind of programming.

Logic isn't just about "a == b && c d" kinds of expressions. It's also about recognizing bogosity in all areas of life - which is of course probably why most schools don't teach it.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (5, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44193761)

very few 'comp sci' jobs require science. they are 95% pedestrian level coding (for-loops, conditionals, etc).

I get a kick out of the interview process, these days, when its all about 'how much of an algorithms blackbelt are you?' when jobs simply don't -require- that level.

coding is perfectly fine and is what is mostly used in computer programming; you rarely need to get all that advanced in day to day software engineering.

(I take issue with teaching kids in the west about programming, though: it sets up a false hope that they'll someday get jobs in that field. and they won't. it will mostly go to india and china. teaching kids that they can earn a living in the thinking arts is false hope.)

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (5, Interesting)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44193785)

I see what you're saying, and you're *mostly* right. It's just that every now and then you do need to get your hands into the nuts and bolts of an algorithm (in my own case, about twice a year I need to look at something related to graphs or optimization).

It is rare in practice that the compsci knowledge is needed, but knowing such stuff ahead of time is the difference between knowing how to just get on with the things and struggling for weeks on end, or just staring blankly at the screen, or just writing some kludge code that "kinda works".

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (2)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year ago | (#44193905)

(I take issue with teaching kids in the west about programming, though: it sets up a false hope that they'll someday get jobs in that field. and they won't. it will mostly go to india and china. teaching kids that they can earn a living in the thinking arts is false hope.)

At a stage I worked at a certain unnamed company as a contractor. The project manager (from the company itself) that I worked under once remarked in frustration to me: "You know what the problem is with this company? Too few chiefs and too many Indians!" Of course, he was of Indian extraction himself, so I suppose he could afford the criticism.

Which sort of illustrates my point: while it is nice to have a workforce of cheap coders on projects, you DO need more to see the bigger picture. This goes from managing such efforts, all the way down to people that understand how to read (and write) specifications and other documentation (in which I include code comments) - preferably containing all the required information but nothing more -, people who can reason about program correctness, people who understand the theory of testing and can apply it (even if it is just for writing unit tests for their own code), etc. etc. So currently I'm working at this rather large software company where they decided to occasionally have a fun code competition for the devs - turns out not even the guy drawing up the problems realizes that a certain data type is limited in size and his algorithm will generate wraparound errors rather soon. :-)

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194861)

PREFACE: I work as a CS researcher and project manager.

I hear this "can't" bullshit too much:
Can't get a job as a programmer, because Indians will do all of it.
Can't get a job in manufacturing, because Chinese will do all of it.
Can't get a job in the service industry, because it doesn't pay a living wage.
Can't get a job in the financial sector, because it is a "good ol' boy" system.
Can't get a job as a doctor, because malpractice insurance will eat you alive.

The United States has 7.6% unemployment. The majority of people are out there working!

I take issue with teaching kids in the west about programming, though: it sets up a false hope that they'll someday get jobs in that field and they won't.

COME ON. How can you disparage developing a skillset. The world has problems, needs, and wants. It needs people to provide for these things. Sure, I get it, not everyone is an entrepreneur and can identify a market niche and fill it. However, I am personally aware of the following openings:
3 mid-level CS/code-slinging jobs for a contract-based simulation firm.
2 junior-level CS/code-slinging jobs for a contract-based simulation firm.
3 app-dev positions in a game design firm
1 lead dev (the only person they need, if the person is good) in an app startup
a small team of data scientists to compete for a $3M prize in cancer research
9 mid-level positions with coding/CS at a New York start-up (http://www.knewton.com/careers/#open-positions)

If I am aware of 18 open positions (and I'm not even looking for a job) in CS. If the people in NEW YORK can't find enough talent, you can find a job in this industry.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#44195511)

"1 lead dev (the only person they need, if the person is good) in an app startup"

"We want you to be the lead developer."

"Great, who will I be leading?"

"Yourself"

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#44195539)

oh, and people in New York who can't find talent, aren't paying enough to live in NY

Riddle: What do you call a filled position?

Competitive.

I'll let you work out the corollary.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195787)

Same with engineering. I could have doe the majority of my engineering jobs straight out of high school.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#44193797)

"When are people going to realize "coding" != "computer science"? (or , or ! .equals(), or ne, etc. depending on your flavor). "

I use "is different to".

Otherwise, I'd add "{" somewhere after "When".

And I'd also replace "people" with "pp1". But that's just because I'm a hateful little subhuman monster that enjoys messing with the next person who falls in that code. No... Wait... That's what the previous guy did.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (2)

pinkstuff (758732) | about a year ago | (#44193841)

There are millions speaking English, Spanish, etc., but not that many of them churn out bestsellers, or even mundane but usable prose

Yes, but without knowing how to write, those chances are 0...

Programming is a subset of computer science, and a useful starting point for getting people interested in the field

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193857)

Coding... We should stop calling it that because that's not what it is. (Some of the crap I see is code, and that's not a good thing.)

To me Comp. Sci is stuff like Boyer-Moore, MIT-HAKMEM, cryptography, compression, IP routing, instruction pipelining, and esoteric and exotic algorithmic stuff like that.

The rest is software development. Including how to optimize, link, debug, find memory leaks, write Makefiles, etc. More advanced stuff would include writing for embedded systems with limited memory, using memory pools, how to write an XML parser in Java that doesn't create and dispose of millions of string fragment objects and swamp the GC, lock contention, atomic primitives, and so on.

I'm not sure every kid needs learn Software Development (never mind Comp. Sci). Just like not every kid needs to learn how to do plumbing or welding, or baking a cake.

Software development could be the gateway drug that leads some people into Computer Science.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44193999)

To me Comp. Sci is stuff like Boyer-Moore, MIT-HAKMEM, cryptography, compression, IP routing

But more and more, it seems like kids have iPhones, iPads, and game consoles. These use "cryptography" to prevent users from "routing" publishers' "IP" to people who haven't paid,* but this also has the effect of keeping amateurs from using these devices to practice implementing the other "exotic algorithmic stuff" that you mention or even the "software development" stuff. If all a kid has is a locked down appliance, and child labor laws prohibit him from working to buy a real computer, how is he going to get any practice in implementing algorithms and seeing them run?

* It's a pun. I understand the difference between IP and the other IP [pineight.com] .

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#44193977)

But to write a bestseller, knowing at least one language is a prerequisite.

You may be the world bet pantomime - that won't help you starting your novel if you don't have access to language.

And as with novels, the originale language is pretty secondary (there are translators for that. Some stuff may work better in one language than the other, but usually you can get by with any language). It's more the "programming mindset" (what some other poster described as "logic").

Breaking down a big task in smaller subtasks, plan for every possible outcome, variables, loops etc....

I had to take a whole semester back at uni in "Introduction to OOP". That lecture was held by the CS department and i spent 4 months each tuesday at 7am in a lecture hall where someone waved around pictures of cars and planes and the respective stencils of cars and planes - their idea of explaining the concept without using a specific programming language.

Needless to say, i didn't get it.

A year later, a mechanical engineering professor summed up that whole semester in 5 seconds: "Classes are little more than structs with code inside".

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year ago | (#44194117)

But to write a bestseller, knowing at least one language is a prerequisite.

I do agree that an in-depth knowledge of a language(s) is not negotiable for writing good software. That was not the main point though.

I had to take a whole semester back at uni in "Introduction to OOP". That lecture was held by the CS department and i spent 4 months each tuesday at 7am in a lecture hall where someone waved around pictures of cars and planes and the respective stencils of cars and planes - their idea of explaining the concept without using a specific programming language.

Needless to say, i didn't get it.

A year later, a mechanical engineering professor summed up that whole semester in 5 seconds: "Classes are little more than structs with code inside".

Perhaps that original lecturer was not a very good teacher. OR, maybe it's true that some people are just not cut out to understand CS topics. OOP is in fact "slightly" more than just structs with code inside them. Unfortunately I have seen a lot of code in practice by people who "only" learned a language, or moved to IT from some of the engineering disciplines where some coding was done along the way, that use classes only as "structs with code".

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#44194341)

No. That lecture was a direct result of their descision to teach the "science" in computer science seperatly from the coding part. That resulted in a lecture without any examples, as they would have been "code" and would have needed to decide on an example language.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#44194141)

have you seen code written by mechanical engineers?

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#44194305)

Well, the semester we had to take "Introduction to C programming" at that department concentrated mostly on writing pit patterns to obscure ports to control the PCs timing chips, controlling external motor/generator setups, OpenGL viewports and other fun stuff.

That much for teaching code quality :-)

Definitly not how you would teach someone a programming language. I enjoyed it, as I already had a programming background, the others enjoyed it at least more than writing a double linked list in Pascal at the CS department.

A craftsman must know his tools. (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44194033)

When are people going to realize "coding" != "computer science"? (or <>, or ! .equals(), or ne, etc. depending on your flavor).

I think it'll happen when you read past the Slashdot title to the summary, and realize that the article is talking about computer science and that the whole "Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code?" this is a fabrication of the submitter/editors.

Nothing against Java devs, but IT needs a little more than programmers in language X. There are millions speaking English, Spanish, etc., but not that many of them churn out bestsellers, or even mundane but usable prose.

This is probably the most elegant argument I have ever seen for teaching algorithms, big O notation, and other theory topics, instead of languages, which is a switch most U.S. universities made after the decision was forced by the accreditation change in the late 1980's.

And it's absolutely, totally, completely wrong.

A craftsman must know his tools.

You need to learn at least one language deeply enough that you have a feel for the calculus of the language, and how to force it to represent any CS concept you want it to represent. Ever since they stopped teaching languages as a subject because they could no longer offer credit hours for doing so, the U.S. has been mostly turning out crap coders, except at schools like Brown that have self-directed programs where you can actually still learn a language from an expert practitioner.

A secondary consideration is that, when programming in a high level language, you should know what's happening under the covers. Java and other "pointerless" languages are an incredibly poor choice for doing that. So I agree on your condemnation of teaching the Java language, but it's for a reason other than the one you cite. The best way to understand what's going on under the covers is to use a high level language which compiles to assembly, and stop after the compilation to assembly; "cc -S" does this, although C isn't the only language in this category. Which brings me to the second point: apart from learning a single high level language to a great depth, it's also necessary for the student to learn an instruction set for a particular architecture, which, given prevalence, is going to mean either x86 or ARM these days. If you can't look at the high level language and know what assembly is likely to be generated from it, you do not understand your high level language. Without a grounding in assembly language, you are never going to have an intuitive grasp of memory layout or pointers, and if you learn "pointerless" languages, particularly ones with garbage collection, you may be able to program them, but you aren't going to be able to write a runtime for them yourself, with no intrinsic idea of memory layout, reference, or management.

Which leads us to our third consideration, and the one that gets in the way of problem solving using computers as a tool, which is really what we are trying to teach when we talk about teaching "computer science" or "coding": You need to repeat the process with a second high level language that also does not target a virtual machine. Only by being able to contrast the two calculus of the different languages are you going to be able to generalize in terms of an arbitrary computer language being able to be applied to a problem set. There's a reason that mathematics courses teach both Newton and Leibnitz style calculus to students, and it has nothing to do with not being able to solve problems with one that you can with the other. It has everything to do with the ability to generalize theory across systems.

The fourth and final consideration is algorithms, big O notation, and other topics, and how to represent them in your high level language. Yes, you need to learn this, but you need to learn it in a context of a language calculus, since throughout your career, if you end up coding, you will be called upon to translate these concepts to the local calculus of whatever programming language you are using at the time. After that, language doesn't/shouldn't matter, but up to that point, it matters desperately. After that point, you should also feel free to use interpreted languages running in a virtual machine, such as Python or Ruby or Java (yes, I know most JVMs JIT, but unless your Java programmer can explain how and into what and why, they are not a computer scientist or software engineer, they are merely a programmer).

So back to your original analogy:

There are millions speaking English, Spanish, etc., but not that many of them churn out bestsellers, or even mundane but usable prose. You're certainly not going to make good or even adequate writers by (only) teaching a language.

Neither will you become a best-selling author if you don't know how to spell, nor can you use a pen, pencil, or keyboard to put your words down. Output first, then grammar, then high concept.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#44194609)

Don't forget the people who learn Microsoft specific code that only works on a Microsoft platform, DirectX, .NET etc. There was a conversation on Twitter recently between some Game Devs about how they should have learned OpenGL first instead of the DirectX they did learn. When you lock yourself in to something specific, when other things exist that apply to a broader range of Platforms; then you get exactly what you deserve when it's EOL and your SOL.

I don't know how to code, but if I did, it wouldn't be platform specific. Any kind of coding taught in School should be multi-platform. Yes, while money may be smaller on certain platforms, it's still more money.

Re:This slowly drives me nuts (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44195461)

the correct syntax is ('coding' .NE. 'computer science')

And you are correct coding is not computer science, and computer science is not a science, it's a conceit to call it engineering.

Let them teach themselves. (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44193745)

Let them teach themselves. That's how many of the current generation of programmers got started. And it's even easier now than it was before. There are so many free resources on the internet to get you started. If there is any direct teaching, it should be in programs outside the regular school curriculum. More free day-camps and stuff where teachers can teach without having to worry about state imposed curricula. Students are free to be there or not to attend so you have kids who (mostly) want to be there, which creates a better learning environment for all. Most people I know who are good at anything aren't good because of what they learned about it in school, but rather what they did outside school to further their own learning.

Re:Let them teach themselves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193843)

When I went to ITT Tech (yes, I was suckered into going), I quickly saw the difference between those who would make it as developers and those who would not. How? Those who knew how to program before the first day of class made it through the program (and ITT Tech's SAP program isn't exactly "grueling". I've found that actual developers learn the skill as an art and sharpen that skill outside of the educational system and the work place. I've worked with coders who saw the skill as only a job asset and thought the idea of coding outside of work to be deplorable. It was those coders whose work often contained critical bugs or horrible enough performance that we'd have to take time away from other projects in order to fix the issues or simply rebuilding a chunk of functionality from scratch, which ultimately costs companies more money.

Re:Let them teach themselves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193903)

Those who knew how to program before the first day of class made it through the program

OK, so what I get from that is that if you want to learn how to program ITT Tech isn't competent to teach you.
Perhaps they should market their education as a follow up course to those who got their education elsewhere.

Or perhaps I should start start teaching programming to those who already know how. We can spend all day reading slashdot and watch funny cat-videos on youtube.

Learning programming on a locked-down device (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44193907)

Let them teach themselves. That's how many of the current generation of programmers got started. And it's even easier now than it was before.

How so? Back then, a lot of people weren't doing "computing" style tasks on a machine that's digitally locked down. The only machine resembling a computer that was digitally locked down then was a game console, and game consoles didn't try to be all-purpose home entertainment devices the way they are now. Nowadays, a child might not have access to a PC [slashdot.org] but instead might have access only to devices running iOS, for which programming tools are priced way out of the range of a child saving his allowance.

They can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193959)

The current generation of programmers was allowed to learn by experimentation. The next generation isn't allowed to experiment, as they will get thrown into gaol for being hackers or terrorists. Better to put them into a "safe", well defined and well controlled classroom.

Re:They can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194593)

The current generation of programmers was allowed to learn by experimentation. The next generation isn't allowed to experiment, as they will get thrown into gaol for being hackers or terrorists. Better to put them into a "safe", well defined and well controlled classroom.

The current generation of programmers...

The current generation of chemists...

The current generation of physicists...

etc.

Re:Let them teach themselves. (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year ago | (#44194253)

Most people I know who are good at anything aren't good because of what they learned about it in school, but rather what they did outside school to further their own learning.

I absolutely agree with this -- and it generally must be true, or no one would excel in any field. In order to be better than average in a profession, you'd at some point have to go beyond the basic elements taught in school to everybody.

Let them teach themselves.

However, I disagree a bit here. There will be some kids who will be motivated to teach themselves from the start and who happen upon programming as you probably did, and as many here probably did.

But what about the kids who don't have a parent running a Linux box, or the kids whose primary experience on a "computer" is something like an iPad (as seems to be increasingly common)? You're right that there are lots of resources out there to learn from, but you have to know that they're there. You have to have some sort of concept of what "programming" is, and you have to have equipment set up that will allow you to do it.

It's not like the days when your parents bought you a Commodore 64, which booted you up to a blank screen that almost forced you to figure out how to code, and which came with a manual that taught you to write simple programs. Sure, you could arrange something like that for your kids, but as a parent, you'd need to at least be aware that tools like that exist and to make them available.

Having at least some basic programming class in school could make kids aware of what's out there. Most of them will probably never do anything with it again, but a few of them -- who just didn't happen to know much about programming, or whose parents didn't have the right equipment or didn't expose them to the right things -- will realize that programming is something that's "out there" in the world of knowledge.

And some of those kids who find the initial steps interesting may then be spurred into learning more outside of school, just as other kids who just happened upon it somehow or who had parents that made that opportunity available.

Nobody pretends that a high-school chemistry class is going to prepare you for a career as a chemist or that a high-school history class will churn out historians. But for a lot of kids, these classes can spark an interest and make them aware of aspects of knowledge that they just might not happen upon otherwise....

Teaching coding first (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44193751)

As the profession of software development matures, I increasingly question the value of teaching coding first. That gives the illusion that once you know how to code, you are ready to be a developer.

In my opinion, that approach is what has led to the pervasively vulnerable infrastructure of today. People think that because they can make something work in PHP, that's all there is to it.

I'm suggesting that teaching kids to attack and exploit vulnerable systems first might be more valuable. Once you understand the basics of that, you become powerfully motivated to avoid writing vulnerable code. And as you probably know, you need to learn some programming anyway to be an effective attacker.

I realize this will never happen. There are lots of people who would say, "Oh, noes, we can't teach kids to hack! They'll do something evil!" I would reply, if you are seriously afraid of having your systems compromised by high-school kids, then you should agree with me on the importance of teaching defensive programming early!

Re:Teaching coding first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193891)

As first poster pithily commented, I don't think RM would have any problems teaching kids to hack.

Re:Teaching coding first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193893)

You can teach someone to do a viable border-test without having to teach them how to use an integer overflow to redirect the command chain and a string buffer overrun to embed your new code.

Make sure that reasonable algorithm selection, idiot resistance, and memory bloat management are seen as core skills rather than just "how I loop with Java?"

Re:Teaching coding first (2)

dcollins (135727) | about a year ago | (#44194085)

"I increasingly question the value of teaching coding first... I'm suggesting that teaching kids to attack and exploit vulnerable systems first might be more valuable... And as you probably know, you need to learn some programming anyway to be an effective attacker."

Thank you for my morning logical contradiction.

Re:Teaching coding first (1)

anegg (1390659) | about a year ago | (#44194239)

I think that learning the basic aspects of programming, and some coding, provides an understanding of the formal expression of algorithms (as well as the possibilities and limitations of expressing one's self in a manner suitable for machine-interpretation) that is very useful when learning the more theoretical aspects of computer science.

There may be some value in trying to teach concepts apart from the formal expression of those concepts; we could try it out with integral and differential calculus as well - we could try teaching the concepts of calculus to people without the formalism of an algebra.

Absent a tested educational theory showing the value of teaching the concepts before the formal expression, it might be ok to follow the traditional path of achieving some formal language capability in order to bolster the teaching of the concepts.

My disclaimer: I have a very traditional "Computer and Information Science" bachelors (formal language theory, complexity, machine architecture, etc.) which I found relatively easy to get in part because I had learned BASIC, Fortran, and COBOL programming in a vocational high school. My peers seemed to struggle a lot more, even in the relatively simple Pascal programming, assembly language programming, and data structures classes. Those that survived freshman/sophomore years seemed to do ok in the more theoretical aspects, however.

Only one answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193753)

Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code?
It will have to be Mcdonalds... make it a happy meal toy to code COBOL.

What Al Bundy has to say on the matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193771)

No, not that Al Bundy! This one can program and has a thing or two to say about US and UK education in CS. Roughly:

1) UK is bad and so is US.
2) All the tools that can save the situation seem to come from the US, specifically, MIT.

Here's the lecture which is unfortunately in 22 small clips.
http://www.blendedlearning.me/Public/TomConlonMemorialLecture/index.php

Computer science? (4, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | about a year ago | (#44193823)

Computer science as much about coding as astronomy is about building telescopes ...

Re:Computer science? (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | about a year ago | (#44193867)

Quite. Maybe more people would want to go into Computer Science if they didn't have to mess around with programming

Re:Computer science? (0)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44194225)

After working with a lot of computer scientists with PhD and everything I can tell you that a lot of them don't mess around with programming and that you probably don't want them to. The union between the people who climb high on the academic ladder and the people who actually know how to program is remarkably small.

Re:Computer science? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44194231)

And just to show off my complete incompetence I of course mean intersection, not union.

Re:Computer science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193871)

No, the quote is "computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes" but when I heard Dijsktra say it, around August 1982 in the Englische Biergarten in Munich I was kinda drunk so not definate proof he did say it.

Anyway, CS goes way back to the GCD and that goes back to Euclid. It is ALL about coding!

Hard to build an interest while locked down (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44193949)

It's hard to build an interest in astronomy without an interest in amateur stargazing, and it's hard to build an interest in that if all the telescopes to which you have access are digitally locked down to view only specific stars and planets, which the manufacturer claims is a safety measure to keep, say, non-professionals from pointing the device at our sun. Likewise, it's hard to build an interest in computer science without an interest in amateur coding, and it's hard to build an interest in that if all you have are iDevices and game consoles engineered specifically to lock amateurs out of coding.

Re:Computer science? (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#44193963)

Computer science as much about coding as astronomy is about building telescopes ...

Computer science needs a computer less than astronomy needs a telescope.

I personally hate computer science. I'm a broadcaster. I make solutions to get things on air. Part of that involves writing code, part of it involves wiring up cables, bust most of it involves understanding broadcast and understanding journalists.

Coding is a very useful tool, more specific than "writing a report", but certainly less specific, and certainly more useful, than knowing how to "use word".

Computer Science is a science, for people with frizzy grey hair, that live in ivory towers and have little practical knowhow. You lock them in a room and occasionally things emerge that you can see a practical application for. It's essential, and it's all way beyond me. they need to know how to code as much as I do, possibly less.

Re:Computer science? (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year ago | (#44194103)

Computer Science is a science, for people with frizzy grey hair, that live in ivory towers and have little practical knowhow. You lock them in a room and occasionally things emerge that you can see a practical application for. It's essential, and it's all way beyond me.

Nice rant, but computer science is not a mere abstract academic subject. Sure, you can often come up with code that will solve a problem on a practical level, but what if you need the code to run faster for some application? What if you don't want to spend your days "reinventing the wheel" for every coding problem you encounter, when there are stock algorithms and methods that allow you to quickly code a solution?

I know some others will probably quibble with the following analogy, but one way to think of it is the difference between arithmetic and more advanced (symbolic) math. Both are tools that can be used to solve a problem. And if you're really good at arithmetic and have some intelligence, you'll probably figure out ways to do things that most people would use algebra or other more advanced math to do.

But algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc. give you other tools and methods that can be helpful in solving problems. At some level, with only arithmetic knowledge you'll eventually even happen on problems that are basically impossible to solve except by trial-and-error. That may be fine for a lot of applications, but depending on your job, it may be useful to know more efficient and effective ways to go about it -- and advanced math gives you those tools. Same thing with CS for programming.

From a job standpoint, you might think of it as the difference between a degree in something like accounting and a degree in applied math. There are lots of things you can do with accounting, mostly having to do with basic arithmetic, and it's a very practical degree, but that doesn't mean that someone trained in applied math is just an ivory tower theoretician. There are such people in computer science, just as there are theoretical math people who spend their days trying to figure out abstract problems in number theory, abstract algebra, topology, etc. that seemingly have little practical application. But those mathematicians aren't doing what most people with math degrees do, anymore than most CS degree people spend their days solving theoretical academic problems.

Re:Computer science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194191)

True, but a proper astronomer can do both astronomy and build telescopes.

And a good one is actually capable of designing (if not building) *radio*telescopes.

Code.org=FWD.us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44193839)

The reality is more like this.... (1)

richman555 (675100) | about a year ago | (#44193895)

The first thing that needs to be done is not have all American students (who are there because the have some interest) quit these courses after the first several semesters. The second thing is to stop excessive outsourcing of development jobs. This has nothing to do with skill and training, its more about saving money. The third thing is that these businesses don't feel your computer science degrees are all that important anyway. You are putting to much importance on technical things when these companies believe their business models and management are the keys to success (not technology). When it comes to technology... the feel they can get anyone to do this work.

Re:The reality is more like this.... (1)

richman555 (675100) | about a year ago | (#44193919)

I forgot to add my point.. but based on what I said, companies really don't care who codes this software. They will find anyone to do it for a low cost.

Re:The reality is more like this.... (4, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | about a year ago | (#44194039)

This has nothing to do with skill and training, its more about saving money.

Bingo. Big Business doesn't like it when supply and demand works against them. Developers are in-demand, and usually when something is in-demand, the price for that thing goes up (in this case, salary and other compensation). They hate that. Money is for the executive golden parachutes, not the people who do actual work. So, by increasing the supply, you tend to lower upwards salary pressure. It's the same reason why they love H1-Bs so much; they'll accept lower pay, which has the effect of downward pressure on salaries.

However, it's all kind of based on a false premise anyway: the impression that they want you to have that there aren't any workers with the required skills to fill the jobs. This is bullshit. The problem is that there aren't enough workers with the required skills that are willing to accept the money the employers think they're worth (which is waaay below market). So, Big Business whines to their (wholly-owned) elected representatives to get more H1-Bs, and in addition they sponsor programs like this to give the students the impression that they "owe" them something in the form of taking a lower salary. It's all just about money; there's no philanthropy here.

The third thing is that these businesses don't feel your computer science degrees are all that important anyway.

Yes, and no. It's important to them that you have the debt that usually accompanies a college degree; the degree itself, as you indicate, is meaningless. People with huge non-dischargeable debt are more willing to put up with poor treatment by their employer. If you're debt-free, and your boss tells you you now need to do the work of three people, you can much more easily tell him to fuck off as compared with someone who owes $60,000 in student loans.

When it comes to technology... the feel they can get anyone to do this work.

The concept of the 'worker as interchangeable cog' meme is not specific to the tech world, as you probably know already. Case in point: The nurse population is rapidly greying in this country. Nurses that have four decades of experience tend to be at the top of their salary range. Hospitals look at that and say "Why are we paying this one person so much when we can hire three CNAs to do the same work?" The difference is that CNAs are intended to be assistants, which is what the A in the acronym is (Certified Nursing Assistant). They're not intended to provide care themselves; they're trained to do things like clean toilets and rooms in a care-ready way. But all management sees is dollars and cents; at the vast majority of hospitals, the administration has put patient care on the permanent back burner in order to focus on what they really care about: money. Hospital administrators typically are lawyers and accountants, they have no ethical responsibility to the patients. They also see nurses as interchangeable; they see nothing wrong with a nurse that's worked in oncology for twenty years being told to fill in in the ICU. After all, a nurse is a nurse, right?

Let's clarify (1)

orthancstone (665890) | about a year ago | (#44193969)

Are they teaching Comp Sci or Java? There's a difference, after all.

Re:Let's clarify (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44194255)

Are they teaching Comp Sci or Java? There's a difference, after all.

Yes there is, just like there is a difference between mathematics and engineering. One is theory the other is practical.

Re:Let's clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194299)

You can teach alot of theoretical concepts in Java if one were so inclined, so theory and Java need not be mutually exclusive. You could write DFAs, NFA-> DFA converts, Turing machine simulators.... All that stuff! What the language is doesn't really matter.

Re:Let's clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194487)

Are they teaching Comp Sci or Java? There's a difference, after all.

Yes there is, just like there is a difference between mathematics and engineering. One is theory the other is practical.

In theory, you are practically right. In practice however, you are just - unnecessarily theoretical - hair-splitting.

Again, let's clarify (1)

orthancstone (665890) | about a year ago | (#44195849)

Are they teaching Comp Sci or Java? There's a difference, after all.

Yes there is, just like there is a difference between mathematics and engineering. One is theory the other is practical.

Correct. In theory Java is great. In practice, Comp Sci will teach you how to be a good programmer.

learning of the blind by the blind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194015)

Why would US kids want to learn to code when they will be so rich that they can simply hire anyone from around the world!

What about credentialing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194071)

If this is supposed to be preparing them for a job of some kind rather than just giving them skills to do their own thing, then it's missing the credentialing necessary for one to attain a job. Online courses, certs, and university degrees just don't count for much. I'm thinking that in some ways putting students on a path like this is actually harming their future job prospects.

Who is MS going to hire, the skilled guy come from an Ivy or the guy with slightly more skills with a University of Phoenix degree?

Self taught programmers (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44194093)

All the amazing programmers I've ever known started out self taught. They all have a back-story about how they had "this old machine.." or they would "go into computer lab on study hall.." or "..spent hours typing in the code out of the magazine..".

I don't think you can effectively "Teach" programming as a large portion of it is right-brained, but making some sort of CS syllabus available is a great idea for kids that actually want it. With all the action to abolish public education, I am dubious about any suggestions founded by capitalist juggernauts.

Re:Self taught programmers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194367)

I made it company policy, to only hire self-taught coders.

People who go to universities mostly go there because they 1. had to study something, 2. were told that's where big money's at, 3. wanted to "learn computers", and similar know-nothing reasons.

You won't get anyone with passion there.

Those with passion -- the naturals -- that's what you want for your company.

And that is true for every job. (Even those jobs that you have to hate with passion to be good at.)

Nowadays, we think the best method to create passionate people is to make games... not necessarily for the computer... that combine the fun and the subject. Much better than any school ever.

P.S.: "... typing in the code out of a magazine" ... Sorry, nope, memorization monkeys are not acceptable either. Otherwise you'll end up like the rest; copying and pasting each other's ideas like you're Microsoft. That has nothing to do with passion.

Re:Self taught programmers (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44195193)

And that is true for every job.

Hear, hear.

I've seen the same in engineering. People took one discipline or another in college because they were told that it was the fast route to management in many companies. They didn't want to actually design and build things and didn't give a damn about the end product.

Engineering is difficult to self learn. But I'd extend your search criteria to whether the job candidate has a machine shop, electronics bench, woodworking tools, etc. at home and does things as a hobby related to their profession.

Robot programmers (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44194245)

Surely with all of these advances in techonolgy, most programming chores can be turned over to virtual robots in the future. If the predictions are correct that robots will replace most labor jobs, then couldn't they also replace most programming jobs, too? Might we not be headed back to the day where we looked at programs as accepting inputs into a black box and spitting out the outputs?

For sure, there will be computer scientists in the future, just like there will be physicists, but in the early days of the automobile and even into the middle of the last century, you had to be a mechanic to operate one. Today, everything is plug and play. Architecture used to require drafting and engineering skills, but today, you input your ideas on a computer and behold you have your plans.

At some point, with all of those design patterns floating around in cyber-space, isn't it going to just be a matter of a program assembling the pieces based on the parameters inputted by the user, not the programmer?

Re:Robot programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194325)

It's something of an open question. Since we don't understand the nature of intelligence, we can't create it yet. With present technology we are no closer to computers which write their own programs than we were 20 years ago. It's the same reason natural language processing is so hard. Your program would have to understand "requirements" beyond those it was originally designed to code for. Then it would actually be able to produce the software. These are not easy problems, and it's not reasonable to just assume that they will become easy and be solved over time. I mean sure, we might also have flying cars, cold fusion, anti-gravity devices and hyper space any day now..... There's just a few minor scientific problems which I'm sure they'll solve soon.

Re:Robot programmers (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44194645)

At some point, with all of those design patterns floating around in cyber-space, isn't it going to just be a matter of a program assembling the pieces based on the parameters inputted by the user, not the programmer?

There's this anecdote about a mechanic which slightly adjusted a screw and thus repaired an expensive car many others failed before. Being asked why he charged thousands of dollars for a 3 mins job, he answered: "Look sonny, you ain't paying me for tightening that screw, you are paying for me knowing which screw to tighten" (those floating design pattern won't magically settle in the necessary form just by drag-dropping).

Re:Robot programmers (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44194809)

At some point, with all of those design patterns floating around in cyber-space, isn't it going to just be a matter of a program assembling the pieces based on the parameters inputted by the user, not the programmer?

There's this anecdote about a mechanic which slightly adjusted a screw and thus repaired an expensive car many others failed before. Being asked why he charged thousands of dollars for a 3 mins job, he answered: "Look sonny, you ain't paying me for tightening that screw, you are paying for me knowing which screw to tighten" (those floating design pattern won't magically settle in the necessary form just by drag-dropping).

If we can AI that can drive cars and fly planes, surely AI for making a decision as to which design pattern to use based on a set patterns can't be that difficult. We've already got code generators for UI and database connectors. Is it that far of a leap to expect code generators for the connectors that put it all together?

Why not trades schools / apprenticeships? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44194251)

Why not trades schools / apprenticeships? like system?

College Computer Science is overly tilted to theory (very-es from to school to school) and can take 4+ years and 4+ years pure class room can be over kill.

And when you talk about skill gaps it seems lot's of people with Computer Science schooling seem to have them.

also other parts of tech like media arts good places like Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy are hurt by being only a 2 year school but the said thing is that you can learn alot more with real skills and real work there then at an 4 year school.

Re:Why not trades schools / apprenticeships? (1)

CaseCrash (1120869) | about a year ago | (#44194839)

(very-es from to school to school)

I agree with your trade school idea, but is that really how you spelled "varies"?

We knew it would come (0)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44194261)

... that some parasite would come along and try and 'monetize' the MOOC craze.

I would expect nothing less from a morally bankrupt old c**t like Rupert Murdoch.

I hope he loses more money, like he did on that stupid social network and those paywalls.

Re:We knew it would come (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44194497)

... that some parasite would come along and try and 'monetize' the MOOC craze.

Over the past few years con artists^w^w profiteers^w investors have set their sights on education in general.

Sure teach everyone to code! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194293)

While we are it, let's teach everyone to engineer, fly an aircraft, and perform open brain surgery!

No one. U.S. kids are too retarded already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194565)

No one. U.S. kids are too retarded already.

Hey kids! Learn to train your H1B replacement! (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year ago | (#44194621)

If you want Americans to learn programming, provide jobs for them.

Re:Hey kids! Learn to train your H1B replacement! (1)

cmr-denver (1315039) | about a year ago | (#44194671)

+1 We've spent the last 20 years shipping those development jobs to India, China, and other countries where the cost of labor is cheaper, and then wonder why nobody is leaping into the industry anymore.

Re:Hey kids! Learn to train your H1B replacement! (1)

richman555 (675100) | about a year ago | (#44194771)

I completely agree with this. I would also go on to say I wouldn't recommend my kids getting into coding or development. There are a lot better careers in the world.

teachin code to a mathematically inclinded country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194657)

teach them math / logic instead, USA schools are still lagging in maths. why bother teaching a kid how to code if he hasn't even been exposed to algebra yet?

when I was first started learning to program with C, I told my friend I was reading 'this' book to learn how to make games,
he quickly took the book, flipped to the last page, and said 'so I take this cd and put it in my PlayStation, then I can make games?'. "no, no, no, you have to WRITE the game with code", etc this was in my 6th year of elementary school. I took a psych 101 class a few semesters ago, the teacher was a rather old woman in her late 60's, who had a girl who was studying computer science. One day in class she brought up how a program is 'written', and few students shook their head knowingly like it came as a surprise to them a few years ago when the finally found it out.

looking back at these days, a lot of school children have had the wrong outlook on computers, and coding. a simple coding class could change all of that, it doesn't even have to be C or Java, it could be html, this should give them the idea as they may have _never even seen_ or _heard of what code is_ at a early age. The problem would be after this is coding will start to seem like arcane knowledge, and a bunch of stuff you have to remember. That is an absolutely wrong outlook many people have had about programming. Real programming is about algorithms, data structures, logic. MATH. When you know maths, programming becomes an art. Without math it becomes a nightmare. /end

I'll teach the boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194675)

"Who will teach kids?"

Come boys and girls, I will teach you the ways of the code monkey herd.

all you need to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194959)

"friend-of-the-Gates-Foundation Rupert Murdoch" tells you all you need to know about the Gates Foundation.

Microsoft's initiative to teach kids programming (1)

poo9 (166427) | about a year ago | (#44195187)

Before you bash MS too hard on this, you should probably check out the amazing game/engine they're providing to xbox, xbone and win8 users for free:
https://joinprojectspark.com/

It's meant for kids (though I'm sure adults will become engaged) and is basically the AAA version of Kodu, a programming language that was built by MS Research with the explicit aim of teaching kids to code.

Astroturf campaign by DICE for H1b's continues... (1)

echtertyp (1094605) | about a year ago | (#44195681)

I've been wondering what is up with Slashdot lately, all these fawning articles in support of the astroturf campaign for getting more cheap programmers into the U.S. Despite all evidence to the contrary (good studies by professor Norm Matloff, and quantitative proof at EPI.org) we keep hearing about the horrors of not enough STEM workers.... I just noticed that Slashdot is part of DICE now. Ah..that explains a lot.
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