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More Students Learn CS In 3 Days Than Past 100 Years

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the go-forth-and-write-half-of-a-hangman-clone dept.

Programming 287

theodp writes "Code.org, backed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, boasts in a blog post that thanks to this week's Hour of Code, which featured a Blockly tutorial narrated by Gates and Zuckerberg, 'More students have participated in computer science in U.S. schools in the last three days than in the last 100 years.' Taking note of the impressive numbers being put up on the Hour of Code Leaderboards ('12,522,015 students have done the Hour of Code and written 406,022,512 lines of code'), the Seattle Times adds that 'More African American and Hispanic kids learned about the subject in two days than in the entire history of computer science,' and reports that the cities of Chicago and New York have engaged Code.org to offer CS classes in their schools. So, isn't it a tad hyperbolic to get so excited over kids programming with blocks? 'Yes, we can all agree that this week's big Hour of Code initiative is a publicity stunt,' writes the Mercury News' Mike Cassidy, 'but you know what? A publicity stunt is exactly what we need.'"

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Grammatical oversight (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45679815)

I'm pretty sure that the last 3 days are contained within the last 100 years.

Re:Grammatical oversight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679907)

Indeed, what a great big fucking ego fest..

Re:Grammatical oversight (3, Insightful)

killkillkill (884238) | about 10 months ago | (#45680259)

Grammatical oversight ignored, if what they were trying to say is true I can't imagine that it would not be true for 1,000 yrs, 1 million years... 100 Years? Were is their sensationalism?

3 days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679817)

And here I thought I needed to keep going after 3 years.

Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (5, Insightful)

NeverWorker1 (1686452) | about 10 months ago | (#45679839)

Hour of code is not a bad thing, but this didn't create 12M programmers, much less 12M people who know computer science. They averaged 32.4 lines each.

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (5, Insightful)

yahwotqa (817672) | about 10 months ago | (#45679939)

Indeed, but what it _did_ do is expose them to the idea that computers can be tools that do what we tell them to do, and not just magic black boxes for mindless content consumption. Even though 90% of the kids will completely forget about it tomorrow.

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (4, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45680127)

computers can be tools that do what we tell them to do

How long have you been programming?

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45680201)

Long enough to recognize that they do what we say, not what we want.

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#45680547)

Not only that, but:

> "and written 406,022,512 lines of code"

Sounds like a bad 5 weeks I had once 15 years ago.

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680207)

A computer does exactly what the user tells it to do. If the user makes a mistake, the computer still does what the user tells it, including the mistake. (The exception is computers with a locked bootloader, which do what the manufacturer tells it to do instead of what the user tells it to do.)

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | about 10 months ago | (#45680505)

I'd give you a +1 Funny as well,if it wasn't my comment you were replying to. :-)

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (4, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 10 months ago | (#45680321)

the idea that computers can be tools that do what we tell them to do, and not just magic black boxes for mindless content consumption.

Unfortunately, this new interest comes at a time when the big players in the industry, like Apple, are well along in the process of doing away with the general purpose computer and replacing it with walled garden tablet like devices who's primary purpose is mindless consumption. In very real ways programming is becoming ever less accessible to the average person or at least less open to the sorts of spontaneous discovery and experimentation that attract new people into the field. For example, it's difficult now to have the sort of VIC-20, Commodore-64 or Apple II experience that inspired well know programmers like Linus Torvalds and many others to become interested in computing and programming at an early age.

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 10 months ago | (#45680521)

I suspect the programming languages of the not to distant future will make Visual Basic look like brain surgery. "Siri...write a program to do X."

Re: Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | about 10 months ago | (#45680529)

I fully agree, and having first learned to write programs on 8-bit computers, I share your sentiment, but this is still better than nothing.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (0)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 10 months ago | (#45679943)

But I'm sure they're inner fire lite up because those 2 guys were narrating the event. This could be just enough...

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680353)

But I'm sure they're inner fire lite up because those 2 guys were narrating the event. This could be just enough...

What the fuck are you attempting to say? Holy fuck, even your signature contains errors.

PC Gaming enthousiast that gives comments, opinions and point of views on Games

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679993)

'More African American and Hispanic kids learned about the subject in two days than in the entire history of computer science.'

So all it takes is 3 days to learn all of computer science? The universities and colleges have been forcing a 4-year curriculum upon students and employers have been demanding applicants have a doctorate degree plus 100 years experience for years. By the standards set by Hour od Code I would have learned everything there is to know about computer science after a month programming my Commodore VIC-20 (Commodore PET BASIC and 6502 machine language - there was no assembler at the time so every instruction had to be POKEd into memory). Zuckerberg and Gates want to commoditize computer programming, software enigeering, and software development so wages drop to less than minimum wage.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (4, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 10 months ago | (#45679995)

Thank you. The BS quotient in that headline was alarmingly high. Or are we now just publishing Microsoft and Facebook press releases verbatim?

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (2)

theodp (442580) | about 10 months ago | (#45680623)

The original submission [slashdot.org] was a little less wide-eyed. Guess the editor cut the Harold Hill reference (that's Lyle Lanley [wikia.com] , for you Simpsons fans!) in the interest of objectivity (or perhaps it was just too obcure!) :-)

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680189)

"Hour of code is not a bad thing, but this didn't create 12M programmers, much less 12M people who know computer science."

And even if it did, how many of those 12M computer sciency programmers would actually enjoy programming and computer science.

But it still a good thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680217)

I got all the way to college without any interest in CS (1980-ish). My older sister insisted "you need to take a programming class" so I added it to my schedule. 30+ years later I'm still programming.
Sometimes the most important thing making someone realize "I can DO that?" I like the idea that kids from "educational averse" cultures are being exposed to CS.

Re:But it still a good thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680297)

educational averse

Do you come from such a culture? Or are you just grammatical averse?

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680291)

Hour of code is not a bad thing, but this didn't create 12M programmers, much less 12M people who know computer science. They averaged 32.4 lines each.

Yes, but that's about all that is needed to spark the interest of someone who had a latent interest in computers but did not know it.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 10 months ago | (#45680369)

Hour of code is not a bad thing, but this didn't create 12M programmers, much less 12M people who know computer science. They averaged 32.4 lines each.

It's about as valid as saying 12M students "learned" neurosurgery in 3 days.

I'm bloody brilliant, but I didn't learn what I know in 3 days. I only learned a small fraction of what I know in 3 days.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (4, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 10 months ago | (#45680377)

The unintended consequence of this is the creation of as many as 12 million people who now THINK they know something about computer science. Those people may be likely to engage in policy-making or support policies created by other low-information people. It's no different than someone watching Dr. Oz suddenly declaring themselves to be experts on healthcare.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680405)

As long as they weren't being indoctrinated with Java, this can only be a good thing.

Re:Writing 32 lines is not "Learning CS" (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 10 months ago | (#45680673)

OMG 12 Million "Hello World" programs written in VB? Oh the Humanity!!!!!

D'oh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679891)

And to think I wasted all those years of college courses to learn CS. Who knew I could have just done it in 3 days!?

Re:D'oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680027)

I wonder whether you can get a refund on the tuition you paid for those 4 years minus Frosh Week?

Words.. (1)

GrBear (63712) | about 10 months ago | (#45679895)

Words.. the summary is missing some.

Is it even possible anymore? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679897)

I work on web apps, with DB back ends. I need to be able to set up the DB structure, create the queries, set the indexes, schedule the DB backups, then set up the web server, code the back end to get the data, write a frontend in javascript using knockout and ajax to make it responsive and usable. Since we have a small development team each of the three of us has to be able to do all of these steps. This is in addition to the ERP programming and interfaces I also do for this.

Is it even possible for new people to come along and learn all of this? I am able just because I learned as it came out piece by piece, but I keep wondering if new people will ever be able to do the full range of things. With a larger team you can split it up, but rarely do you get a team were each person is fully competent and unless there is someone who can call BS on any part of it there is potential for problems.

I also wonder if anyone in their right mind would bother learning all of this. When we interview people under 30 they are saying stuff like "I do Apple IOS programming and nothing else". I know there is a lot of ageism anti-old people sentiment expressed here on /., but when you actually need something done and can't hire 10 people to do it you can't hire these younger people.

Re: Is it even possible anymore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680003)

Wow! You must be some kind of programming wizard! I don't think _anyone_ could learn all that!

I bow to your awesomeness, good sir!

Re: Is it even possible anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680137)

it's called life experience. Someday you too will have it.

Re: Is it even possible anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680197)

I'd ask where that 'wizard got such a supple wrist but hey, this is Slashdot.

Re:Is it even possible anymore? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680149)

I need to be able to set up the DB structure, create the queries, set the indexes, schedule the DB backups, then set up the web server, code the back end to get the data, write a frontend in javascript using knockout and ajax to make it responsive and usable. Since we have a small development team each of the three of us has to be able to do all of these steps.

OK. First if you are looking for someone with that experience, you will be one of those employers "who can't find anyone qualified". All that stuff was required for your job and your job only - so of course you learned all that. Your competitors may have their development team structured differrently; so poaching may not work.

I am able just because I learned as it came out piece by piece, but I keep wondering if new people will ever be able to do the full range of things.

They could if given the chance. Unfortunately, I am almost completely certain that if your employer needed to replace you or a member of your team, they would demand ALL of the skills that you used and if folks where lacking any, they would be labeled as unqualified.

. When we interview people under 30 they are saying stuff like "I do Apple IOS programming and nothing else".

Of course! If they are programming iOS stand alone apps, why would they need to do anything else? And many programming skills require quite a large investment in software and hardware to learn on ones own.
And then learning new things: there's so much out there, what should one concentrate on first? The most popular NOW or what you may think will be popular in the near future? It's real easy to invest time and money and eventually get burned. It happened to me when I invested the hundreds of dollars for Palm development and hundreds of hours of time only to have the market go a completely different direction.

And of course, one may actually want a life other than programming all the time.

Technology is very fickle and the marketplace for talent is crazy. One moment your got all the "right" skills and then *poof*, the next big thing come along and that's what most want. And the "old" technologies become saturated with qualified people.

when you actually need something done and can't hire 10 people to do it you can't hire these younger people.

I see. So you want a clone of yourself. See the beginning of this comment.

tl;dr: Parent is totally unrealistic in his demands for emploees and illustrates perfectly how screwed up the tech employment market is.

Seling to iPhone users only or selling to everyone (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680237)

If they are programming iOS stand alone apps, why would they need to do anything else?

Because *poof* the next big thing came along. Sometimes you can earn more money by developing both an iOS version of an application and an Android version of an application. On the other hand, if every company you plan to work for is big enough to have a separate Android specialist, there's less of a urgent need to broaden your skill set.

My company; iOS/MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680523)

My company has an internal proprietary app that has an iOS front end and a MS stack for the back end.

I have to keep up with all that and I don't have the time to learn Android.

My company is iOS/MS only and there's no plans whatsoever to change.

So, I should make time and start learning every possible skill that an employer could ever possibly want? And master them? And how do I get on the job experience programming Android in an iOS/MS shop? Like I said, they have absolutely NO desire to use Android.

Internal vs. external apps (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680643)

My company has an internal proprietary app that has an iOS front end

Touché. If you're only working on internal applications on the developer enterprise program, that's another factor reducing the urgent need to broaden your skill set, I'll grant.

And how do I get on the job experience programming Android in an iOS/MS shop?

That depends on whether your company also wants to produce an external application. I understand you're already set up to publish an iOS application, but your company probably doesn't want to turn away revenue from potential customers just because their phone isn't Apple.

Re:Is it even possible anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680543)

Parent is totally unrealistic in his demands for emploees and illustrates perfectly how screwed up the tech employment market is.

No, I was asking where the people are going to come from that can actually DO things. We hire lots of people who quit within months because they just don't want to learn all the things required to do the job. There are great opportunities to learn and train with us because we need to keep head count down, but I have found out most "programmers" have their tiny hole they like and won't step out of it.

Replier is probably one of those lazy people we went through and couldn't hack it and thinks their laziness is not the problem, its everyone else that is the problem.

Nope Nope Nope (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680225)

First, of course it's possible for a newcomer to learn "all this". You took years to learn it piecemeal, but they'll learn it all in a week or a semester. Within a year or two, they'll be taking your job as you slip into irrelevance.

But, the new kids on the block won't learn all this because they don't have to. The cloud movement is integrating and automating the manual setup and backup labor that you are referring to. The newcomers simply check the boxes for the services they want and click go. Their coding, if they code, is being done with very high level languages and huge frameworks that makes your PHP work look like assembly language.

Check your six, you're under siege.

Re:Is it even possible anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680335)

Of course it's possible to do this. If you let one person focus on say, the data layer - databases, queries, etc., one person focus on the interface - web server, UI, etc., and one person focus on the business logic tying the two together, I daresay you could each do an excellent job without impinging much on the responsibilities of the other guys.

If only there was a way to describe this sort of architecture, where a data layer and a presentation layer interact via a control layer, keeping internal representations of data separate from external presentations I bet if you could formalize that, you'd revolutionize Computer Science.

Re:Is it even possible anymore? (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45680401)

I work on automated servers, doing various things with Windows and Powershell that Microsoft doesn't even think are possible. I could bore you with the list of components I have detailed knowledge of, but that'd make this post too long to bother reading.

I knew none of it when I started this job. In a few weeks, I'd picked up enough of the system knowledge to start leading my own projects, and within six months I was teaching my almost-boss how the components work.

Nobody else has your exact skill set, that's true, but ultimately your skill set doesn't actually matter when looking for a replacement. What matters is whether the person you bring in can do the job. That might mean they have to learn your skills quickly, or maybe they just have to learn how to copy an existing setup, or perhaps they just have to learn how to properly panic when a status light turns red.

As business changes, the required skill set will change, as well. The people who will survive are the ones who learn, not the ones who know.

Re:Is it even possible anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680435)

Some tech is going to consolidate the webserver+sql+smart client stuff eventually. This doesn't mean it will do it overnight, nor that it will be more efficient than a competently set up stack, but the problem that you correctly describe will be tackled by trying out new stuff.

Wow.... (5, Funny)

blackbeak (1227080) | about 10 months ago | (#45679899)

That's an awful lot of "Hello World"!

Re:Wow.... (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 10 months ago | (#45680007)

You forgot about calling all the factory methods and creating the graphic contexts and message queues and new whatnot.whatever.initialize() - you know: the computer sciencey stuff.

Re:Wow.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680315)

https://github.com/EnterpriseQualityCoding/FizzBuzzEnterpriseEdition

Almost.

It is quite sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679903)

Despite how well this when, and how much work went behind it, the effort, the care, and the love from students, shit-all is going to be done about it afterwards.
There is still going to be this massive gap in the education schedule where a very VERY important skill should be.
Programming isn't just slaving away whacking a keyboard (unless you are in a job that is), it teaches a lot of logic skills, it teaches self-analysis, the ability to find mistakes, co-operation, typing skills (just destroyed that ^), ways to do things quicker, increases creativity and generally a love for creating things on your own.

Sure, people likely will grow out of it, but it is about giving people the OTHER skills that is important.
Programming is a very flexible area that requires a lot of various interconnecting skills which are useful in so many other areas.
So teaching all of these skills together is extremely more time-efficient, money-efficient, and is a heck of a lot more fun.

And while some likely will not get it at all and some even straight up hate it, fine, you can't force everyone to like something.
This would only be entry-level stuff anyway, which will be the most important parts since they are the basis for everything else.

Re:It is quite sad. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45680099)

Programming is not a fundamental skill or subject, and teaches nothing that can't be taught with a number of other subjects, like math (dons Nomex undies). I have no objection to teaching it in schools, and it may even be useful for a few people, but let's not get carried away with the self importance, shall we?

Yeah, no ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45679927)

Learning a little about programming and computers is not "CS".

A high-level tutorial is just that, and this is just marketing spin on teaching some computer literacy. It's admirable, but it isn't what they're claiming it is.

Re:Yeah, no ... (3, Insightful)

neorush (1103917) | about 10 months ago | (#45680151)

This is a pretty academic way of looking at it. You have to start some where. When you were learning to add single digit numbers no one said "Learning a little bit about adding numbers is not Calculus." While in a literal sense it is not, you simply can not proceed without the latter.

Re:Yeah, no ... (3, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 10 months ago | (#45680587)

I don't think anyone is saying that the time was ill-spent. The objection is to the hyperbole, especially in the headline. If I said, "My children learned how to drive, you would assume that they now know how to drive. While learning how to read a speedometer and turn the key in the ignition are components of that, I would hardly say that they "learned driving".

But then, I don't work in PR.

Re:Yeah, no ... (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45680213)

Personally, I think that they're building onto the ideology that 'knowing how to use a computer' makes you smart. In an effort to guide more youth into wasting their lives in cubicles, and all that comes with that - in order to support the lifestyles enjoyed by both Gates and Shmuckerberg. What these 2 shit-heads should be teaching is how to fuck over others in order to be one of the richest guys in the world.

Re:Yeah, no ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45680675)

Personally, I think that they're building onto the ideology that 'knowing how to use a computer' makes you smart.

I agree that learning how to use computers gives you an important skillset and more advantages than if you don't.

But saying they "learned CS" is like saying learning how to apply a bandaid means you've "learned medicine", or hammering a nail means you've "learned carpentry" -- it's completely over-stating what you've done, and has no bearing on what you're claiming.

Learning a few computer concepts is NOT "learning CS".

Apps are something you can learn to make (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680253)

But people need the high-level tutorial in order to get over the notion that apps are "something someone else makes in some mysterious way". Perhaps if more people had gone through such a tutorial, they might not flock to locked-down Apple/Microsoft devices as easily.

Re:Apps are something you can learn to make (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45680589)

Exactly.

I'm involved in a Venture [scouting.org] program emphasizing STEM careers. A major focus of our program is "thinking like an engineer". We want the kids to realize that everything complicated is just a collection of simpler parts (until you get small enough), and those simpler parts are generally designed by humans, so there's no good reason why they can't be the ones designing in the future.

If you want to act, move (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680695)

We want the kids to realize that everything complicated is just a collection of simpler parts (until you get small enough), and those simpler parts are generally designed by humans, so there's no good reason why they can't be the ones designing in the future.

Other than they happen to live several states away from the established companies that do such designing. If you want to act in a Broadway play, you have to move to New York [slashdot.org] . If you want to act in a Hollywood film, you have to move to Los Angeles. I can think of a few Slashdot users who would claim that people who have no way to move to where a trade is practiced shouldn't even bother learning the trade.

Re:Yeah, no ... (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45680329)

I think it's a bit worse than that

The "Hour of Code" and all of this alleged programing was not programming. It's a drag and drop "tutorial" of high level concepts, and the user interface is what writes all the code. Think of the old "Turtle" program where you give the user interface some basic instructions "move left 1", "move forward 2", etc... The hour of code was a fancier version of this, and changed to Angry Birds.

From what I read and saw in Youtube videos of this, it teaches the concepts at a very high level. I never saw any examples of people switching to a source view and editing the code the interface writes so I'm not sure this interface was capable of something that advanced (could be, I didn't run it).

A more accurate summary would be "millions of users run a program which teaches high level concepts and writes code for them.". I guess we could add "Zuckerburg and Gates need to feel better about themselves so sponsor the program."

Re:Yeah, no ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680415)

It no more writes code for them than your C compiler writes code for you. But then you didn't run it, right, so I guess you wouldn't know that.

Re:Yeah, no ... (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 10 months ago | (#45680383)

It's admirable, but it isn't what they're claiming it is.

You're dealing with Silicon Valley types here, hype and hyperbole are second nature to these people. Most of these guys have their heads so far up in the clouds that they forget what they sound like when talking to ordinary people who live outside their bubble world. Mostly, they're full of shit but the average person doesn't seem to recognize this and so the public eats their crap up because they don't know any better.

Premature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679935)

Maybe a few of the students who actually spent 100 years learning CS would be able to write a correct ActiveX control in C++.

Re:Premature (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45680113)

That's like saying maybe a few of the students who actually spent 100 years learning engineering would be able to create a perpetual motion machine.

Re:Premature (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45680245)

Something about your analogy bothers me.

I mean, translating it to another field:

"Maybe a few of the students who actually spent 100 years learning history would be able to cause the holocaust."
or
"Maybe a few of the students who actually spent 100 years learning music would be able to write dubstep"
or
"Maybe a few of the students who actually spent 100 years learning nuclear engineering would be able to make Chernobyl"

I'm not cynical... (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 10 months ago | (#45679947)

...about this. Just about everyone in the world is dependent on computers at some point, whether or not it's an immediate influence on their life. Having at least some clue of what's happening under the hood is a Good Thing for them, even if they are never a professional dev or IT person. I know far too many people who have the "black box" mentality, and as a result, are much poorer at interacting with computers than they would otherwise be.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679959)

12million new "expert programmers" just hit the tubes.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680475)

They'll probably write better code than half of the "web programmers" out there.

Eternal September (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45679975)

I wouldn't say any of the participants 'know' Computer Science. All this will result in is the industry being flooded with unqualified, narcissistic, self proclaimed genius types.

Wait what ? (2)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 10 months ago | (#45679989)

They had computer 100 years ago ?

Re:Wait what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680117)

You don't need a computer to have computer science.

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
Edsger Dijkstra

Re:Wait what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680167)

sure did!

http://www.atariarchives.org/deli/Time_Line.php

Re:Wait what ? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45680235)

Yeah I was going to say basically the same thing. I imagine that they kept the number down to 100 (they could have used the same logic to say a trillion years) in order to keep it in some perspective so that the kids themselves didn't just say, "pffft..."

Re:Wait what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680555)

They has english too!

Now who will unteach them? (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 10 months ago | (#45679999)

All the mistakes those guys taught them. I figure it will take at least 10 hours.

Re:Now who will unteach them? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45680255)

That was the point of them doing this, to get at kids while their minds are still forming.

Just Cover for the Real Agenda (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45680059)

'Yes, we can all agree that this week's big Hour of Code initiative is a publicity stunt,' writes the Mercury News' Mike Cassidy, 'but you know what? A publicity stunt is exactly what we need.'

Need for what? It's just a way to deflect attention from the real agenda of h1bsrus.org. No, even worse, to convince people that there really is a shortage of programmers, and gosh we're trying to get more Americans to learn it (bonus points for your propaganda if they're minorities), but it takes time, and so we really really need to up the H-1B quota (temporarily, of course) by a million or whatever they want (ask for a million - settle for a half).

I can understand Zuck, et al, spouting propaganda to get out of their personally horrid underprivileged conditions, but what annoys me is the media buying into this crap. How about a little counterpoint that the only indications of a programmer shortage are the testimonials of people with a serious vested interest, and not any of those silly objective facts. Forget programming - what they really need to teach in schools is critical thinking.

Re:Just Cover for the Real Agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680203)

Usually it goes something like this.

3-6 months to learn the constructs of programming (for,while,if,etc...)
3-6 months for 'data structures' (left right trees, arrays, sorting, etc...)

1-2 weeks to 'learn' a language
1-2 months to become proficient at that language
1-2 months to figure out a business process as a new hire

2-4 years to become pro at programming
4-6 years to become 'master'
3-5 years to learn to play with others and unlearn that programming is not the center of the universe.

Yes it takes time.

Programming leads to logic, which leads to... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45680279)

Forget programming - what they really need to teach in schools is critical thinking.

Programming is one way of building the logic skills that one needs in order to learn critical thinking.

Re:Just Cover for the Real Agenda (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 10 months ago | (#45680469)

I can understand Zuck, et al, spouting propaganda to get out of their personally horrid underprivileged conditions

Underprivileged? Zuck was the very definition of privilege and advantage when growing up. His background was upper middle class at the very least.

what they really need to teach in schools is critical thinking.

That doesn't suit the purposes of the ruling class and so is not taught. The last thing they want is for the future peons of America to think for themselves critically instead of believing all of the marketing, advertising and bullshit that the elite and their corporations plan to dump in their laps.

confused... (2)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 10 months ago | (#45680071)

I went to high school between 1987-91, and somewhere in there (I think it was my softmore year?) there was a computer class. We learned BASIC on computers which had green characters on a black screen (no windows), and if I recall used 8.5" floppies. There were also some TRS-80s there, but I didn't use them there.

Now personally, since my father owned a VAR that sold minis and mains by IBM, I had already had experience with PCs for many years by then. But that was literally over 20 years ago, in a mandatory high school class.

Was that really that unusual? 20 years later has the rest of the US not caught up with where my high school - in a town of 40k (at the time) - was? If so, then I have a new appreciation for the place...

Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680153)

More Students Learn CS In 3 Days Than Past 100 Years

Translation: The summary poster is a complete idiot who doesn't know the meaning of the terns "computer science", "learn", etc. The only way the numbers make sense is if this 3 day course equals a 4 year degree. Otherwise, I've taught "CS" to dozens of people and I'm sure the numbe of people who have "learned CS" are in the billions.

I read a book on anthropology once, I guess now I'm in the same circles as Jane Goodall.

It's sad that slashdot has fallen enough to post such utter stupidity.

Re:Wow.. (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 10 months ago | (#45680661)

Exactly. The author interchanges Computer Science and Computer Programmer. The two are not the same.

Programming != Computer science (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680161)

Does this even need to be said?

Re:Programming != Computer science (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 10 months ago | (#45680671)

Apparently it does, because these "geniuses" believe it's the same thing.

Makes perfect sense (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 10 months ago | (#45680183)

Computers have not been ubiquitous enough to warrant any kind of mainstream interest since about the past 20 years. Besides that, Gates and Zuckerberg (et al) have been pimping "hour of code" like a 2bit whore for the past few weeks. Dunno what their agenda is but I don't really trust either of them all that much.

Ahh Stupid sensational math. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45680195)

Math the media like to show that really doesn't mean much.
1. Well not too many people were studying computer science back in 1913.
2. Computer Science didn't really become a popular major until the 1980's
3. General Population growth and increase in literacy world wide.
4. Growth to IT Demand in large countries India and China.

So yes, while the number is right, it isn't really that useful.
I much rather see the breakdown of demographics of those three days and track their professional changes over a period of time.

Look at how many new CS applicants there are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680211)

Hello there CS grad! Yes, we will hire you but you will work for pennies now.

for some definition of "learned" (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 10 months ago | (#45680263)

learning _about_ CS, maybe, but certainly not learning CS. I'm sure more people learn abount chemistry from Breaking Bad than from your local University's graduate school.

Crappy math or did we forget the 1980's again? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 10 months ago | (#45680267)

I remember covering BASIC in multiple subjects, during multiple years, in elementary school...and that was a pretty common occurrence. If the "hour of code" counts...I'm not sure how it you be anything more than 1.5-2x larger than US education's sustained BASIC pitch in the 1980s.

Honestly I wish it was Software Engineering (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 10 months ago | (#45680271)

I wish they'd teach most people Software Engineering techniques instead. Basically I mean write code that is maintainable. IE actually write functions, use templates/generics, don't use magic numbers, don't have pieces of code for object A in object B, ETC.

Oh joy (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#45680345)

Just what we need. More people putting out more crappy code. As if a large segment of programmers aren't already overpaid for the spaghetti they produce.

We don't need MORE programmers, we need BETTER programmers. There are enough programmers in existence (contrary to what those in the industry will claim) yet the abysmal state of software shows how poorly these people perform.

I would have no problem with a company paying a programmer $250K IF that programmer could produce good code on a daily basis. Instead, we have hordes of overpriced, egotistical, self-important hacks who believe they're worth more than they're paid and the shit we are forced to put up with every day proves it.

Re:Oh joy (3, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | about 10 months ago | (#45680425)

I would have no problem with a company paying a programmer $250K IF that programmer could produce good code on a daily basis.

I'm curious... Are you a CTO, or a programmer?

I, too, would have no problem with a company paying a programmer $250K *IF* that programmer was ME.

Why is a "publicity stunt" needed? (2)

korbulon (2792438) | about 10 months ago | (#45680365)

Apart from the fact that this whole thing is a horseshit, cynical gimmick designed to drum up public support for big IT corporations - especially in light of all the recent privacy and NSA scandals - under the guise of teaching inner-city yoots (because, gosh darnit, they CARE ) , there is also the entirely unforeseen side benefit of potentially creating a massive influx of new coders into the job market who will serve to fill the ranks of existing code monkeys who provide the sort of cheap and easily fireable labor that American corporations seems to crave so much..

Excellent tool (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 10 months ago | (#45680385)

I showed this to 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys aged 6 to 12. They all had a great time with it and one girl is already doing the extended lessons drawing geometrical figures.

Maybe none of them will become programmers but they all got that exposure and have the seed planted that they COULD if they worked at it. More importantly, they were motivated to learn something on their own.

difference of CS, IT, IS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680411)

I'm not trying to start an argument, but computer science deals with the theory of computing in our society whereas information systems and technology deal with the actual use and implementation of computing? These abstract concepts are hard to grasp for me.

Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded in bits and bytes in a computer memory or transcribed engines and protein structures in a human cell. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

Information system is the study of complementary networks of hardware and software that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create, and distribute data.

Information technology is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise.

they sound the same to me.

some major contradictions here (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 10 months ago | (#45680423)

1) If CS is so easy to learn, then why are software projects so hard? Like the crapwre that comes out of FB and healthware.gov?
2) If CS so easy easy to learn and so lucrative, why is there a so-called shorter of software engineers?

The focus should be on logical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680455)

Coding is only about implementing your logical thinking using a formal language that manages and manipulates resources in a virtual environment.

You can always have coders, but coders come with poor logical thinking.

Pompano Beach is the New Silicon Valley? (1)

theodp (442580) | about 10 months ago | (#45680483)

Hmmm...the #1 city in the world on the leader board is Pompano Beach (FL), and Everett (WA?) is beating NYC, according to the Leaderboard.

Great! (2)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 10 months ago | (#45680491)

Now give them all work at Microsoft as programmers!

Hurray for minorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680551)

Because comments such as 'More white kids did x!' would quickly be labeled as racist. Minority double standard, still alive and thriving...

Praise the Lord, and pass the soap on a roap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45680665)

What a joke! What fool buys into this childish propaganda? Geez. Next you'll give us the "people have evolved in 2,000 years" laugh.

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