Tech Sector Hiring is Hot Again
There appears to be mad dash to gobble up all of the CS grads. That bodes well for the students getting a CS degree or those thinking about getting a CS degree. Spread the word – everyone should be a Computer Scientist! Well, that may be a bit much, but hopefully students will hear the news and at least take a class or two and consider it.
“Nationally, 148,000 tech jobs are expected to be added by the end of 2011, says Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist at Moody’s Analytics.”
Game Programming is very popular and many high schools offer some type of Computer Science course that includes a bit of game programming. Scratch can be used to teach some basic game programming as can Kodu. Unity is another great tool for 3D game programming that now will run on Android. I teach quite a few games in my AP CS A class using GridWorld and Java Graphics with a bit of GUI. I have used GameMaker a few times with mixed results. Also, C# and XNA work great for game development and there are lots of materials readily available for free – check Alfred’s Blog. Pygame is great and allows you to create some really nice games using Python. The options for game programming are numerous and games really do get students excited and motivated about learning Computer Science.
CMU says adios to OOP in intro CS
OOP was all the rage a few years ago, but appears to be losing some of its luster. CMU has gone and done what lots of folks have been discussing on blogs and lists for some time. “Objects never or hardly never” was a topic on Mark Guzdial’s blog not too long ago.
It is extremely important that intro students can develop logical solutions / algorithms to given problems no matter the paradigm. This is way important to me than knowing where to put lots of keywords and punctuation marks. I want my students to be prepared to effectively develop solutions to problems in any environment. The more tools you have in your tool belt the better a Batman you will be – or something like that – you need to be flexible and adaptable and a fancy tool belt should help – at least in my mind it makes sense. I think Batman is cool and he has a cool tool belt. Who doesn’t like Batman?
What up yo? Well, the Kodu Cup is up yo! 3D game creation for moolah and prizes! Okay, so rapping / slangy stuff is clearly not my forte, but you get the picture. This contest looks very cool and my students are really excited about getting in on the game creation action. I hope to have several projects entered into the contest by my students and may even get my 7 and 9 year old sons into the mix as well. I may eventually put together some Kodu materials and include them with my other curriculum materials.
You can find more information about Kodu at the main Kodu site – Kodu
Is Software the Modern Language of Science?
This article does attempt to make that point and provides some nice research and examples to back up the claim.
There are some nice links to sites with data that suggest there is a stronger relationship between Science and Computer Science than at any point in the past.
It is shame that more high school graduates do not have access to this information as most of them do not see any connection between Science and Computer Science.
Lots of Tech Jobs
According to the article and several others I have read lately like it, there is high demand for mobile app developers.
A few great quotes from the article :
“Because of the labor shortage, companies do some pretty incredible acrobatics to attract good talent. That means it’s a good time to be a graduating senior with a degree in computer science.”
“If you can develop software applications for mobile devices, you’re sitting pretty.”
I have quite a few students interested in developing apps and the Android platform seems to the most popular choice. The environment is easy to use and apps can be developed quite quickly.