Tag Archives: Recruiting

Best Paying Interships

Computer Science students looking for summer internships are in good shape per the stats from Glassdoor.com.  Check out the blog post

I had a great conversation with my high school comp sci students about this information.  They could not believe how much these internships were paying.   This was exactly the information that some of my students needed to get motivated to start writing more code.

7 Lakes Contest Wrap Up

The 7 Lakes contest at 7 Lakes HS in Katy, Texas was great.
There were tons of teams and schools.

The written results can be viewed at :

Check out a sample written test at if you are interested in seeing one.

I have posted the 7 Lakes programming results and some pics on my A+ Computer Science facebook page.


Looking forward to the next one in a few weeks.

UT Austin CS – First Bytes Summer Camp for Girls

The University of Texas at Austin Computer Science Department is again holding a Computer Science camp for girls this summer.
The First Bytes Summer Camp for Girls will accept applications through the 23rd of March.
Many of my students have attended past instances of this camp and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Almost all of my students that attended the camp in the past have gone on to either minor or major in Computer Science.
Check it out!

2011 Texas CS Contest Season Kicks Off

What are Computer Science Contests?

First, this is a rewrite / update of a prior post related to contests.  I needed to include some of this again and update quite a bit as the new CS Contest season is underway here in Texas.  Texas has tons of contests and I feel the contests are great ways to recruit more students.

Computer Science contests are huge in Texas and they should be huge everywhere.  Basically, you have a contest every two weeks if you live in Houston or the surrounding area.

The 7 Lakes Kick-off Classic took place this past Saturday, October 8th.  This contest starts off the statewide contest circuit each year.  The season wraps up each year in May with the UIL State Academic Meet Computer Science Contest.  This state contest is the culmination of all of the local contests.

Each contest typically has a programming component and a written test component.  The programming component consists of a packet of problems that each team must attempt to solve.  A standard packet will have 12 problems.  A more expanded packet may have 18.  Each local contest has the option to create their own packet and set the number of problems.

The UIL Computer Science Contest, a statewide contest in Texas, has 12 problems so that is the number most local contests go with.  The written component consists of a 40 question multiple-choice test.  Test questions focus on logic, algorithms, data-structures, and language features.  All tests used in Texas use Java as the testing language.

Why take teams to contests?

Contests force students into a real team environment with the added pressure of finite time.  Most programming contests only last two hours and only allow teams to use one computer.  Teams must learn how to work together in a timed environment to solve problems.  Students learn valuable teamwork and problem-solving skills in these settings each and every time they compete.

Teamwork is key! Each team of 3 students is allowed to use 1 computer.  All 3 students must share time and learn to work together to get things done.  This is hard for all students, but especially for Computer Science students which typically try to avoid working with other people at all cost.  My students experience tremendous positive growth learning to work in these situations.

Another benefit is that many large software companies use similar problems for interviewing purposes as those often seen in contest packets.  A common programming problem often involves determining if an exit from a maze exists.   A former student of mine was asked to explain solving this exact problem when interviewing for a Google position.

Winning is contagious!  Get a few students to go compete and actually win and your enrollment will spike upwards.  All students want to be a part of a winner.

How do I get involved and help my students prepare?

If you are in Texas, check my contest dates page.  If you are in another state, find out who hosts contests or host your own.   Check out my site for information on hosting your own contest.  Send me an email if you have questions or want to get started.

Encourage your students to solve lots and lots of problems.  I maintain a contest practice site loaded with tons of live problems.  USACO and CodingBat are also great resources for live practice.   Get your students to “crank code” as much as possible.

Looking forward to a great year

The 2011-2012 season is underway and it looks like we will have an awesome year!  Good luck to all!

UT Austin – Fall Career Fair

The University of Texas at Austin will be hosting a career fair for the College of Natural Science on September 19th.

152 companies will be participating in the College of Natural Sciences Career Fair.  Of those 152 companies, 138 will be there to recruit only the Computer Science students.  90.8% of the companies attending the job fair are seeking Computer Science students.

I shared this information with my students and they were amazed that so many companies would be looking specifically for Computer Science graduates.  I explained that this data totally backs up all of the articles I have had them read lately regarding demand for CS grads and CS grads getting tons of job offers.  The data does not lie.

Job demand for CS grads is clearly looking really good!  Spread the word!

Also, have your girls apply for NCWIT awards!

Teaching Kids to Hack

Teaching Kids to Hack

This is a great article ( it is not about hacking into banks ) and just shows that there are lots of kids interested in Computer Science if you find creative ways to grab their attention.  It also helps to start talking to them when they are young and more open-minded.

One of the best quotes in the article says “computer science is the entry point to all science. It starts kids on the path of science, technology, math, the whole thing. It becomes cool.”

I will gladly send all three of my sons to conferences like this.  I want my boys to learn how to crank code and hack stuff as soon as possible.  😉

Creating Interest in CS

Creating Interest in CS

I have been telling people for years that the CS marketing campaign is broken.  We need to stop with the “we need more geeks in CS” campaigns.  The are clearly not working as that is not what students today are looking for.  We need to show students what you can do with CS and how you can make a difference as a Computer Scientist.  Boys and girls find this approach much more appealing and rewarding.  The article above is basically saying the same thing.