Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

February, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    TCEA and the Hoshimi Challenge


    I am enjoying myself at the Texas Computer Educator Conference (TCEA) here in Austin Texas today. I’m talking about the Hoshimi Challenge at our booth theatre today and tomorrow. It’s really great to talk about it live and in person. People seem to be very interested and I’m glad. It is something I would be using with my classes if I were still in the classroom.


    In fact, if you can keep a secret, I spent a little too much time on the plane working on my own AI for the environment yesterday. I am finding that trying to create a good AI is more interesting than the computer games I have installed on my computer. And way more interesting than fine tuning my presentation or doing my monthly report. It’s serious fun. I think that a lot of students and even some teachers are going to have a good time with it and learn a lot at the same time.


    By the way, the Academic Relations group I am with has a couple of openings at this time. We are looking for people who understand the academic world (a number of our group are former university professors and several others have been adjunct instructors but those are not requirements), have a technical background and have a passion for sharing technology with others. These are not Redmond based jobs. The job descriptions may be found here. Or go to and search for Job Title: Developer Evangelist - Academic


    I love this job as it gives me a chance to talk to some of the smartest people in the field of computer science. If you are interested you can apply on-line or send me your resume (AlfredTh at and I’ll pass it along to the hiring managers.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Technology Gone Wild - TCEA 2006

    Well I'm on my way to Austin TX for the TCEA conference today. I wish I could be there for the whole thing but I just can't. In any case if anyone reading this will be at TCEA stop by the Microsoft booth and ask for me. I'd love to say "hello."
  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Today's Links - 6 Feb 2006


    I thought I'd try something different today. Here is a list of links to a few interesting articles with a paragraph or two taken from each article. I've been meaning to link to and comment on each but just haven't had as much free time as I'd like. But there are too interesting to get lost.

    Technologically savvy students (?)

    One of the roles I often find myself in when talking to colleagues outside of my department is that of The Voice of Reason for Technology. One of the reasons for this is that many of my colleagues have some pretty significant fears about technology. Even if they use technology extensively in their research or teaching, they like to claim that they really don't know what they're doing. Almost all of them say some variation of "I'm so afraid that my students are light-years ahead of me when it comes to technology. The students are much more savvy about this stuff than I am."

    Tip of the Week #30: Student Recruitment

    It's that time of year to be recruiting students for next year's computer science courses. I would love to hear about your efforts to pull them in!

    Let me tell you about Brian Scarbeau's efforts and creative activities!

    The 3rd annual Tech Night at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida, included Brandon McMillon, the local Microsoft rep, as one of the speakers. Four college reps talked about the tech skills high school students should have before they go to college.  Pizza and drinks were served to the 65 attending.

    Anders Hejlsberg on Behind the Code

    This is not, I repeat, NOT a dry, run-down of technical accomplishments. This is a look at the person "behind the code."  Your students will identify with Anders as a fun, creative, hardworking, brilliant innovator. Hear his tales of the early days of Delphi, the beginning days of J++ vs Java, and the eventual development .NET. You will value his philosophy, humor, and wisdom about the software development industry. Your students learning OOD and using C# will value his influence and brilliance.

    Be sure to share this link with your students. [Note this intro is from Pat Phllip's blog]

    5 careers: Big demand, big pay

    Two tech jobs in high demand these days are .NET (dot net) developers and quality assurance analysts.

    Developers who are expert users of Microsoft's software programming language .NET can make between $75,000 and $85,000 a year in major cities when they're starting out. If they pursue a job at a company that seeks someone with a background in a given field (say, a firm looking for a .NET developer experienced in using software related to derivatives) they might snag a salary hike of 15 percent or more when they switch jobs.

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