Additional profile information on Alfred Thompson at Google+
Over at the official site for Computer Science Education Day they are showing the image of the official proclamation of Computer Science Education day for the City of Orlando. Computer Science Education day, timed for as close as possible to the birthday of computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper, is Friday December 8th this year. It's very exciting that Orlando has made an official proclamation because it shows that the mayor and his administration really appreciates how important computer science is in education.
Schools around the country are celebrating this year and I hope it grows year by year. Most disciplines in schools do have special days the celebrate to attract attention to what they are doing. A special day for computer science education is long overdue. Kudos to Brian Scarbeau for getting this idea rolling and to the many other teachers who have taken it up.
The ACM Computing Careers web page (I talked about it Friday) has a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Major in Computing. But I think they left out the most important reason. It's fun!
Really it is. For some the fun part is solving interesting problems. For others it is the chance to make a real difference in people's lives. For some it is the chance to be in control - to have a machine do what you tell it to do. For others it is the knowledge that lots and lots of people will be using your work. Think about being a Windows developer and knowing that literally hundreds of millions of people will use your software every day! And if that scale scares you think about writing a simple program that helps a single student learn something new. There are lots of ways that make computer science fun. It's all good.
People in computing, and I have met lots of them in over 35 years of computing as a student and a professional, are interesting people. They are into interesting things. Increasingly we are seeing people work in more and larger (and still some smaller) teams. Computer science is a cooperative effort and the chance to work with interesting people is a very exciting thing.
Computer science is fun. Oh sure there are times when it can be difficult. Anything worthwhile can be difficult at times. But at its heart - computer science rocks!
Higgy is looking for another web development teacher to collaborate with. Full details are available at his blog but in brief he'd like to see his class partner with students in another class somewhere else to share and comment on podcasts. He's got some webspace he can share BTW so this may make it easier for some of you with, shall we say, overly controlling systems administrators. If interested contact him directly using the email address on his blog.
I think this is an exciting "flat world" sort of idea. We can talk all we want about the Internet connecting people, about collaboration across large distances, and about sharing ideas with others but putting it into practice is what is going to make it real. Good luck Higgy!