Additional profile information on Alfred Thompson at Google+
A link to the Hacker High School web site went to the AP CS list the other day. It is an interesting site with lessons and exercises about computer and network security. It appears to be designed to be used in either a classroom or a computer club or other after school program.
Some students today know a lot about network and computer security. Some of them use that knowledge for good and others, well, perhaps not good is a better way to put it than bad. Students are curious and they are going to try to find out what they can do and where they can get in. The other students, the ones who don't know as much, probably need a good education in security if only to protect themselves from their peers. And of course there are hackers out there who have clearly ill intentions and we need to protect people from them as well.
This Hacker High School page looks like a site that teachers and parents should know about. If nothing else you really don't want to be in a situation where the students in your life know more about security than the adults in their life.
Now I love programming games. I think that game deveopment is fun, interesting and a great learning experience. The game development programs at a lot of schools from high schools to university to graduate school are interesting and probably help attract more students into the field of computer science. But are you really sure you want your degree in that?
OVer at the CompSci.Ca blog there is a very thought provoking post called "3 Reasons to not get a Video Gaming Degree." I think that for some people these are exactly the right kinds of degrees but people really need to go into any degree program with their eyes open. For a lot of people a degree in information technology, computer science, computer engineering or any number of otehr computer related degrees might be a better pick.
I'm sure that individual game development courses are widely valuable. Using game development projects to teach important concepts often makes learning lots more fun. But some people are going to be very surprised at how much work is involved with a video geam development degree. And it just may not broad enough to sustain you well if you wind up working in a different area of computer work.
Sometime to think about.
I just realized that Dream Build Play is live and the contest has started. The first challenge is this week! If you haven't already downloaded Visual C# Express and the XNA Game Studio Express it is time to do so and get started.
Are you or students you know ready for "worldwide fame and recognition" There are also some fantastic prizes!