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

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Anders Hejlsberg Visits with HS CS Teachers

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    This must be my trip to Redmond to meet famous Microsoft people. Yesterday I spent some time with Robert Scoble (famous Microsoft Geek Blogger and founding member of the Channel 9 Team). Robert and I have met before and we had a great conversation. Today I got to meet Anders Hejlsberg. Anders came to talk about LINQ which is a new data feature for C# and Visual Basic .NET. Anders also talked about LINQ at a recent Channel 9 video. Anders is a great speaker. He is also quite approachable. I've met super smart, really technical people who are difficult and intimidating to talk to. Anders is not one of those people. He was just great about explaining a complex topic and answering questions from the people in the room. I think the audience was impressed with his talk. I know I was. If you ever get a chance to here him talk be sure to do so.

    The occasion for this meeting was a Faculty Advisory Board meeting that we are running in Redmond this week. We have 10 high school teachers here for two days of meetings. Anders was one of the guest speakers we brought in to talk to them so that we can introduce them to what is coming from Microsoft. We will be asking them for feedback in the future. We are really interested in seeing how our tools can be more effective in the educational process. Advisory groups are one of the ways we try to listen to customers.

    Another way is through blogging. I asked for teacher feedback on Visual Studio .NET in an earlier blog entry . If you have thoughts I’d love to hear them.

    - Alfred Thompson

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Blogging for Teachers

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    This is kind of cool. My friend Pat Phillips is interviewing Robert Scoble. I'm sort of a fly on the wall listening quietly. The result is going to be a podcast at the MainFunction community web site for high school (secondary school) computer teachers. (I'll post a link once it’s up.) Right now Robert is talking about ways that schools could be using blogs and RSS feeds to enhance communication. I think he's right on the money there. The education process could benefit from some of the openness and transparency that blogging allows.

    Personally I think that computer science teachers, in particular, could benefit from blogging on several levels. On one hand it is obviously a great way to communicate with students and parents. But on a whole different level I think blogs are a great way for computer science teachers to build a community and connect with others. There is a reality of isolation for high school computer science teachers that really gets in the way of them doing as good a job as would be possible if they were part of a community. One of the things I want to do is add a blog roll section of high school (or perhaps K-12) computer science teachers. If you want to be on the list please leave a comment. Let’s see what sort of community we can build.

    - Alfred Thompson

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Where do your students want to work today?

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    I found this very interesting:

    Most popular employers among US computer science students: Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Apple by ZDNet's ZDNet Research -- Microsoft captured the top spot in Universum Communications survey of US computer science students, with 41% of college students willing to work for the company. IBM was #2 with 39%, Intel was #3 with 20%, Apple was #4 with 19%, Amazon was #5 with 16%, Cisco was #6 with 15%.

    Frankly I didn't know that IBM was that much of the radar these days. I also expected Google to be higher on the list. Looking into this some more it appears that Google was at 5% but was there as a write in and not on the default list students were given. But what is clear is that students are looking at their options. They are also still looking at Microsoft. Personally I think that is all good. Microsoft is a great place to work and we can always use sharp new people.

    One thing that I encourage teachers to do, especially high school teachers, is to encourage students to look beyond the jobs at big companies. While it is great to work for big companies a lot of smaller companies also offer lots of interesting projects. But when students do look at large companies they should look beyond the hype in the media. I think that is one of the wonderful things about blogs - you can read them to find out what a company is really like. And doing your homework about a company not only makes it easier to decide where you want to work but it makes it easier to actually get a job there.

    - Alfred Thompson

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