White House Pushing for Computer Science in Schools

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #1
    I agree with Obama in theory, but is this really a problem? Are today’s kid not offered computer science during K-12? I took a high school programming class in the late 1970s. We wrote simple FORTRAN programs and ran our stack of punchcards on the local university’s IBM mainframe. This was a lousy public school, too. I can't believe the White House really needs to push computer science, but it they do we haven't progressed scholastically in the past 30+ years.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ar...g_for_computer_science_in_schools_124909.html
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #2
    no problems with this at all.
    saw this in the news

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/2...program-white-house-christmas-tree-lights.htm

    it was pretty cool, seem Obama's daughters got involved in the coding per the news (TV, not article)
     
  3. satcomer, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #3
    I had computer training in 10th grade in a very small school in 1985 in software TCP/IP and simple networking. I received an A+ that year because myself and another friend wired the computer lab up to the Library across the hall. Then showed the Librarian the ARPANET and how she could catalogue all her books, manually of course. She did that in 3 months and had it saved on alphabetically floppies.

    IMHO kids today could get around a text based ARPANET to save their life. ;)
     
  4. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #4
    You were apparently one of the rare few. I went to high school during 93-97, about the time when computers were becoming common things, and the internet was hitting it big. Despite that, I only had one computer class available to me: typing, and it only came into the curriculum during my senior year.

    From what I hear, computer courses still aren't common in my school. I didn't go to a little rural district with just a couple hundred kids. It was a well funded suburb school. If it's still rare there, I could imagine it being rare elsewhere.
     
  5. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #5
    When I was in high school like 12 years ago, we had all the basic computer classes, but the district I went to cut them all a few years ago. Kids were basically teaching the teachers.

    Of course, these classes were all the basic "how to use Word" ******** classes. Those are useless as kids these days know how to do that when they are six.

    We could use more programming & engineering related computer classes though. Anything to get more kids into STEM related fields.
     
  6. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #6
    aaronvan,

    As they say "YMMV." All schools are not created equal...

    Code.org brought widespread attention to the coding gap with a video released back in 2013, that has since racked up 12-million+ views @ youtube.

    Video, below: "What Most Schools Don't Teach" ("... only 1 in 10 schools teach kids how to code...")

     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    I was only offered a single Java class in my senior year that I audited. Besides that there were ZERO computer science classes.
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #8
    I have no problem with it, either. The big issue we had when I was growing up was the onset of the gaming console. With Atari, Intellivision, ColecoVision, and NES coming up, we kids then saw it as just another piece of hardware to play games on, so we didn't take it serious. Plus there was the nerd factor with it. Why run the risk of getting taunted like Pointdexter when there's popularity to reach for? (of course, we also didn't think about how much money we could make from it back then, either, plus there wasn't much publicly known about the Internet or even ARPANET at that time.)

    Fast forward to the 90s and the .com craze, when it started to be cool to be a geek. I didn't even see a 'real' programming class until my freshman year in college; I say 'real', because I really can't count 15 minutes after school finding out about Logo and Turtle Graphics as a 'class' in school. I pretty much learned Apple's BASIC and Logo on my own, but didn't see anything like a programming language until Pascal in 1992.

    Fast forward to today, when you have a 12 year old kid being sued by Microsoft for starting up his own software company named MikeRoweSoft (and his name is really Mike Rowe!). Not only are kids knowing where the good money is at, but they are realizing that we are falling behind other countries in the world as far as education goes, and this is just a part of that.

    Besides, we current IT guys aren't irreplaceable. we'll need someone to take over where we leave off.

    True that! They wouldn't even know what to do without a graphics based Internet!

    Found this the other day, courtesy of @justimmcormack. Seems very apropos:

    Unix Commands turned into Companies:
    [​IMG]

    BL.
     
  9. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #9
    Have you all gone mad? I, for one, am completely against this. This is socialism knocking at your door! No real American would ever support this.
     
  10. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #10
    Wow, after reading some of the comments, I hold the old high school in much higher esteem. BTW, I also took a "business computing" class where we learned the rudiments of...wait for it...COBOL! :eek: We didn't actually run the code we wrote in that class, though.
     
  11. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #11
    Maybe they've added them since then? I graduated high school in 2001, so not that much later than you, and we had multiple computer classes offered every year. It was a suburban public high school.
     
  12. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #12
    This covers most tech U.S. companies:

    sudo cp */ /NSA

    :p
     
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #13
    If Obama was as smart as we thought he was, he'd come out against it so the Republicans would fast track it.
     
  14. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #14
    Good ol' COBOL. Good luck finding anyone these days who can even pronounce it properly. I always hear cobalt.
     
  15. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #15
    There are still some out there. Besides, not only is it one of the best future-proofed software development jobs out there, but people are earning at least $10,000 more per year than those who don't know it.

    Little side story: In my Data Structures class back in 1995, one of our final projects was to write a compiler for a machine language we were given the code for. The instructor didn't care what language we used to write it, just as long as we wrote it.

    If I could have written it in French or Choctaw, that would have been cool, but like most of us, I wrote it in C. Most of us did it in roughly 300 - 500 lines of code (132-column line printer paper). Couple of people wrote it in about 100 lines of code in Perl...

    .. But one person wrote it in COBOL. 328 pages of paper. I remember it distinctly because I was working at that computer lab at the time he was printing it, and had to swap out the box of paper because of it.

    I'll all but guarantee that that guy has at least a 6-figure software development job.

    BL.
     
  16. TimelessOne macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #16
    In some ways that was true but you are an expection not the norm.

    Schools are pretty broke right now. The equipment is outdated and it is hard to get a proper teacher for those course even then.

    I graduated HS in 2001. There was a few CS course offered but not very many and the teacher left mid way threw the year as well she was offered a job that paid double and at the time she really needed the money so no one should fault her but double pay.

    Now same HS which is one among the best in the nation for a public school still only offers a few CS classes a year. Considering a student population of over 2k you are getting 100-200 kids at most in program at all and some of them have a requirement of the one before that is not very many and that today.

    I am all for this as many people the first real computer science they see is in college. Now imagine if they had a head start in high school. That would help.

    The hardest part about programming is just understanding how to think correctly and wrap your head around the problem.
     
  17. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
  18. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #18
    COBOL is perceived as being too "uncool" to warrant teaching these days at many schools and yet COBOL is still used extensively in federal and state government and in the business/financial sectors. COBOL powers around 85% of all daily business transactions and 95% of all ATM transactions use COBOL, according to Micro Focus International's 2014 annual report.

    There's probably not that many new COBOL applications being developed today but there are billions of lines of legacy COBOL code that will require programming support for years to come.
     
  19. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #19
    I'm very familiar with what COBOL is still doing in today's World. Not many realize it's still active.
     
  20. orestes1984, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I left school in 2001, by then we had 2 computing classes, Business Commerce and Technology, and Information Communications technology. The ICT classes taught visual basic, and made simple programs, the BCT classes taught Word, Excel, PowerPoint some basic HTML, and macro scripting.

    This whole issue hasn't progressed any further than it has in the 13 years since I left school, ICT and BCT is still taught predominately to the same geek/nerd stereotype in schools today as it was when I left school the only difference is that you can now get school based certifications (kinda like community college courses but taken in school time)

    We just have to realise only certain people are interested in doing these subjects and that IT will only ever attract a certain type of person. The long and the short answer are both the same coding will never be seen in high school and by teens of that age as something that is cool... No, not ever, never going to happen.

    As for teaching COBOL and FORTAN in this day and age, Come on really? Umm you would think the basis for coding foundation today should be something like Object Pascal, Delphi and Visual C++ or something similar that would give students a foothold in modern coding languages.
     
  21. TimelessOne macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #21
    if I remember right it around 2 million COBAL developers needed now days. Now it is exact the required number will drop every year but 2 mil is a lot.
    The real issue is the fact that most of the COBAL programmers now are old and nearing the end of their career. They can and often do demand top dollar. A OK cobal guy can demand more money that an great objective C programmer.

    ----------



    Even learning Cobal, fortran ect is not the biggest issue. It teaches the basics of programing. Object oriented programmer is a very different level and it takes a while for people to really get it. It is not something you just get day one. It is something that just one day clicks,

    The part that needs to be understand are basics like variable, procedures, loops ect. WHen I was hs I think they tough me turbo pascal. It did make life a little easier when I had to some visual basic later as I had a basic understanding of things like loops and variables. Those basics do not change.
     
  22. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #22
    You're right, the basics don't tend to change.
     
  23. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #23
    As I stated earlier. Many can't even pronounce it, yet alone spell it.
     
  24. Zombie Acorn, Dec 12, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014

    Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #24
    I started learning basic on my own when I was around 12 not knowing what the **** I was doing and still have no idea how I got into it because we didn't have Internet at the time.

    My school offered one programming course but the teacher basically handed us a book on Java and told us to learn something. I became a developer despite of this, but I am all for computer science focus for kids.
     
  25. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #25
    COBOL and JCL were such a pain in the ass. I believe there's million upon millions lines of code still pulsing in merely working storage. It takes years, decades to migrate systems and processes from one platform to another. I'm happy to say it'll be a cold day in heck before I'll be maintenancing it ever again
     

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