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Education Programming

NYC To Open 1st High School Dedicated To Software 188

Posted by timothy
from the ferris-bueller-memorial dept.
stephencrane writes "NYC is to open The Academy for Software Engineering, with a focus on software design and college preparation. It'll be a 'limited, unscreened' high school, which means admission won't be tied to grades or test scores; solely on interest (and presumably a lottery, once words gets out)." Would you want to go (or have gone) to such a school? Would you want your kids to attend?
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NYC To Open 1st High School Dedicated To Software

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:42PM (#38726866)
    This sounds like a trade school. High School should be about learning how to think and process information. Once you've learned how to learn you can go on to learning a trade. Its bad enough so many schools are now about being able to pass tests.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      How about a High School dedicated to learning?

      You mean all of them? Including the one you seem to be complaining about.

      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:47PM (#38726958)

        My high school was dedicated to passing standardized tests. Learning was just an undesirable side effect that happened to anyone who happened to have a passing interest in the subject at hand.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          It didn't used to be like that until we decided that we had the worst educational system in the world. The obvious solution to which was more standardized testing and holding people back who didn't do well on the tests. Which is great, because I know if I have kids I'm going to be very concerned that they might have time to do actually studying in school.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) *

      This sounds like a trade school. High School should be about learning how to think and process information.

      You don't explain why you believe these things to be mutually exclusive.

      In most standard high schools, you are already able to sign up for classes on particular subjects--Computer Science, Music, Drama, etc. I see little difference between that and attending a school that focuses on particular subfields of a given industry. I would have enjoyed a computer-focused high school, as I spent most of my time

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Because this is what a trade school is, they educate people to take up some sort of trade. Many developed countries, at least in Europe have schools like this all over the place for students that aren't considered college material.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah I know. Like my plumber. He went to trade school. He makes $240,000 a year. What a dummy!!! He should have been like me and spent years out of the work force studying ancient history, English literature, advanced math that is almost never used by anyone, for anything. Then he could teach information systems at a college like me and be making 20% of what he makes now.

          • And this is the real problem: the perception that someone who goes to a trade school is less valuable than someone with an academic qualification. It's perceived as better to have a degree from a third-rate university than a good vocational qualification.
      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        That is by definition a vocational school.
        FTFA

        4. It’s not a vocational school. Unlike traditional vocational schools, this new school will have a rigorous academic component and will prepare students for college. But college is not for everyone—many of the best programmers I know were just not interested enough in a general four year degree and went straight into jobs programming.

        I love how they spin this as "not a vocational school", while still it's a school devoted to producing software engin

    • It is a trade school. I went to one as well where you could get numerous trade school degrees in things like college preparatory, electronics, agriculture, etc. I got two diplomas when I graduated h.s. I thought most h.s. offered this type of education in general areas, but I guess not. There wasn't much special about it, just that your electives ended up being toward a certain program and you went to full days of classes unlike many that seniors barely go to class.

      The only downside I saw was we were a
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Maybe back in the '60s and '70s or places that aren't America. But in America they've been focusing on getting students to college for so long that those sorts of programs have largely been dropped for lack of time and interest. Not to mention funding.

        • by Pope (17780)

          Eh, my HS in the 80s was a combination vocational and academic school, servicing 3 towns in Massachusetts. Academic kids could take vocational courses as electives if there was room, I did 1 year of Electrical shop. If I'd had the room in my schedule I would've done a semester in Auto shop too, to learn how to work on my car better.

          • by vlm (69642)

            Eh, my HS in the 80s was a combination vocational and academic school, servicing 3 towns in Massachusetts. Academic kids could take vocational courses as electives if there was room, I did 1 year of Electrical shop. If I'd had the room in my schedule I would've done a semester in Auto shop too, to learn how to work on my car better.

            In the extremely early 90s I took what we called high school voc-tech drafting. That paid off big time over the course of my engineering career. Early drafting classes are all about learning what the correct symbol to use for a duplex outlet box, or the correct line type for architectural diagram of the data center, how to visualize blueprints in 3d, proper dimensioning, layout block standards, etc. I'm sure memorizing 1990s autocad would have been useless but I never "advanced" into those classes, so I o

            • Same here, took some drafting classes and an electronics class and it paid off with my engineering degree (to a point).
            • by Bigbutt (65939)

              70's as well. I took Mechanical Drafting classes as part of a series of classes designed to see where you'd fit best. There was a woodworking class, automotive, and electrical class in the series. I went from Mechanical Drafting on to Architectural Drawing classes and then got a job as a graphics artist. From there I moved to a computerized typesetter (CompuGraphic Editwriter) and then to computers and programming.

              Fun stuff.

              [John]

        • This was the 90's.
      • I took vocational electronics in HS (back in the day) and glad I did. Good prep for my programming career, probably better than "software engineering" in HS had they had it at the time.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:03PM (#38727176)

      That's ridiculous. Not every person can follow some ancient Greek ideal of higher thought.

      There were plenty of doofuses that spent high school throwing a pencil at the kid in front of them. Trade school is good for them.

      And back on topic, just because someone is good with computers does not make them automatically wired to go through the traditional liberal arts education routine. Some kids will thrive in a targeted environment like this.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        There were plenty of doofuses that spent high school throwing a pencil at the kid in front of them. Trade school is good for them.

        Now, that's highly unfair.

        Not everyone who isn't going to go to university/college is a "doofus". I know loads of people who are very smart, but who had no interest in academia.

        One of my friends has a son who is going to culinary school because he has no interest in going into tech like his dad. One of the smartest coders I know skipped university altogether, travelled the worl

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Now, that's highly unfair.

          Didn't mean to come across as rigidly grouping people together... in fact meant to go in the completely opposite direction. Sorry :)

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Didn't mean to come across as rigidly grouping people together... in fact meant to go in the completely opposite direction.

            No, I got that from the rest of the post ... I just wouldn't want to imply that trade school is only for "doofuses".

            Sorry :)

            As the duly elected representative of doofuses everywhere ... apology accepted. ;-)

      • by vlm (69642)

        There were plenty of doofuses that spent high school throwing a pencil at the kid in front of them. Trade school is good for them.

        Actually, no. Prison is a great place, or adult day care, or pumping gasoline, or McDonalds...

        I did the 2-year voc tech telecom thing, to get a real job, which paid for my 4-year degree, etc etc a pull yourself up by your bootstraps approach.

        The "throw the pencil at the kid in front of them" crowd didn't survive more than two months of AC/DC principles, although a couple shocked themselves during lab building half / full / bridge rectifier power supplies and several believed themselves nobel prize winners

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Prison is a great place, or adult day care, or pumping gasoline, or McDonalds...

          Or the unemployment line. We do need to find work for people, even if they suck.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Of-course a real trade school would have real masters of trade teaching, and since masters of trade prefer to do trade, rather than to waste time teaching doofuses, there won't be any real masters in that 'trade school', which automatically means it won't be worth it.

        The real way to do this is to allow apprenticeship to happen again, but this means that government would have to step out of the people's way. If somebody doesn't want to go to school, they must not be forced to. But then there must be no laws

        • by vlm (69642)

          Of-course a real trade school would have real masters of trade teaching, and since masters of trade prefer to do trade, rather than to waste time teaching doofuses, there won't be any real masters in that 'trade school', which automatically means it won't be worth it

          Having been there, and obviously met many "masters of trade" while there, most of them were frankly handicapped or had more of a "parental" or "teacher" personality than the stereotypical psychopath "manager" personality, so in an "up or out" company they got the "out". Or they ran their own business into the ground, in which case I wouldn't take entrepreneur classes off them, but they were expert techs. Or they had "family problems" and thats the end of 60 hour work weeks, hmm, here is a nice 30 hour per

      • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:54PM (#38727812)

        Right, but at the highschool level you don't want to overspecialize. One of the great strengths of education comes from what you can do if your job disappears. If all you know how to do is be a brake mechanic, and they suddenly reinvent breaks (say a switch from mechanical to electrical brakes) you're stuck back at job training. If you know absolutely nothing about electricity, because you started this career as a brake mechanic at age 13, you've got a lot of catching up to do.

        The earlier you start that narrow specialization the more difficult it is to fix if something radically changes in the industry. I'm all for more software development in high school, but there is a point of 'too much'. Especially in something like software, where you might be called upon to do physics, math, business, or god knows what, you need to have some idea what those other areas are, so you at least have some concept of how they're all connected to the problem you're trying to solve. Imagine if you get a job in a game studio out of this programme (and then a university degree in something like SE or CS), and that company wants to make a WW2 fighter pilot game. Well you don't really know anything about the physics of flight, and all these people in the office who keep talking about the Big E and Zeros are just completely baffling. Oh and you have no idea where the Philippines are, and what that has to do with Japan.

        There's only so much time you can meaningfully spend teaching someone anything. If you go to a 4 year highschool programme on programming, well, you're going to either be at a 2nd or 3rd year level of university, or you're going to have spent 4 years learning super basic stuff over and over, which doesn't do any favours. Especially if they go on into SE or CS and find they've done 60 or 70% of the course material already. Then you've just wasted a bunch of their time.

        Admittedly, everyone's idea of what base exposure to information everyone should have is going to be different, but I tend to think a broad education until you're about 16 is a good idea. Focusing on getting people into the workforce as software developers at 18 or 19 poses serious problems to their ability to meaningfully participate in anything outside of some very narrow problem areas. You don't really want these guys to graduate, work for 10 or 15 years, find out that suddenly the industry has completely changed, and they don't have the skills to do anything else, nor do they even know what else they might want to do, because they've spent the last 15 years writing php and SQL.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          but I tend to think a broad education until you're about 16 is a good idea.

          OK, but is that really so far removed from someone saying that the age is 14?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      This sounds like a trade school. High School should be about learning how to think and process information.

      Well, let's face it ... not everybody is going to go to university. Nor should they be expected to.

      A high-school that focuses on a specific trade is at least trying to ensure that they're teaching the kids something they can use. Because, it's entirely possible that nothing they'd learn in history class is going to help them get jobs.

      Trade schools at least recognize that not all of us are (or want to

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      This sounds like a trade school.

      Unless you read the article.

      4. It's not a vocational school. Unlike traditional vocational schools, this new school will have a rigorous academic component and will prepare students for college.

    • by Altus (1034)

      Well I guess it is a trade school, though just software engineering seems a little limited in scope compared to other trade schools which usually offer a variety of trades. With time you might see some parts of the high tech world become more like traditional trades. I'm sure there will still be demand for advanced CS and Software Engineering degrees but don't you think some of the tech jobs out there could be done by someone who went to a trade high school to learn those skills. There are certainly self

    • by apcullen (2504324)

      This sounds like a trade school.

      That was precisely my first thought! But I disagree with your conclusion. Some kids used to go to trade schools and become plumbers or carpenters and go out to make a decent wage. Others would start their own plumbing business or become developers and create jobs for the economy (and grow wealthy in the process)

      In the same way, I think a school like this will produce a lot of code monkeys who make a decent wage for some heartless corporation that will someday be ripped apart by Bain Capitol, but others

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        Just so you are aware, you don't need a college degree to learn anything, but in general if you wish to do something with that knowledge there are a lot of companies that want that piece of paper.
    • I would think that preschool- 2nd grade should be focused on learning how to learn then 3rd-7th should be getting the basics down 8th and 9th we deal with the non-core stuff and then 10th-12th we start with this kind of Focused Learning.

      (btw i would have Businesses and the Military do some "shopping" late in the 9th grade to get kids going to Jobs that they can be great at)

    • by g0bshiTe (596213)
      I agree with this, also given the current state of education here I shudder to think what kinds of software engineer hopefuls this school would churn out.
    • by Zenin (266666)

      Once upon a time high schools (and heck, jr high schools) most ALL offered strong shop/trade classes. Metal shop, wood shop, auto shop, etc. For some it was just "broadening their education", but for many it was/is an e-ticket to the American middle class.

      A good auto mechanic or machinist will make as much as a good software engineer. And they'll start working right out of high school...without 4 years of college debt. Most will never catch up in their lifetime.

      American education decided a few decades a

      • by Zenin (266666)

        ...woops

        This "Most will never catch up in their lifetime." was meant to go after this, "For example, for a live theatre technician someone who's spent 4 years in college training vs someone who's spent 4 years in the real world right out of high school, effectively puts the college graduate 2-3 years behind AND in serious debt."...

  • by Anrego (830717) * on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:43PM (#38726886)

    I think I would have jumped at the opportunity when I was in school.

    However, looking back, I don’t think it would have been a great idea. I’ve said it many times, but if left to my own devices, I would have spent most of my free time glued to a computer. As it stood I had a few non-computer geek friends who would figuratively drag me out of my basement every once in a while and looking back, I had a lot of fun.

    Maybe I would be a slightly better programmer .. but I think I would have missed out on a lot of important experiences, and more practically, development of social skills (which I’ve found are becoming more important as I’ve progressed through my career).

    In other words, diversity in peers is a good thing. Not having to “deal with” people who are outside of your interests and being surrounded by like minded individuals may sound great, but that kind of narrow focus so early on just sounds like a bad idea.

    • Valid points, but on the other hand, I think a lot of students who would feel alienated in a normal high school might feel like they could fit in here and have a superior social experience.

    • by f0rdpr3fect42 (1866122) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:59PM (#38727140)
      So I went to a similar school to this back when I was in high school, but the focus was general engineering vs. a specific focus like programming. I don't feel like I missed out on any social development or (as some might fear) academic variety as a result. The school, much like this one, had to meet state curriculum requirements, so the specialization was more like one class a year and then slightly more focused electives later on.

      Socially, we still had a good mix of people. Sure, it wasn't as rich or diverse a group of personalities as I would've encountered my normal high school, but I'd petition that this actually helped me develop my personality far more than the standard experience would have. I think being around so many like minded people let me comfortably act like myself for the first time in my academic career. I was less afraid of ridicule for personality quirks that, in hindsight, really weren't that big a deal to begin with. I didn't exactly cut myself off from the rest of the world, either. I still interacted with folks from my middle school days outside of school time and stayed involved in my home high school's extracurricular music program to help maintain those ties.

      Meanwhile, during all of this, I developed a simple set of skills that helped me adapt to college more quickly than many of my peers and, I feel, left me more prepared for what was expected of me. I have mild concerns that this school could be too focused too early, but I don't think that the diversity will be as big an issue as you believe.
    • by vlm (69642)

      In other words, diversity in peers is a good thing.

      At least 20 years ago, and maybe even today, they worked hard to eliminate that in regular high school.

      Everyone who wanted to be an engineer took 3st hour second year physics together. Everyone who wanted to go into hard sciences took 1st hour calculus together. You get the idea. Even "non-academic" classes like gym class ended up with the same crowd... you'd think it would be a cross section but we can't take gym 1st hour because we're all in calc, and can't take gym 3rd hour because we're all in physic

    • by mjr167 (2477430)

      I will depend largely on the individual. I went to a specialized high school that focused on art where I studied creative writing. Half the day we spent learning physics and calculus at a regular high school and the other half we spent reading poetry and fiction at art school. In order to meet the graduation requirements we ended up having to take a history class on Saturday from the local university. I went on to college to major in computer science and math, along with almost all my class. We made fu

  • It'll be a sausage fest of geeks with bad enough social skills. How about we through in some poisonous snakes and asbestos insulation since we're going to torture these kids?

    • by dintech (998802)

      But low on bullies and crack-head kids maybe?

      • Mod parent up! I was in a special program for gifted kids in high school, and while a lot of the parents were concerned that we were too "cut off" from the general population (we didn't follow the regular school schedule; we spent the bulk of the day in the same classroom and teachers came to us, and our curriculum was obviously accelerated, among other differences) but honestly, all it really did was cut us off from the distractions.

        When I moved to a new school after my junior year (yay army brat) they di

        • by vlm (69642)

          I was in a class with about 5 other people I could relate to, 20 people that were basically just running out the clock until they could go home, and 5 criminals that really shouldn't have even been there if attendance wasn't compulsory. It was pretty miserable...

          Good preparation for the workplace?

  • "college preparation"

    So, more standardized testing that does absolutely nothing to actually prepare you for college?
    If I was still in school, the only reason I'd try to switch over to this one is if they cut that BS.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't understand focusing so narrowly on software engineering which really isn't that difficult.

    High school and college are times to learn the best that has been thought and said, to become a full person who's in contact with civilization; it's not a job training program. You're supposed to read the Western canon, get a foundation for higher math, learn what people are like and how the world works from reading history, play sports, and even socialize.

    Computers are interesting but they just aren't that har

    • I don't understand focusing so narrowly on software engineering which really isn't that difficult.

      Don't confuse sweatshop web monkey with software engineer. They are entirely distinct disciplines with the latter having nothing to do with HTML5/JavaScript powered LOL cat animations.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Computers are interesting but they just aren't that hard (and you know it, too).

      Don't necessarily agree with that (it's still something you can spend a lifetime trying to progress our use and understanding of), but I do agree with the general point of your post. High school is about bringing everyone to a basic common level and primarily about social development. University is about becoming more well rounded, specializing in some areas, and yes, _some_ job training. This proposed school sounds more like replacing high school with a trade school .. which that early on.. sounds like a b

    • by KhabaLox (1906148)

      I don't understand focusing so narrowly on software engineering which really isn't that difficult.

      I'm not a software engineer or developer (I did take one CS (Lisp) class in college, and now just write pseudo code/script in VBA for Excel and Crystal), but it seems to be that the field is fairly broad. There are platform developers, application developers, web designers, etc. I'm sure some of these jobs lend themselves more to being off-shored, while some benefit from remaining in the US, closer to management (that's what we do at my company - our largely Indian and Indian-American development team is

  • by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:48PM (#38726978)

    Just sayin.

    • by Pope (17780)

      All the more reason to pair up with that private girls school across the lake!

  • Like this is going to actually do much to raise the bar in NYC, a school system notorious for having "teachers" who are shut up in a room doing nothing, pulling down six figure salaries because union rules don't let the government fire them. You want to fix things? How about a combination of privatization and allowing public (government!) schools to actually fire teachers and much more easily release "problem kids." By problem kids I mean:

    1. Disruptive behavior.
    2. Unwillingness to do work.
    3. Mommy and daddy

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Name a high school teacher in a non-private institution making a six figure salary.

    • by dcollins (135727)

      "NYC, a school system notorious for having 'teachers' who are shut up in a room doing nothing, pulling down six figure salaries because union rules don't let the government fire them."

      Union rules permit teachers to be fired -- you just have to show a reason for it. Administrators (PHBs) are such poor stewards of the institution, and so poorly incentivized to care, that they find it easier to put teachers they don't like in a "dummy" room and not bother with the termination procedure.

      I've found that fellow t

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:59PM (#38727142)
    School that lets kid take a wider range of math and science courses, and potentially more advanced "computer science"? Sure. School devoted to "software design"? No thanks. The focus is too narrow. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd want my kid surrounded by kids whose interest (or whose parents' interest) in "software design" (at age 13) is so strong that they'd attend a school devoted solely to it.
  • I would not send my kids to this school. I would not even encourage them to go into software, at least not until employers start respecting software and IT more and quit lowballing on pay, and great a better working environment.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      BTW, my oldest is really bright in math. Out of high school he already knows the full drill with calculus and differential equations. He even learned linear algebra on his own. But he didn't go to college. He now makes almost twice what I do running machines to drill for Marcellus shale gas.

      Second oldest is prepping for law school, even though at the moment I know more law than he does.

      Business respects those who are money motivated. Geeks seem to take whatever computer job they can get regardless of th

      • by vlm (69642)

        Second oldest is prepping for law school, even though at the moment I know more law than he does.

        Prepare for him to move back into the basement after graduation... placement rates are worse than C.S. if you can believe that.

        Maybe its not too late to switch over to forensic accounting or something like that?

        • by Pope (17780)

          Maybe its not too late to switch over to forensic accounting or something like that?

          Is that when you count corpses?

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:03PM (#38727174) Homepage

    3 big reasons:
    1. The last thing a geeky student needs is a school full of nobody but geeks, leaving them completely unprepared to deal with all the non-geeks of the world. Those non-geeks are also known as bosses, possible lovers, friends, family, etc.

    2. Education should make someone capable of doing more than just their jobs. A software developer benefits from reading Shakespeare, learning about the American Civil War, or studying Spanish or French or German or another language.

    3. Massive gender imbalance.

    • I keep seeing points like these made throughout the Slashdot thread, but aren't those all the common, basic traits of engineering colleges/universities? So where's the difference?

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        I keep seeing points like these made throughout the Slashdot thread, but aren't those all the common, basic traits of engineering colleges/universities? So where's the difference?

        There isn't much of one, and that's one of the reasons I got my CS degree from a liberal arts college instead of an engineering school. Sure, it might mean that I'm not quite as good at advanced algorithms and the like that an engineering student has, but it does mean I can understand where the business I'm working for is going and gear my technical work towards that end.

        (Plus the liberal arts school was about 2:1 female:male, and I'm a straight man)

    • by stewbee (1019450)

      3. Massive gender imbalance.

      This just got me thinking a bit. While it is true that in industry that there are more men than women in SW engineering, EE, and ME. I almost wonder if it isn't a bit self fulfilling. Girls can be good at math and science, but when they get to a certain age I feel that they are discouraged from pursuing those types of careers. I would guess that most of that comes at young age from peer pressure of friends and the desire to be accepted by others in their 'formative years'. That

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Girl is good in math/science. Girl gets picked on/teased for being smart. Girl has no parent/role model to provide support for being smart. Girl succumbs to peer pressure to play 'dumb' in math/science. Girl looses interest in math/science.

        Your theory has a big problem in not matching up to reality:
        1. Girls do about as well as boys in mathematical and scientific subjects, and may even be doing somewhat better. For instance, look at SAT scores by gender [publicagenda.org], and notice the utter lack of differences.

        2. Female students now outnumber male students in most subjects, including some scientific subjects like medicine. That strongly suggests that there's some issues specific to software development that tend to keep the women out.

        An alternate theory propo

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:07PM (#38727208) Homepage

    The "Joel on Software" guy is involved with this, so he's plugging an activity of his own.

    There's no programmer shortage. Businesses want "just in time" employees with exactly the skill set they need this week. Then they whine when they have to pay market rate for them. They're not willing to retrain their own people, or hire competent people with related skill sets and send them to training classes. Anyone who's competent in at least two programming languages can learn a third in a few months.

    (Actually, the headache today is learning APIs. Everything seems to come with an API with hundreds to thousands of functions, some of which work, some of which sort of work, and some of which don't work at all. The documentation usually consists of examples rather than a reference manual. Worst case, it's a wiki.)

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      (Actually, the headache today is learning APIs. Everything seems to come with an API with hundreds to thousands of functions, some of which work, some of which sort of work, and some of which don't work at all. The documentation usually consists of examples rather than a reference manual. Worst case, it's a wiki.)

      Indeed. Learning a new language is generally trivial. It's learning the tool stack and community around the language that is hard.

      A c++ programmer can move to Java pretty fast.. but becoming familiar with the whole "enterprise stack" takes time.. especially because as you said, there is often a right and wrong way to do things (or in some cases wrong and less-wrong)... and these may not be intuitive, requiring a background of previous experience and failures.

      • by Anrego (830717) *

        To venture even further off-topic.. I'll say that my biggest frustration with Java wasn't so much the large frameworks and tools.. as the foreign and pedantic vocabulary around them. Stuff like EJB is straight forward(ish), but you have to learn EJB-speak first. Maven isn't a build tool, it's a "project comprehension tool".. and naturally there is no build script, but a "project object model" definition.. and it's not templates, it's "archtypes". *starts frothing*

  • by srussia (884021) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:08PM (#38727216)
    The more educational choices parents have for their kids the better.
  • by ravenscar (1662985) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:09PM (#38727224)

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that people are starting to figure out (at attempt to remedy) the fact that the U.S. is falling far behind in Math and the Sciences. Still, I'm concerned about a crop of young people reaching voting age without at least a basic understanding of History, Government, and Literature. After all, these people will reach voting age around the time they wrap up their studies in secondary school. Shouldn't they at least have a basic understanding of the duties of citizenship before they venture into the world and take on those new responsibilities?

    I also understand that not all students can pursue post-secondary education and that they should leave secondary school with at least a start on what it takes to get a decent paying job in today's competitive environment. Still, I wonder if hard knowledge (being able to write a simple program in C# for example) is better than a thirst for learning and the tools to pursue that thirst. I can tell you that I would rather hire someone who really wants to learn and knows how than someone who can do some simple programming. After all, both are going to need to learn a ton before they're really ready to contribute in an enterprise environment. My money is on the person that shows a knack for the learning part. I wish more companies would value that desire when it comes to people entering the workforce.

  • Coding has been around for about half a century now, and this is a first on a hs level I think... but... what about doctors, scientists, and other higher education professions, why no hs for them? Coding requires a certain thinking ability, everybody has it, but it seems to be developed at different levels. I dunno why they singled it out though, what about the hs experience? Coders tend to not make very good football players, women? sparse and unfortunate to the stereotype, mostly undesirable. Hs is a

  • Hopefully this really isn't so narrowly defined that a solid general education isn't provided. It might turn out kids that can code but would make for poor software engineers. It's essential that you understand the user as well as the problem domain and how they operate within it. That's a skill that would be very much hindered by hanging out in such a mono-culture.

    However, I doubt they really mean for this school to be 90% math and computer science. It's an interesting experiment that may actually prov

  • Suppose you were to graduate from such a high school.

    Who would hire you, and assuming you were able to get an entry-level position, what would your career prospects be?

    Assuming you had your sights set on higher education, what would your chances of getting into a decent college be like?

    I'd be pessimistic.

  • People seem to be arguing towards their own internalized assumptions and recollections about what trade schools used to be. (And if not that, then they're arguing over what they dislike about most state and national education priorities, and making this announcement into a target for all their education-related agita.) The fact of the matter is, there are no real trade schools. When they talk about college prep, they're ultimately talking about AP courses and college writing. I've been to a number of hi
  • Not enough cheap labor, talent nor pool of ready recruits to shore up the ranks of professional programmers needed in NYC the Bd of Ed offers its support. They'll follow Columbia University as a MS certificate factory for WallSt. Trickle down inevitably reaches its lowest-common denominator...minds of mush and loads of opportunity after graduation. At least students at University are old enough to be responsible for their choices.

    MS HighTech High School in San Diego is a non-starter scoring lower than ex

  • by vlm (69642)

    I'm curious nobody mentioned STEM schools... we have those in my district, I won't let my kids go, other than future employment opportunities not existing, there seems to be nothing terribly wrong with them.

    This school sounds an awful lot like a STEM school without the "S" and "E". A "TM" school. Does this sound about correct? I wonder if they already have STEM schools in NYC?

  • I spent most of my formative years in a good, well-funded public school district. When I was in elementary school, computer class meant there was an Apple IIe available for each kid to use (and a futuristic-looking Apple IIgs in the corner that we could look at but never touch). We mostly played games that involved directing Algernon through a maze to a piece of cheese or fitting pieces of machinery together to solve a problem. I joined the math club because it met an hour before school in the computer roo
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:22PM (#38728210) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if we need a specific school to teach software, but we at least need a class to teach software. When I went to high school 25 years ago, they taught Basic on old TRS-80 Model 100s. Now that computers are so prolific, they very same school that I went to teaches no programming at all. They have a "computer" class, but it only teaches you the very basics of how to use a computer, and apparently that consists of how to play flash games and download illegal music and games and burn them to CD. The kids come out not even knowing what software they would use to write a report.
  • I'd find it hard to take someone seriously who went to a high school that focused solely on software. Many people can manage to write code without it taking up their whole childhood. Who needs a high school focused just on that?
    • by skelly33 (891182)
      Hi. did you RTFA?

      "Unlike traditional vocational schools, this new school will have a rigorous academic component and will prepare students for college."

      I read this as a declaration that computer science will be integrated with Math, English, Science, etc. It wouldn't be college prep without. So what's to object?
  • by skelly33 (891182)
    Would you want to go (or have gone) to such a school? Would you want your kids to attend?

    Yes, and maybe. I would want my kids to focus on what they have a natural propensity for, not necessarily to follow in my footsteps.

    When I went to high school the programming class and the advanced programming class were both based on Borland Pascal, and taught by the piano teacher who dabbled in programming computer-generated music as a hobby. Each class I challenged the course at the beginning of the semester an

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