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MS Tackles CS Education Crisis With Popularity Contest 141

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the least-cool-wins dept.
theodp writes " The lack of education in computer science is an example of an area of particularly acute concern,' Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith told Congress (PDF) as he sold lawmakers on the need to improve 'America's access to high skilled foreign talent'. Smith added that Microsoft also wants to 'help American students and workers gain the skills needed for the jobs that will fuel the innovation economy.' Towards that end, Microsoft will award $100,000 worth of donations to five technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' So, how will Microsoft determine who's most worthy? With a popularity contest, of course! At the end of October, the top five vote-getting nonprofits — only Windows AzureDev Community members are eligible to vote — will split the Microsoft Money. By the way, currently in second place but trying harder is Code.org, the seemingly dual-missioned organization advised by Microsoft's Smith which has reached out to its 140,000 Facebook fans, and 17,000 Twitter followers in its quest for the $50,000 first prize."
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MS Tackles CS Education Crisis With Popularity Contest

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  • by korbulon (2792438) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:49AM (#44308399)

    Doesn't even pay the tuition plus living expenses for an *average* college.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:09AM (#44308591)

    Fix the imbalance with minimum wage H1B visas and US unemployment rate. Also, stop offshoring your entire freaking business.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:20AM (#44308677)

    If you're paying $100k out of pocket, you shouldn't attend. Bust your buns and apply to Stanford for a top school. All but the wealthiest of parents get a subsidy that knocks it way down. If you can't get into a top school like that, go to State U in-state. This might even mean living with your Aunt Sue in Hicksylvania; for the last year of high school; but you gotta do what you gotta do. Get creative. Get the paper and learn to program wicked circles around the other guys. You could have a degree from Leningrad and it won't matter. Yes, I actually worked with a guy from Russia who got a degree when it was still Soviet. He could code you into the dumper. That's what matters.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:36AM (#44308817)

    They recently brought PM Man Bill "I have a charity" Gates our (again) to explain why he (and they) did not have to pay Tax...You know the sort of thing that pays for Education (and Hospitals..roads...etc).

    This Disgusts Me

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:44AM (#44308897) Journal
    Simple: give congress millions for more h1b visas, but look like you're helping Americans by having a $100,000 prize!

    Want to encourage Americans to get CS degrees? Stop shipping the jobs overseas.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:01AM (#44309057)
    Not to mention that critical thinking has been removed or dumbed down in many schools. Can't have kinds thinking for themselves.
  • by plover (150551) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:05AM (#44309087) Homepage Journal

    Their goal is obviously more noble than that. They want to underpay a bunch of United States Citizens so they don't have to underpay a bunch of H1B workers. Those visas don't come cheap, you know.

  • Re:one idea... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EMG at MU (1194965) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:26AM (#44309283)

    maybe if corporations (like Microsoft for example) stopped the practice of refusing to hire developers with 25 years of experience (like myself for example) with 13 year-old drug-possession felonies (like myself for example) they wouldn't be so desperate to hire foreigners...

    I think the number of people in your scenario is not large enough to have any effect in the supply of software engineers. But since we're off topic anyways lets continue.

    I do think you have a valid point, and it is a subset of a larger problem involving rehabilitated criminals.
    In the US, the laws are setup so that any criminal mistake you make will follow you for life. There are companies whose only purpose is to scrape the internet to grab your mugshot from your pot possession arrest when you were 18 and keep it on file forever so they can sell it to potential employers. These companies have no concern for privacy laws if they exist (for the most part they don't unless you're eligible for expungement).
    Further compounding the problem is that even without the private companies compiling public records, there are still public records; and if your name pops up in a record search your probably not getting a job.
    The whole point of having a rehabilitation based criminal justice system is to return criminals to society in a way that allows for them to rejoin society in a productive and healthy way. Attaching a stigma to them for the rest of their life is preventing them from becoming productive and healthy members of society.

    What's not so simple is actually publically saying something that can be viewed as soft on crime. It's popular to say "I think we should track every criminal because of the children" and is not popular to say "I think we should allow rehabilitated criminals privacy so they can move on with their life". Of course there is a gray area, murderers are different than minor drug offenders. But in our society, there are no gray areas, only criminal or not.

    /offtopic

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