Three Things Every CS Educator Should Know About Their Students' Future
Careers in Software Development
Computer science education is fundamentally about transitioning students from novices to experts. As students learn new hard and soft skills, and master them, they grow more confident in their abilities and interactions with others. We are pleased to see them become big fish in a small pond. But, when college graduates enter the software engineering workforce, just how well do they fare? In this talk, I'll show you three surprising challenges that we saw newly graduated Computer Science students overcome as they began careers in software development at Microsoft. With the adoption of some innovative pedagogical approaches in Computer Science education already being taught in universities around the world, I think we can ease the transition and better prepare students for positions in the software industry.
Dr. Andrew Begel is a researcher in the Human Interactions in Programming group at Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA. He studies software engineers at Microsoft to understand how they communicate, collaborate and coordinate, and how this impacts their effectiveness in collocated and distributed development. After conducting studies, he builds collaboration tools to help mitigate the issues that were discovered.
Computational Thinking and Interdisciplinary Encounters
In an influential 2006 article, Jeanette Wing called for the elaboration of an approach to "computational thinking." Wing argued that computational thinking expresses the importance of computer science to general education, and provides a basis for interdisciplinary collaboration, by setting out the conceptual foundations of computational modeling and reasoning.
In this talk, I want to reflect on alternative ways of approaching computational thinking as a site of disciplinary encounter, with a particular focus on the ways that interdisciplinary work might be generative of new forms of computational thinking. This work grows out of a collaboration with colleagues in Australia, whose research is focused on the use of information technology in the cultural practices of indigenous Australian groups, particularly the Yolngu of Northeast Arnhemland. Yolngu epistemology provides an interesting starting point for reconsidering aspects of computational practice, which suggests new perspectives on computational thinking and its practice, and on the possible relationship between computer science and other disciplines.
Paul Dourish is Professor of Informatics at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Anthropology and in Computer Science, and directs the interdisciplinary graduate program in Critical Practices in Arts, Science, and Technology. Before joining UC Irvine, he was a member of the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC. His research lies broadly at the intersection of computer science and social science, with particular interests in human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, ubiquitous computing, and social studies of science and technology. His book "Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction" was published by MIT Press in 2001; a new book on social and cultural accounts of ubiquitous computing is due for publication in 2011.
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