I woke up this morning to a post from Fred Wilson titled The Academy For Software Engineering. In it Fred announced a new initiative in New York City called The Academy For Software Engineering. Fred, and his friend Mike Zamansky (a teacher at Stuyvesant High School) helped create this with the support of Mayor Bloomberg’s office and Fred and his wife Joanne are providing initial financial support for the project. If successful, it will have a profound impact on computer science education in the New York public high school system.
Fred’s looking for additional support. I haven’t talked to Amy yet about magnitude, but I’ve already committed via Fred’s blog and sent him a note separately. If you are interested in education in general and computer science / software education in high school in particular, I’d strongly encourage you to reach out as well.
I’ve been working on this general problem (dramatically improving computer science education, both in K-12 and college) for a while through my work at the National Center for Women & Information Technology. More than ever I believe we have a massive education pipeline problem – whether you call it computer science or software engineering or something else. There are several fundamental problems, starting with the curriculum and lack of teachers, but including a total miss on approach and positioning. I expect efforts like The Academy For Software Engineering to take this on directly.
I’m involved in the nascent stages of two projects in Boulder going by the code names “CodeStars” and “The Software School.” I’m excited about each of them and Fred’s initiative and leadership just pumped up my energy by a notch.
Fred / Joanne / Mike (who I don’t know) – thank you! And Mayor Bloomberg – we need a lot more politicians like you who speak their mind and get things done.
A week ago, Fred Wilson wrote a post titled Etsy Gift Finder. In it he described a new Etsy feature that uses your Facebook friends info to suggest gifts for your friends. He picked out what he called “a clay Farmville sheep thingy” and bought it for me. As you can see it has already made friends with Yoda but appears a little scared of my ray gun.
It arrived today with a nice order slip #41270774 (I love order slip numbers and trying to figure out the algorithm for them). It’s cool and a great example of “social shopping.”
Thanks Fred. I’ll definitely use the Etsy Gift Finder for some of my random gifts since I don’t believe in holidays, but just send people gifts whenever I feel like it. And thanks to ElvenStarClayworks for making the clay Farmville sheep thingy!