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MS Tackles CS Education Crisis With Popularity Contest

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,6 days | from the least-cool-wins dept.

Programming 141

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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141 comments

A whole 100,000 bucks? (4, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308399)

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

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308405)

PR on the cheap.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308533)

One could suggest that the H1B visa system be inserted into an area of Brad that would be anatomically improbable; I'd watch that on Pay-Per-View.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308409)

what colleges are YOU averaging???

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308457)

$25K/year for room, board, tuition, fees and books is typical for a state college. 4 years for a degree = $100K.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308909)

Unless it's contributed to some tax-free tuition-funding vehicle, the government is going to want their 30%.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308927)

You must be an east-coast trust-fund baby if you think room and board are really part of your education.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (2, Informative)

dcw3 (649211) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309089)

And you must be a troll if you don't think it's part of the total package of getting a four year degree.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309269)

You must be an east-coast trust-fund baby if you think room and board are really part of your education.

Well it's sure as shit ain't free.

And with a name like "gandhi", everyone must seem an east-cost trust-fund baby.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309477)

You must be an east-coast trust-fund baby

No, I'm a Texas veteran who paid for his college with a combination of participation in the VEAP program and a part time job during school, and am now giving back to my family by helping a nephew pay for his school. I know the numbers, I paid my dues. Now crawl back to your basement in shame, troll.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309615)

Then why the cry-ass entitlement complaint about 100k?
I used my GI Bill and ACF, and NG FTA, and worked full time during school.
I paid my dues, and worked for what I have. Now remember not to sound like a little baby because someone is offering "only" $100,000 for school? No one owes anyone anything. God forbid people have to work for their educations.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309775)

Then why the cry-ass entitlement complaint about 100k?

There was no cry-ass entitlement complaint, just a statement of fact. At first I was irritated at your stupidity, now I just feel sorry for your complete lack of comprehension and perverse need to make baseless insults. You lead a sad, pointless life.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309857)

We ALL lead sad an pointless lives my friend.

But you perpetuating the lie that people need to be handed MORE and MORE money so they can go to school? You just make things worse. Get a cheap appartment, get a job, budget, don't waste money on binge-drinking parties, enjoy the salad days. It sounds like you figured it out, I know I did. Now hold the rest of the world to the same standard.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44310763)

Those are the criteria by which you managed to make it through school? Get a student job and don't blow money? Watch out Suze Orman, we have an expert here!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309683)

Education is too expensive.

Look around the country. For [B]TUITION[/B] only: Bachelors start at $40k, Masters start at $100k, Doctorates start at $200k. Triple those figures for the "high end exclusive colleges". An Associates, the only reasonably priced credential, starts at around $8k.

Every Nickel Microsoft, Government and Business pours into education simply increases the price which, historically has increased 7% per annum.

Fact is Microsoft can't be bothered to hire US Graduates because they expect Microsoft to pay for their inflated education that has likely no real basis in reality. The average Foreign schools turn out the same cruddy people we do, but at least they don't graduate $100k in the hole.

A Bachelors should start at $15k, a Masters should start at $30-40k, and a Doctorate should start at $100k. That's how things were in the 50's, that's how it should be today.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

nucrash (549705) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310073)

Considering many of the foreign students that I watched learning here in the states, they can manage to stretch that $100K. Many of them walk to stores, they spend more time studying and less time drinking. They don't take the breaks between classes and stay the hell away from the XBox 360s, movies, PS3s, and the Wiis of the world. They are thankful to be here and bust their tail off to be here. That being said, yes they are overly thankful. I did work my way through college, sleeping during the days, going to school during the evenings, and working until the AM hours. And still I feel like I could have done better. Perhaps I am insane. Perhaps I should try and do this again. No I didn't have the traditional college experience, but I have a job, a home, two cars, and my student loans are paid for. Yes $100K is pretty chincy. But that's till closer to getting a free education than most people will give you. Especially if you are trying to get into a reputable school.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309937)

You would be considered a liberal in todays politics!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (2)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308471)

Let's take the alma mater of my favorite modern day philosopher, Dr Phil. This would be University of North Texas. Tuition and fees alone will run you $19,608. So if your living expenses exceed $5400 p.a., guess what?

"You need to wake up!"

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308607)

But hes a doctor. They go for 8 years.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44310019)

Not Dr. Phil, he used a printer for his diploma!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (4, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308413)

Makes you wonder how much they gave to congress for more H1Bs. A lot more than $100K for sure.

Re: A whole 100,000 bucks? (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308897)

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.

Re: A whole 100,000 bucks? (5, Informative)

Shortguy881 (2883333) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309311)

Its not shipping overseas if we bring the talent here via H1B visas.

Re: A whole 100,000 bucks? (2)

spike hay (534165) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310779)

H1Bs are effectively the same thing as outsourcing. Temporary cheap labor, and then they go back to where they came from.

Real permanent immigrants (especially skilled ones) are a net benefit as they tend to be entreprenurial and create jobs. H1Bs can't start a business. They are cheap labor benefiting corporations like MS at the expense of American workers. That's it.

Re: A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310239)

Glad to see the evolution of thought on this matter has become so postive and more and more are finally realizing that jobs offshoring, and importation of foreign visa scab workers, doesn't "create jobs" as M$ has so long claimed!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#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.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (3)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309419)

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.

I hope that nobody is surprised than people from the land of actual mathematical education can program others into dumpsters.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309665)

Not at all... one of the few things I found impressive wrt cold war era Russia was their educational system. I've worked with a couple of Russian programmers as well, both of them more than capable.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44310281)

It's not just Russia. I went to grammar school in slightly post soviet Poland. Algebra was a topic in 5th grade math. I came to U.S. in 6th, and I didn't see Algebra till High School. In Poland I struggled in non Math subjects. In U.S. I was on the Honor Roll, and didn't do homework till College. U.S. Education system is piss-poor. You want to turn these Math-illiterates into programmers? Good luck! Maybe we can also teach every kid to be a pro athlete with the half hour of gym class a week, and a world famous artist with that finger-painting class on the side. Oh wait those were cut from last-year's budget. But don't worry! All the emphasis on testing will pay off soon! The scores will go through the roof once we replace High School math with 1st Grade Math!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308697)

Of course it does. Just don't go to a worthless private school.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308915)

I agree, $100k won't make a dent, other than the publicity surrounding it. Now $1mil could start to make a difference, but still very small.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309037)

And they made it back in software licences the very same day!

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (3, Funny)

plover (150551) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309073)

No, it's not $100,000. It's $100,000 worth of "donations". That means they'll get licenses for 50 seats of SQL Server 2013, 100 licenses for Office 365, 80 licenses for Windows Server 2013, etc.

If only I could have gotten my college to accept tuition payments in the forms of software licenses. "Dear Bursar's Office, please accept this voucher worth 10 licenses to install Debian."

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (2)

Massive146 (633394) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309193)

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

That certainly more than pays for tuition and living expenses for in-state residents at a public school (often above average schools).
Spring 2013 Tuition at University of Wisconsin-Madison: $10,400/year [1]
Which would leave $14,600/year for living expenses. More than enough.

Non-residents have to pay $26,600/year so tuition would be nearly covered, but not living expenses. However, I think most states have an "average" public university, or reciprocity with a near by state which does. I've even heard of state universities offering free or highly reduced tuition for students who have decent grades or ACT/SAT scores. These numbers, of course, don't include any other financial assistance or scholarships.

[1]http://registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm [wisc.edu]

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309281)

Yikes. Kind of missing the broader point while technically being quite right.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44310787)

So this money would pay for 2.5 kids' in-state tuition... Real nice investment there, Microsoft.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309699)

It's ironic that they are underpaying a reward to get people into a field in which people are underpaid or where salaries are stangant/declining.

Wall St. is going to have to share the bucks or it's going to lose the bucks completely. Fun times.

Re:A whole 100,000 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44310199)

Reading comprehension failure? The money isn't to be wasted on overpriced tuitions. It's to be given to "five technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' "

Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (5, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308419)

There's no shortage of skilled CS workers, just a shortage of companies willing to pay them decently.

The goal of this effort and similar ones like FWD.us (Facebook's Wealth Demands Unlimited Slaves?) is to make sure every kid can program when they leave high school, so that you can pay entry-level programmers the same as gas station attendants.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

apcullen (2504324) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308513)

We all know this here. Could Slashdot editors please start putting quotes around untruths like "CS Education Crisis" and "Technical Worker Shortage" as a matter of policy?

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (2)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309777)

EXACTLY. I've been working contract jobs for the past year hoping to land on some permemant gig, but they keep asking me idiotic questions in the interviews like How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? [businessinsider.com] . Then I never hear from them again and they go crying about a "shortage of talent" and they run to the H1B's. I'M RIGHT HERE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES!

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309885)

We all know this here. Could Slashdot editors please start putting quotes around untruths like "CS Education Crisis" and "Technical Worker Shortage" as a matter of policy?

Speak for yourself. I live and work in the US as a developer at a major software company, and we have a ton of open headcount. Getting applications for people who list their proficiency in a dozen languages is easy; getting candidates who can think critically and actually problem solve is damn near impossible. Anyone who thinks we have a glut of tech talent is confusing "I know Java! Hire me!" with "I understand complex systems and can build scalable things that really, really work." There is certainly a shortage of the latter, and a willingness to pay well into six figures for any candidate who can demonstrate their abilities.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (4, Interesting)

AmazingRuss (555076) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308715)

I still don't think it will solve the problem. How are programmers gonna buy those 400k Redmond tract houses on a 40k salary?

There are too many vultures looking to exploit the next generation, and not enough meat to go around.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308749)

At the same time you can't teach everyone programming much like you can't teach everyone Algebra. If they can't teach high school kids Algebra, how can they master programming? NONSENSE

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309057)

Not to mention that critical thinking has been removed or dumbed down in many schools. Can't have kinds thinking for themselves.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309823)

You can't graduate high school without learning algebra - so presumably it's teachable (in a single phrase: "opposite operation on the opposite side"). Presumably basic programming can also be learned by anyone able to follow a few logic skills.

What gets someone out of the grunt phase of programming is an aptitude for methodical processes (although not necessarily uncomplicated ones) and a desire to write instructions for a non-intelligent machine one step at a time.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (2, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308785)

And there's a shortage of companies that still has a decent moral compass.

If you want to improve and attract coders then it's important to provide a platform that is usable and cheap and that provides tools that are useful when you actually learn to code. For example you need Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate in order to get the Code Metrics feature - something that is really useful to those that aren't professional coders.

Another problem is as mentioned - the inability to pay for skills - many organizations hires developers for the same amount of money per hour regardless of skill, but a skilled person may produce result a lot faster and with higher quality than someone fresh from education.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309067)

"And there's a shortage of companies that still has a decent moral compass."

That's because they go out of business.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309599)

And there's a shortage of companies that still has a decent moral compass.

Corporations are frequently legally required to maximize profitability. So it's no surprise that between maximizing profits and decent morality, profits win.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309087)

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:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (4, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309141)

"There's no shortage of skilled CS workers, just a shortage of companies willing to pay them decently" and are willing to train them.

There, fixed that for you. College is not about learning specific job skills which expire in 3 years, it's about learning a larger scope of skills that will stick with you throughout your career. Companies complain about a specific set of skills not being available in the marketplace and are unwilling to train or mentor graduates. Instead they go the green card route...

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309157)

Microsoft you lying sack of shit... What fucken shortage ? There's no shortage of skilled workers, only a shortage of wage slaves! I worked for a company that expected me to teach multiple H-1Bs programming skills to get functional on projects. It was easier training my dog to roll-over. I suppose they skipped some basic courses while getting degrees or just filled-in BS on the H-1B applications. After more than a year of training, upper management took the entire department, along with most of the H-1Bs and moved operations over-seas. The non-H-1Bs' ? well.. we went off to unemployment.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (2, Interesting)

More Trouble (211162) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309165)

Spending a big $100K on a popularity contest isn't going to ensure every kid can program. That's shut-up money, "Look, we tried, but USians just aren't up to snuff, give us more H1Bs!"

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310165)

make sure every kid can program when they leave high school, so that you can pay entry-level programmers the same as gas station attendants

As though the skills required to be a software engineer as as easy to master as those required to be a gas station attendant. Your paranoia is baseless.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310789)

Just getting kids started with programming will be enough to devalue salaries significantly. Normally companies "need" (based on where it would be taught) someone with a BSc to do things with Scary Text on a computer.

Re:Ah, the mythical CS skills shortage (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310227)

Or just a shortage of companies even willing to hire Americans ! ! !

ANTWBEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308441)

CanI suggest a new name? How about: America's Next Top Windows-Based Educational Nonprofit.

computer science (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308475)

not trying to bash computer science but - the CS diploma at my local university requires several courses in college level math like pre-calculus and trigonometry. i ended up getting a degree in information systems because i wasn't getting good grades in the college level math courses.

Re:computer science (2)

milkasing (857326) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308571)

Programming does not require a lot of math, but Computer Science is a branch of Math. If you wanted programing without the math, you took the right path.

Re:computer science (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308931)

Programming does not require a lot of math, but Computer Science is a branch of Math. If you wanted programing without the math, you took the right path.

Some programming does not require a lot of math, but you need math to be able to do the really interesting things with programming, like simulations, graphics or games. Also, a good understanding of discrete math & logic will help you even with the programming for which you don't need a lot of math by helping you write better algorithms.

Re:computer science (2)

OffTheLip (636691) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308587)

The math requirement should be a part of a CS degree. When I graduated back in the 80's math through differential equations and linear algebra was a given, then you could take math electives or CS based math courses such as Algorithm Analysis. Programming courses were 1-2 hours per semester and really not the meat of the program.

Re:computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308843)

Yeah I'm in there now and 3 calcs plus Discrete math are required, so is probabilities and statistics but not linear algebra. I took it anyway. I will load up on some other maths and get a minor or double major. Though if people are taking BA Comp Sci they only usually do Calc 1, maybe 2.

Re:computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308907)

You did exactly right. That is why there are these other programs, they allow you to get technical education without diluting Computer Science degrees. For me, if they took the Math out of Comp Sci, I would major in math... I just wouldn't be able to call myself a programmer if I lacked the math skills needed to program a basic 3d simulation.

Re: computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309349)

I seriously hope you're kidding. Trig is junior high math (grades 6-8), and pre-calc is 11th grade math. If you're struggling with those, you're right... you have no business in CS.

Skills acquired working on MS products... (1, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308485)

Click: "Next". Next,Next....I Agree, and Finish; until the damn thing stops.

Blindly download Service Pack, and pray everything works out okay.

Be very terrified of the Command Prompt.

With Windows 8, it's gotten even dumber. I hear that to get a programming job at Microsoft, you preferably need skills programming on Linux environments. Delicious irony.

"the innovation economy"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308489)

Does anyone else find someone in Microsofts' employ using the term 'innovation' to be rather....ironic?
Especially considering Microsofts' continuation of the patent wars, plus the fact they generally do not innovate - they purchase.

Re:"the innovation economy"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308609)

Purchasing can be just fine. It's purchasing and then burying that's incredibly harmful.

Re:"the innovation economy"!? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308803)

Purchase - or outright steal.

If someone complains - then the workforce of lawyers starts to move.

Re:"the innovation economy"!? (1)

Zephyn (415698) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309077)

Does anyone else find someone in Microsofts' employ using the term 'innovation' to be rather....ironic?.

Since about 1997. No doubt there are others who can go earlier than that.

The crisis is a glut! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308531)

There is a glut of underemployed and unemployed software developers now. That's the crisis. Why do we want more?

Re:The crisis is a glut! (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310529)

Where is this glut? All of the numbers I have seen (at least for the US) show an incredibly small percentage of software developers being unemployed.

With HUGE REWARDS such as these (1)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308563)

What the hell are the super-rich board members of these multinational monsters doing with all their money: building indoor ski-slopes with mountains of cocaine?

Simple fix to the problem (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308591)

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

Re:Simple fix to the problem (2)

Mike Frett (2811077) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309515)

Call me crazy, but what if Microsoft just packs up and completely leaves the USA?. They could move all their operations to India or China, that would pretty much solve their H1B problems right?. I wouldn't mind if they left, not at all.

one idea... (4, Interesting)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308605)

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...

Another idea (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309135)

MS could pay its taxes.

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

EMG at MU (1194965) | 1 year,6 days | (#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

Re:one idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309293)

with 13 year-old drug-possession felonies (like myself for example)

Dude. You got 13 drug-possession felonies, a year ago? What happened?

CS Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308621)

Why get saddled with a lifelong college debt when you have to compete with people half way around the world that make $6,400 a year and live a decent life making that little?

That is well below poverty line here. Anyone making that choice now here in the states is a fool. You would be better off working at McDonald's the rest of your life instead of trying to become a software developer.
 

Brad Smith, Insider Traitor? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | 1 year,6 days | (#44308647)

If the NSA had America's interest at heart, it would make Brad Smiths conversations public?

Manufactured HR dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44308815)

All the things they want their employees to do does not require a computer science degree. At best, they need one CS degree designing things that ten coders will then implement.

Microsoft PR is Sick (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,6 days | (#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

Re:Microsoft PR is Sick (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309247)

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

Thanks for agreeing with me. I get voted down every time I disparage his disgusting so-called "philanthropy."

Re:Microsoft PR is Sick (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309781)

I'm pretty sure their employees in the area pay property taxes (primary source of education, hospitals, roads, etc).

Personally, I would much rather have legal limitations for holdings of non-living entities... and eliminate corporate taxes altogether. Nuke the corporatism and protections that go along with it. In the end, corporations never actually pay taxes, their customers do... (for the record, I'm also not a fan of property taxes either).

Rebuilding the Windows monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309049)

One technology education nonprofit at a time.

Contradictory (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309059)

... "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" ... When will they understand that the access to foreign talent has a direct relationship to American students NOT WANTING these now undesirable jobs. When people come here from a country where they're used to a lower standard of living, they accept a lower standard of living when they come here. American students don't want that - they aren't stupid - they want to do whatever it is that the people driving around in the nice cars are doing. It's not the programmers driving the nice cars.

Re:Contradictory (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309815)

... It's not the programmers driving the nice cars.

Speak for yourself. About half the programmers I know have pretty nice cars, or could if they chose to. I'm driving a 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T myself.

Re:Contradictory (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | 1 year,6 days | (#44311087)

Are you living the "American Dream"? That is - a wife, 2 kids, a dog, a cat and a house that is probably too expensive because you want to live in a town with an adequate school system? For most that I know, it's the nice car or the American dream. The exception is if your spouse also makes a comparable salary, in which case your kids are being raised by someone else.

Send Microsoft to India (1)

Baldrson (78598) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309121)

If Microsoft needs foreign talent so badly a portion of the US defense budget should be allocated to relocating Microsoft to India where it can get the talent it needs without violating US territory by opening it to one of the biggest populations in the world. Territorial integrity is an appropriate role for the Federal government and the Defense Department and MIcrosoft (and other companies like Facebook, etc.) that are clamoring for more immigration should be sent to India and barred from doing software development in the US at all.

don't just train, hire!!! (2)

swschrad (312009) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309375)

stop whining and build something. if you really want better training and are even willing to sponsor it, then hire the people when they come out. don't go running to East Sub-Nirvana for code at pennies per day and then whine there are no programmers in the shadow of the CEO's mansions.

Re:don't just train, hire!!! (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310143)

stop whining and build something. if you really want better training and are even willing to sponsor it, then hire the people when they come out. don't go running to East Sub-Nirvana for code at pennies per day and then whine there are no programmers in the shadow of the CEO's mansions.

Companies learned that if they train somebody, that person will quit and go to the job that pays more, but doesn't train. So all of the companies are sitting around waiting for the sucker company to start training people, so they can then suck them up without having to pay for training.

aC0m (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44309413)

the re4per BSD'5 [goat.cx]

Re:aC0m (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309697)

Thank you, this is less offensive than the article.

IT needs an apprenticeship and tech / trades syste (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309651)

College CS is not IT and it's not lack of education it more of over load of theory that is lacking the more hands on skills as well the full load of other college filler / fluff.

The college system is not build for the fast moving IT field, 2-4 years pure class room is to long. lot of college professors have limited IT work back rounds. Parts of the theory are useful for low level work that most IT people do not need to know / are better off useing the same time to get more useful skills.

There is lots of hands on stuff in IT that you need to work hands on to learn an apprenticeship can be really good for that. also the tech / trades schools do a good job there as well. But the tech / trades are roped into the old degree system.

Maybe even at the extreme some kind of professional certification system (not the MS certs system (to much vendor based) as it is now but more like the architecture / engineering ones) is needed.

Disingenous campaign for more H1b visas. (2)

echtertyp (1094605) | 1 year,6 days | (#44309677)

There is no "crisis" in CS education. There is a crisis in the United States for CS graduates keeping their jobs, or remaining in the middle class. This is more astroturf campaign stuff... shame on Dice Holdings.

$100,000 (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310023)

worth of donations?

Let me guess. $100,000 worth of Surface Pros and Windows Phones that retailers have been unable to sell.

Give me a break $100,000 is nothing. This is a problem that requires far more work.

doublespeak (1)

Khashishi (775369) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310175)

Another term for popularity contest is democratic voting.

As a former MS contractor and temp.... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310213)

I just have to call bullcrap whenever I hear this stuff, as M$ has never been particularly concerned where the truth is involved. Everyone who has worked there, and who is honest, will know what I mean......

Please vote for CODERDOJO (1)

frallon (214927) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310423)

Hi I'm involved with CoderDojo which is currently in 3rd place behind Coder.org (which is advised by Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith). If you have a few minutes, please take the time to vote at
http://www.azuredevs.com/Programs [azuredevs.com]
Thanks for your help.

Years ago, this would have become a "tech race"... (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | 1 year,6 days | (#44310737)

... rather than accepting the US is behind and we should import more H1B visa people.

Of course, we all know that educating our own people, or paying them the going rate, is a waste of money; they'll just change jobs. Not like the people who are changing countries.
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