How to make fresh software developers productive has long been a concern of mine, through various jobs in my career. At my current job, the concern is how to make tool-oriented Computer Science graduates productive. These are people that by the choice of their school or their own decision, orient their education on certain tools or technologies.
This is not good. We need them to think logically and clearly, regardless of what they studied.
They could start in school. I received this email from my alma mater, the Ateneo Department of Information Science and Computer Science (DISCS):
DISCS will have its annual planning session soon and we are trying to gather some data for this meeting. We were thinking you might have some answers/thoughts on the following questions.
1. What are the current technologies that IT students (CS and MIS) should learn?
2. What are industry trends that IT students (CS and MIS) should be aware of?
3. What do you think are the important skill sets IT students (CS and MIS) should have?
4. DISCS is exploring the idea of offering Minor concentration, currently we have something like ‘Games Development’ in mind (i.e. BS CS Minor in Games Development). What do you think of this idea? Do you think there are other areas we could consider developing a Minor in?
Notice that the questions pertain to skills and knowledge of both CS and MIS students. You may specify unique requirements for CS and/or MIS students as well.
Now this makes me feel, “the kids of today have it so much better” – they have the Internet, faster PC’s, better languages (Java, not Pascal!) But of course that will always be the case.
This is related to Winston Damarillo’s (Exist Software) lecture on global opportunities in software development – as covered by Sacha Chua. His ideas are good, but how can Philippine software companies be competitive if the talent is lacking?
Time and again, industry/academe cooperation has been full of wasted opportunities. The cause may be related to what a colleague of mine believes: that academic institutions in the Philippines are profit-making institutions. In the Western world, universities do not make enough money from tuition but get their needs from grants.
The result is that the fresh software developers need to be trained by their hiring companies. That is, if they make the grade at all. User groups can help as well. For Java developers, there’s the Pinoy Java Users Group which I help with.
This is a serious situation, but there’s still room for fun.
Jayvee has coverage of the Exist “geek cocktails”, an event I missed.