If you’d ask me about technology in Texas before I got involved with the CSTA Conference, I might have responded with Texas Instruments and RadioShack but would then get stumped.
However, check out this picture below of Dr. Ivor Page from the University of Texas, Dallas. In particular, check out the collection of technology industries carefully placed around the screen.
It makes enrollment there very attractive when you consider a marriage of studies and opportunities for local employment.
One of the local industries not posted there is Gearbox Software. We were fortunate to have three folks from Gearbox close the conference – Amy Price and Jimmy Sieben, programmers and Sean Reardon, Executive Producer of their latest project Battleborn. I was excited to hear them since I’ve played so many of their games.
The Gearbox team, pictured here with Tiffany.
I really enjoyed listening to the list of programming languages that they use on a daily basis and the message was a dream for the Computer Science / Mathematics teachers in the audience! Lots of answers to the question asked so frequently “Why will we ever use this math?” Equally as pleasing was the message of appreciation for their secondary school Computer Science teachers. These people are young enough that they actually had legitimate Computer Science courses but old enough that their curriculum was in the process of being developed. They were all “lone wolves” at the time in their classes and did their own learning outside class to extend the classroom. Their teachers “didn’t stand in the road”.
There was one interesting slide in their presentation that I captured – sorry, I was on an angle…
They did spend some time talking about the roll of the “lone wolf” in professional coding. With applications running between 500,000 and 1,000,000 lines of code, it’s not conceivable that a single person could manage it all. The message was strong and loud about the need for collaboration in Computer Science courses.
I’ll admit that the bottom set of ideas was something that I have always been weak on – version control. Considerable time was spent talking about versioning, the use of Github and the like, which are all so crucial for complex projects.
These are a couple of great messages for all Computer Science teachers to hear. And, when you hear it consistently from successful people in the industry, it speaks volumes.