Don’t (British) girls want to code?

Don’t (British) girls want to code?

Among the debates about the UK’s futures is how to ensure that there are enough high wage jobs and skilled labour to perform them for our future. The need for effectively skilled people today & tomorrow requires a clear education and skills supply policy. Furthermore there is a lack of clarity as to where these jobs might come from, with some arguing that we need to ‘rebalance’ the economy, usually away from the financial services industry, others that we need stronger copyright laws in order to allow our ‘creative’ industries to grow. Carlotta Perez and her acolytes, with others suggest that the IT revolution is not over and that it and its multiplier effects are the source of future work and wealth. …

The GCSE Farce

Over the month it has become clear that a grave injustice has been done to a number of GCSE students. These exams are marked by a number of different examining boards and it would seem that advice issued by OFQUAL has led to harsher marking than those marked in January and a number of students not achieving their predicted grades. …

ICT in Schools

Last month, I reflected on the debate about the school curriculum for Information Technology, it seems that even the government are listening. Michael Gove the Secretary of State is making a speech later today, in which it seems that he plans to “abolish the national curriculum” for ICT and “set teachers free”.

I don’t think this’ll be enough. If the exam boards don’t change their exams, and we don’t make/train better skilled teachers, it won’t change. …

Program or be Programmed, it starts at school

It would seem that even the IT industry is fed up with England’s IT education syllabus. A number of IT companies, most of them US subsidiaries have issued a “report” seeking to influence the quality of IT teaching in England. In an article, called “Coding the New Latin”, the BBC report,

Today, the report is dated 28th Nov, the likes of Google, Microsoft and other leading technology names will lend their support to the case made to the government earlier this year in a report called Next Gen. It argued that the UK could be a global hub for the video games and special effects industries – but only if its education system got its act together

 …

Good British Universities, again

I don’t want to get into a row with David Blanchflower,who takes issue with the QS University Ranking results 2011 and have no argument with his assertion that Cambridge is not the best University in the World, but unless the U. of Shanghai  (UoS) have revised their methodology since I last looked at it while on the EU’s NESSI steering committee, in early 2009 , they

  • overemphasise Science (& specifically Medicine)
  • overemphasise US publication (& hence English language research)
  • have no teaching quality metric ( apart from alumni citations)
 …

Where are the new developers coming from?

My final note from the Water’s Power:09 Conference; Robert Johnson, a development manager at one of the London based banks stated that of the people he’s looked at in recruitment,

Many… developers don’t have a computer science background…

which makes it hard for them to write code for both distributed computing platforms and multi-threaded CPU systems.

It seems this is a reflection of the trends I have written about at on my old sun blog, tagged ‘university’ and more importantly at this site, in an article called British Higher Education. Given a choice between studying something easy or something hard, now that they have to pay a lot, students and their families choose the easy route. A further cause is the dead hands on the school IT curriculum design and the gestation period to make changes. …

Good British Universities

Why is the LSE not one of the top Universities in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities? I scattered some thoughts on the UK Higher Education system in an article on my blog the other month and promised to look and see what Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s methodology thought of, what I thought to be three highly competitive British Universities, i.e. LSE, Sussex and Warwick, which had failed to make the top 100 of their 2007 ranking. I have come to the conclusion that what seems to me an anomaly, illustrates either a flaw in the methodology, or a misuse by me as the ranking’s design goal does not meet my needs.  …

Does knowing stuff help?

How important are Universities to the software industry productivity. One would hope fairly high. For various reasons, I have been considering this question and some collaborators pointed me at the Academic Ranking of World Universities which is referenced at Wikipedia as well and I first referred to in this blog last November. This is produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in China. I know that a discussion on ranking methodology may not be very helpful when considering economic growth issues, but there are some quite interesting and surprising results.  …

Open Source in the Public Sector

Open Source in the Public Sector

I attended Kable’s “Open Source in the Public Sector” 2009 conference and captured and published my notes at my original Sun now Oracle blog, the hyperlinks are listed below. I have reproduced and edited the articles here. This is backdated to the date of occurrence. The main changes are to repair some lost hyperlinks i.e. those that disappeared when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. Interestingly Liam Maxwell, who became the Deputy CIO for the UK Government spoke on Government and procurement but I didn’t consider his points worth recording. Shame on me. DFL 25 Jan 2014 …