Taking Back Education 3.69 http://spkr8.com/t/7792


No one can argue that the software development industry has changed drastically in the last 10 years. No one can argue that it will continue to change.

This is a call to arms. We know that the education system is broken for software developers. We complain about it. It is not the school's problem, this is ours. It's time we do something about it.

This talk is an action plan. This is not a wish list. This is a way for companies to train their teams to lead, not follow. The plan lays out how to deal with turnover, existing skill sets and skills coming out of college. Borrowing lessons from each other consulting and product companies will both benefit.

In the end, you will create another competitive advantage.

Comments on this Talk

Open-uri20110618-31604-1ubpsh3-0 iconara, 19 Jun 08:08 PM

I would have liked to hear something about the distinction between the craftsmanship of software development and the academic field of computer science. This was a weak point in the argument, in my opinion. Perhaps I read to much into what Joe said, but I felt he was criticizing the universities and the educational system for the wrong reasons.

To criticize the universities for not producing software craftsmen is a straw man argument, because they are in the business of educating computer scientists. That they are not producing software craftsmen may be a problem, but if that is the case then that is why the universities should be criticized.

The universities are also not in the business of educating people for the benefit of the industry. If that were the case the industry would be the ones picking up the bill. Instead, students are the ones keeping the universities in business. This too may be a problem, the universities may fool students into thinking that they will get an education that is sought after by the industry -- but if that is the case then that is why the universities should be criticized.

That being said, I think that what Joe proposes -- that we create apprenticeships and educate our future employees in the art of software craftsmanship -- is a great idea. But we should not do it because we blame the universities for failing at it, we should do it because we are, as Joe ended his talk by saying, better at it. It is we who are the craftsmen (and women!), and a craft is best learnt through an apprenticeship.

As long as we remember that having a computer science education will, in the end, likely make you a better craftsman.

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