* Posts by meatballs

2 posts • joined 1 Nov 2010

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial


Primary School

Kids can start learning basic programming skills at primary school. At that age I was re-writing games from a book into my BBC giving me a decent understanding.

Nowadays there are things like Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu/ which is accessible to an even wider audience of teachers (the kids will pick it up fine)... However a programming literate primary teacher is even more rare than a secondary one.

You are more likely to find programming skills in a maths lesson at schools if they take them in to the computer room to teach Logo.

As for teaching Assembly - a lot of universities dont cover Assembly anymore. I believe the Computing A Level may still have elements of it but only a few grammar schools and some indp. schools run the course anymore. It should still cover a reasonable amount of high level programming.

A level ICT isn't worth a lot, and don't get started on things like the OCR Nationals/DiDA.

Me: Ex-ICT Teacher > Software Developer > Pen Tester.

No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed


Rings a bell

I guess I'm still a young(ish) comp sci grad - 26, fortunately my dad was a geek and I grew up programming BASIC , VB, telnetting to random korean servers etc etc.

Computer Science A-Level at school was pretty decent, far better than any of the ICT qualifications (we actually did assembly), but the first year of university was so basic. An hours lecture on accessors and mutators in the first week meant I skipped the majority of lectures and just got down to completing assignments the night before they were due.

We did the majority of the course in Java, had small experience of C++, did operating system internals with OCCAM, algorithms in Haskell, some SQL, systems architecture etc. I guess it is a reasonably good course, with some interesting options, but probably not enough emphasis on what happens in industry or developing each skill past 1-2 short assignments. I skipped the year in business, probably a mistake!

Then I went into teaching... Yes all the ICT courses love office applications, little opportunity to do programming in the school's syllabus. Bored me (and the kids) to tears so I got out.

Annoying part is, most IT ads ask for 1-3 years experience in a language/technology. Good comp sci grads should pick up the fundamentals of a language in a few days, is a years experience really required? I don't match most of the requirements for most jobs but I'm pretty sure I could do them.

Just joined a company under the grad scheme so hopefully I can start building up all this 'required' experience.


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