This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Friday, December 13, 2013
Gates Seek to Flood Job Market with Programmers--Pushes the New Code Literacy
At one time, computer programming was a glamorous occupation in the U. S. All that changed when the corporate race the bottom began chasing the cheapest programming labor in India, and when that became too scandalous, then Bill Gates started lobbying for unlimited work visas in order to import the cheapest programming labor. Think of these exploited workers as high tech gardeners who don't have to hide at night for fear of deportation.
So it should come as no surprise that both the left and right aisles of Washington's corporate jet are now calling for, that's right, more programmers:
. . . .The effort has earned
endorsements from tech companies, celebrities, and politicians, including both
President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R - VA), who each
released video statements urging students to participate.
"Don't just download the
latest app, help design it," Obama said in a video address released this
week. "Don't just play on your phone, program. No one's born a computer
scientist, but with a little hard work — and some math and science — just about
anyone can become one."
The Hour of Code is part of
Code.org's broader campaign to encourage computer science education at more
classrooms, bridging what many see as a growing gap between Silicon Valley and
US curricula. The Bureau of Labor estimates that more than 140,000 computer
science jobs are added to the American economy every year, while according to
the National Science Foundation, just 40,000 college students are graduating
with computer science degrees.
founder Hadi Partovi, a former Microsoft executive, aims to reverse that trend
by promoting computer programming among students and educators, though there
are institutional hurdles, as well. One of the problems, he says, is that many
US states recognize programming courses as an elective, rather than a core
component of math and science classes. States like Washington and Idaho changed
their policies this year, though many — including California — have not.
California, computer science has the same classification as a class on
horseshoe making," Partovi told the Wall Street Journal.
Of course, students are far out ahead of Microsoft on this. The Dept. of Labors Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012) has the real story on why computer programming is not what it once was (my bolds). But as Silicon Valley reasons, it sure can't hurt to drive down labor costs some more:
Percent change in employment,
Computer Programmers 12%+
Total, All Occupations 14%+
Employment of computer programmers
is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the
average for all occupations. Since
computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, companies often
hire programmers in countries where wages are lower. This ongoing trend will
limit growth for computer programmers in the United States. However, companies
may continue to hire computer programmers in low cost areas within the United States.
Most computer programmers work in
computer system design and related services, an industry which is expected to
grow as a result of an increasing demand for new computer software. This
includes software offered over the Internet, which should lower costs for firms
and allow for more customization for users. In addition, new applications will
have to be developed for mobile technology and the healthcare industry. An
increase in computer systems that are built into electronics and into other
non-computer products should result in some job growth for computer programmers
and software developers.
Job prospects will be best for
programmers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher and knowledge of a variety
of programming languages. Keeping up to date with the newest programming tools
will also improve prospects.
As employers increasingly contract
with outside firms to do programming jobs, more opportunities are expected to
arise for experienced programmers who have expertise in a specific area to work