Some really interesting questions here for education to consider. One thing is certain — computer science as a major is as a dynamic and diverse field today as it ever was. My overwhelming thought now is just how cool it has become to be part of this emerging culture. How we react to it is very important and something we should pay attention to here at Stony Brook and at other institutions. Looks to me like University of Michigan is embracing it.
Hackathons, though, are just one part of the coming transformation of computer science education. Once a theoretical subject to the chagrin of many undergraduates, computer science students are increasingly finding outlets like hackathons, open source projects, and startups to learn the applied skill sets desired by industry – and are getting the job offers to prove it.Yet, this rebuilding of the pipeline for new engineers poses deep questions about the future of educating software developers. What is the proper role of universities and degree programs? How should the maker culture, which exists at the heart of these projects, connect with the traditional education mores of research universities? And at a time when access, particularly for females and underrepresented minorities, remains a deeply salient issue, how can organizers ensure that programs lower rather than raise any barriers to new entrants?