Computer Science Available to All Students?

September 17, 2015

As someone who has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, I can tell you from experience that there was very little Computer Science available to me during my K-12 years (grade school for those of you unaware of the K-12 abbreviation). I was able to get into one course – Information Technology Fundamentals – which only scratched the surface of the terminology. I ended up receiving an A+ certification in that course, but I consider myself lucky for that as I certainly didn’t learn a whole lot there.

I started programming in my senior year of high school, but that was all on my own. The IT Fundamentals course certainly did not help me. If I was able to take a programming course at that point in time, I feel like I would have been able to learn a whole lot more about programming before college.

However, as the computer science field is stronger than ever, it is no surprise that schools are starting to offer more and more computer science courses to their students. According to the NY Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students”. I certainly think that this is certainly remarkable, but also may offer some downsides.

For example, who will be teaching these computer science courses? Many schools don’t even have a teacher for any sort of IT course. They might just end up using a current Math teacher, which, for some strange reason, people like to link computer science with math. Yes, there is a lot of math in computer science, but believe me, they are NOT the same thing.

What are your thoughts?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


PS: Credit for this post goes to the article I read regarding this story from NY Times: Feel free to read to go more in-depth!

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Criticizing Advice

September 14, 2015

As those of which you know me would understand, I enjoy giving advice to those who ask for it. I want to be able to transfer knowledge that I have learned to others in order to grow the community instead of the opposite. I have seen less and less of people who are willing to give advice, especially in the programming world. Why could this be?

There are of course many theories for this: lack of knowledge themselves to give advice, selfishness, or “too good for that” kind of mentality. However, I have a different theory, and that is this: criticizing advice.

This is something that I have seen more and more of lately. What exactly does this mean? It can take a number of different forms, but in many cases it is the person who has asked for the advice does not even attempt to follow any advice of which was given. How does this work? Well, let me provide you an example that I have seen not too long ago:

There was a user, let us call him, Billy. Billy here wanted some advice as to how to get his script to be more secure. So, he decided to reach out to others and wait for responses. A response came in referencing a website that went through several vulnerabilities and how to fix them. Billy dismissed this response and kept asking. This continued for a few more responses until everyone stopped responding to Billy’s request.

What did Billy do wrong? Instead of thanking them and asking for more information, it was flat-out dismissed, which showed that they did not want to do more in order to actually fix their problem (which for those of you in the programming world, you know that securing something completely is next to impossible).

There is another pattern of criticism that I have seen lately as well: others criticizing advice, not the user who asked for it (the OP). There may be some justification for this sort of criticism, especially if the advice is incorrect, but when it is valid (and works successfully), why criticize it? To make yourself feel superior, that’s why. I have been a victim of such criticism myself, especially lately. I am actually considering not giving advice on that site anymore because of it. Why bother when your time and effort will just be criticized for reasons irrelevant to the question?

Take a look at what you have said to others asking/giving advice, I mean really give it a look. See what you have written and do some reflection: how would I feel if I received this response? Would I be thankful or disgruntled/irritated?

I’m not expecting those who are actually responding in a negative manner to do this, and if you refuse to, just know, you are one of them. As mentioned in previous posts, karma is a B, and one day you will be at the bottom of the totem pole asking others for advice. Don’t be expecting an enlightening, positive response on a medium that you have otherwise unjustifiably criticized the users for their work and/or input.

Have you seen examples of these types of criticism?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


New Plane Design?

September 3, 2015

As I am going to be going on a plane today, this story is pretty darn appropriate. You know of the pain of not only getting to the airport, but all of the long lines of getting checked in, checking bags, security can be quite the nightmare. On top of that, you then have to wait around until the flight is ready to be boarded. I know, I’m having “first world problems” here (as planes are pretty darn amazing!), but you get the idea.


Well, what if you didn’t have to go to the airport to fly somewhere? Wouldn’t that be neat?

That is what XLT is trying to do: they are creating a vertical takeoff plane, which will allow a plane to instead of needing a long runway in order to takeoff will just need vertical clearance. The plane will just go straight up. This will allow areas that otherwise would not be deemed as necessary for planes to now be allowed to be used for such purposes.

Will you be able to afford this? Well, unless you’re a multimillionaire, then no, probably not. These planes, according to Jeffrey Pino, vice chairman at XTI, will cost at the start approximately $10 million. Better start saving in that change jar! 😉

At any rate, this would certainly start a vast improvement from what we’ve seen already in the world of transportation. We might even start looking like the Jetsons soon with this sort of technology! (Ok, maybe not THAT futuristic…)

What are your thoughts on these planes?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


PS: Credit for this post goes to the article I read regarding this story from CNN: Feel free to read to go more in-depth!