Exploring Complex Projects

A couple of weeks ago there were some discussions about students working on and in larger projects. Most CS educators think it's a good idea to expose students to large projects even if we don't all agree as to what the best time is. Regardless of when, figuring out a large project can be a bear and that's not just true for students. I saw this on my Tweetstream about onboarding software engineers:
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Waterfalls - a trip report

No, this post is not about the Waterfall development model. Devorah and I had a chance to take a little vacation up north. First stop, Niagara Falls. We did the Canada side 9 years ago when we did our Erie Canal bike trip (you can read about that by checking out some of my early blog posts). This time, the American side. My take is that the Canadian side is more polished and all private attractions - think Times Square or Disney.
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Computational Thinking in Primary Grades

Last week I spent a couple of days as part of a team running professional development for a group of pre and in service elementary school teachers. Two days talking about computational thinking. Wait a minute - elementary school teachers? I'm a high school guy pretending to be a college guy. My extensive experience with elementary school education is that I raised two kids and I don't think I messed them up too much.
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Alumni Anniversaries

Two days ago, a teacher's comment on a frustrating situation made me mad. Yesterday, I got to be part of something that made me very happy. Last night, Devorah and I ventured out to Coney Island to celebrate the twentieth wedding anniversary of two former students. It's such a joy and an honor to be included in these types of life events and even more so to count the couple and so many other former students and friends.
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Outside Evaluators

I was planning on writing up all the exciting CS Education work I got to be involved in these past two days but I saw a post on one of the CS discussion forums that got me riled. There's a teacher (name withheld to protect the innocent) who wants to create an advanced course for his students but his administration is requesting an outside measure of accountability. This sounds reasonable on the surface but I found it really insulting.
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Big Code And Case Studies

I'm enjoying reading about Ria Galanos' new chapter on her blog. In her most recent post Ria briefly talks about the fact that very few professional developers start from scratch and most work in existing large code bases. She wonders why the College Board got rid of the APCS-A case study and talked about how it gave students an opportunity to work on a multi-file complex system. Over the past few years others have wondered if the College Board should bring it back.
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Codeland 2019

I spent today at Codeland, a one day conference in NYC designed for developers in the early stages of their careers. Just as at CSTA, I was there with the GitHub contingent. Codeland had talks and a keynote in a common auditorium, smaller breakout workshops and a couple of small vendor areas. I spent most of the morning upstairs in the GitHub lounge so I onl caught part of one morning talk.
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Maze Solving (for real) and Code Tracing

Every year for the past sixteen we venture down to Lancaster Pa. for a weekend of car camping. Actually, there's not much camping anymore. I used to be a bit more hardcore having done a few sections of the Appalachian Trail in my youth. Now, as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate little things like air conditioning, showers, beds, and toilets. So, nowadays we usually try to get a cabin at a camp site.
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A 10X Student Story

There were a bunch of threads on the 10X Developer recently. You know - that mythical beast that's 10 times more productive than the regular software engineer. I didn't see any of the original threads but I'm guessing they started with "your startup needs them" and then moved to the "they can't work with anyone" along with tons of fun tongue and cheek 1X engineer tweets. It got me thinking about 10X students.
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CSTA 2019

So, I got back from CSTA2019 and promptly got a summer cold which laid me up for the past couple of days. Phoenix was beautiful even with it being unbearably hot at times and it's a place I think I'd like to visit again when it's a bit cooler. I said in an earlier post that for me, CSTA is typically more of a person conference and less of a session conference and that held true again.
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