Friday, March 14, 2008

making students awesome

making students awesome is the mantra for our internship program. the bottom line is that its all about the students. in my opinion, companies need to commit to improvement; instead of just throwing a job out there.

on thursday, march 13 the dual use group put on presentations about our companies to attract interns to our companies. here are some pictures from the event:

referentia's presentation was different from the rest in that we specifically stated what the intern would working on. no, we didn't pick out a project. instead we listed 6 areas that we are committed on helping the intern learn:
1) learn about real projects
2) learn about research
3) learn about software development processes
4) learn how to learn
5) learn how to increase their marketability
6) learn about the industry

and believe me we have already thought of and the details for each of the 6 areas. in fact, we use these areas of improvement on our selves every day. its part of our culture. if we work on these 6 things we all will be awesome.

we hope that we set the bar a very high level. we take this very seriously. a good internship can change a student's life. a mentor can change a student's life. we want interns to work with us so we can have that opportunity to share all that we know. its all about the students.

interesting insights
here are some random things about the event:
  • a couple of students mentioned that it seemed like ICS 413 with dr. johnson was required for a lot of the companies. 413 is not required. but the expertise you gain from 413 (with dr. johnson) is required. students need that practical software development expertise (that means tools, process, and actual development expertise). i don't understand why the department doesn't require learning certain dev tools; everyone in the department should learn about CM (subversion, cvs, or git), unit testing (phpUnit, csunit, cppunit, junit, etc), IDE (eclipse, jbuilder, netbeans, etc). thats a good start; its pretty basic stuff.
  • a few of the companies talked about their projects. it was interesting for me to see what business areas these companies were targeting. but, i think the presentations about the software within the projects were too general. i think the students are interested in the specifics. what algorithms are you using? what programming languages? what type of math? etc, etc. this helps them prepare and understand about what we really do.
  • there are probably many more opportunities to help students other than internships. i think we (as a industry) just need to figure it out. how about mentors? how about presentations about specific technologies that the students can learn from? how about working with high school students? how about mentoring student projects? how about sponsoring student projects? how about helping provide scholarships? there are so many things that the industry can do to help the students.

    this semesters industry internship presentations were better than last time. my hope that it will continue to get better and better.

    by the way.... great presentation austen! you were great... err. awesome!
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