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Assignment 8

are you concerned about: "the future of computing as a viable field of study and work."
if yes: what are your major concerns?
did the report address your concerns?

It's hard to generally be concerned about the future of computing as a viable field of work just because the computing
seems so entrenched in our society and, at least right now, there's so much work to be done that no matter how many
entities are working on a given set of tasks there always seems to be other tasks that must be completed or have been overlooked.
Two things in the report that kind of speaks to this– at one part of the report we find that there are more IT jobs in the US today
than there was at the height of the dot-com boom. The second is a quote talking about the changing emphasis in Indian offshoring

The Indian offshoring industry, for example, includes programmers and system analysts who
do software maintenance, testing, or development; workers answering phones in call
centers; workers doing accounting services and other back-office business work;
workers doing knowledge processing such as reading digitalized X-rays; workers doing
research and advanced development; and so on. In India, the growth field of offshoring
was once programming to fix Y2K problems. A year later, it was call centers. Two years
later, it was IT-enabled services. Today, there is a push towards high-end activities
where profit margins are higher such as systems integration and research. Who knows
what the growth area will be next year?

Just looking at what has been emphasized over the years one can find a plethora of jobs for each one of these categories
and each one of these categories is far from being "completely developed"– ie: there are always more innovations that can
be applied to these categoreis. And this is just a limited list of previously offshored examples. The question that needs to be asked
is "what educational practices, keeping in mind the inherent global nature of the discipline, keep computing viable."

3) what are the issues in the report

i think the issue I most agree with is the following statement:

here are some things that students and workers in this field should do to prepare themselves for the globalized workplace. They should get a good education that will serve as a firm grounding for understanding the rapidly changing field of IT. They should expect to participate in life-long learning. They should hone their "soft skills" involving communication, management, and teamwork. . .

basically, how are we going to deal with this change on an educational level. How we keep education relevant in this discipline where change
not only comes from technology but may come from the cultural projections a country overlays upon the underlying syntax of computing– how do
we prepare students to work towards that.

4) name one action which our department should undertake to address your major concerns

Intrestingly – I think exchange programs and forced collaborations outside of ones country is the easiest way to deal with this. Prof Diwan last week talked about putting the classroom mechanisms in place to foster student collaborations. Similarly, we need to put the mechanisms in place to foster a better understanding of global collaborations. Such exposures to outside institutions enlighten both the institution and the visiting student and would best serve the computing discipline globally. Something like this could be enacted by maybe requiring a summer semester abroad for graduation etc.

Last modified 23 October 2007 at 9:10 am by Ashok.Basawapatna