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Microsoft Television The Media Politics

Microsoft Taps PBS To Advance Its National Talent Strategy With 'Code Trip' 43

theodp writes: You don't have to be Mitt Romney to question PBS's announcement that it will air the Microsoft-funded 'reality' show Code Trip, in which Roadtrip Nation and Microsoft YouthSpark will send students across the U.S. for a "transformative journey into computer science." Of the partnership, Roadtrip Nation co-founder Mike Marriner said, "Roadtrip Nation is proud to partner with Microsoft's YouthSpark initiative not only to inform others of the many career routes one can take with a computer science background, but also to engage in the much-needed conversation of diversifying the tech field with more pluralistic perspectives." YouthSpark is part of Microsoft's National Talent Strategy (pdf), which the company describes as "a two-pronged approach that will couple long-term improvements in STEM education in the United States with targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms." The Official Microsoft Blog reports that filming of Code Trip began this week, with the three students traveling around the country to speak with leaders including Hadi Partovi, the co-founder of Code.org and 'major supporter' of FWD.us, who coincidentally once reported to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and is the next door neighbor of Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and a jogging partner of Steve Ballmer.
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Microsoft Taps PBS To Advance Its National Talent Strategy With 'Code Trip'

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  • The prices for engineers are quite high, and the PR cost in importing them is also quite high, so they're pouring money into education as a long-term investment in driving down the cost of developers in the future.

    Heh, might as well.
    • It will be interesting to see if the TV program has strong Microsoft product placement--like everyone using Windows phones and Surface computers.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Considering that they will likely be providing the hardware gratis then, yes - it is likely to be Microsoft products. Do you expect anything different? Do you have a good reason for expecting anything different or, really, even desiring anything different? Never let perfection get in the way of good.

    • The prices for engineers are quite high, and the PR cost in importing them is also quite high, so they're pouring money into education as a long-term investment in driving down the cost of developers in the future.

      That's like a 5-10 year plan. The messaging here is that Microsoft wants engineers from the US and wants people to become computer programmers, and they're doing "everything they can" to stimulate it, so just let us hire all the H1Bs we want this quarter. The messaging presents the premise that

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No one knows what the future will be like and what will the demands be for a profession. There was this cry of a shortage of nurses for years. And after the crash of '01 and '08, kids jumped into the 'safe' career of nursing because there was this shortage.

    Today, the job market for nurses is the worst ever.

    I see this push for STEM people creating a super glut in a few years. And employers will just make the standards even stricter - and still bitch how they can't get anyone "qualified".

    I don't see the gro

  • They're in dire need of better UX talent than they are of developer talent.
  • There is plenty of fun stuff in computer science. Trying to make people like it because it's "a good job" sounds like a way to make people bored with it.

    I became a programmer because I like programming. The fact that I can make money doing it is just a happy coincidence.
  • Spoiler alert!

    The roadtrip will end in India.

  • There is no shortage (Score:4, Informative)

    by BigDaveyL ( 1548821 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @01:03PM (#50230057) Homepage
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/stati... [ieee.org]

    I would contend that there is a shortage, but it is mostly for senior level people who may have some niche experience, which is true of almost any field. But for your run of the mill jobs, you don't necessarily need this. Most people, by definition, are average.

    Oh, and companies don't get a free pass, either. Many of them what a top 1% coder for bottom 50% wages if at all possible.

    Lastly, if there was such a shortage, we'd see companies hiring people that didn't have their "required" experience, but had a couple operational brain cells that could be coached up. I saw this during the dot-com boom.

    • IEEE is an organization of engineers who have a vested interesting discouraging competition to keep their salaries high, and Spectrum has always pandered to that perspective. Their views of this issue as about as slanted as Slashdot's hive mind.

      I would contend that there is a shortage

      So would I. Most STEM fields have an unemployment rate of 3% or less, while the national average is over 5%.

      Most people, by definition, are average.

      Nonsense. That is NOT the definition of "average".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        IEEE is an organization of engineers who have a vested interesting discouraging competition to keep their salaries high, ..

        Define "high".

        Most STEM fields have an unemployment rate of 3% or less, while the national average is over 5%.

        That average also includes un-skilled labor, fields that are having problems and fields that had shortages at one time but then became saturated because of propaganda like this: example, nursing. Nursing has the worst job market in history because of the thumping of "shortages" for years.

        Right now with the collapse in the oil markets, some petroleum engineers are now asking, "would you like room for cream?"

        ANY and EVERY company that says that they can't get "qualified" people are full of shit

  • by kqs ( 1038910 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @01:19PM (#50230121)

    How dare PBS save taxpayer money by airing something that another group paid for. We must punish them for this outrage by removing their funding!

  • also to engage in the much-needed conversation of diversifying the tech field [slashdot.org] with more pluralistic perspectives.

    LOL yeah, why don't you try actually clicking that link and reading the comments. /. was totally fed up with this "much needed" agenda (and the spurious justifications for it) well over six months ago.

  • They should have named it "Code Sweat" and used this music as the theme song:

    https://youtu.be/CJ0p7k-KzWM [youtu.be]

    "I wake up...in a Code Sweat. Hah!"

    Maceo, blow your horn.

  • 'diversifying the tech field with more pluralistic perspectives." .. "a two-pronged approach .. STEM education .. targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms."'

    We want more H-1B visas ..
  • Coincidentally, Microsoft in 2008 launched its own Code Trip [msdn.com] project, which it described as "a road trip, a bunch of developers cruising around in a tour bus and geeking out. It's also an online TV show (or video podcast, or vodcast, or whatever the kids call it nowadays) chronicling their adventures throughout the western United States." So, the Microsoft-funded, Roadtrip Nation-branded 2015 Code Trip PBS show looks like a remake of sorts of Microsoft's own 2008 Code Trip, albeit with a more diverse cast [staticflickr.com]

  • The Reps bend over backwards to cut even the little bit of public funding left that goes to PBS and then complain that PBS goes in with big corp for pushing a questionable agenda. Restore and increase public funding for PBS with NO STRINGS ATTACHED and get some real decent and independent programming....or stop whining. All the Reps can do is say no to everything and then complain that nothing works right. How about a constructive proposal once in a while? But that would require them to look at facts and th
  • WTF is the reference to Mitt Romney doing in the summary?

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