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Why the Software Industry Needs Computing Education Research

By The Huffington Post

November 16, 2016

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Job opportunities for software development abound, but schools are producing coders of less-than-adequate skill, according to University of Washington professor Andrew J. Ko and Purdue University professor Susanne Hambrusch. They cite a 2004 study that determined after passing college-level introductory programming courses, most students could not predict the output of even basic computer programs. Research on coding boot camps uncovered similar trends, with students failing to learn or gain employment.

"Why are students failing to learn?" Ko and Hambrusch ask. "Our best evidence shows that learning to code is hard, and teaching coding effectively is even harder." In addition, software jobs require other skills besides coding, such as problem solving, design, and communication. "Not only do we not know how to teach these skills well — we don't know how to teach them across K-12, college, or post-college levels," Ko and Hambrusch say. Greater investment in computing education research is needed to solve this problem, they say. "If we can build a strong evidence base for how to learn and teach computing, we will not only reinvent how students in K-12 schools and colleges learn, but we'll also improve how adults retrain and effectively learn new skills," Ko and Hambrusch say.

From The Huffington Post 
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