code/ CS 2015 highlights/ retrospective/ compilation, topnotch links

kardashianhi all. another year swooshed by at rapid, sometimes near mind-melting pace. 2015 was again a banner year for CS and coding related areas.

CS/ coding has a huge cultural prestige/ cachet at the moment. public interest can be a fickle and transitory thing and am really enjoying this moment in the limelight so to speak, but am not expecting it to last. other moments like this have come and gone such as during the dotcom frenzy at the turn of the century. it seems to be a high water mark at the moment.[a]

we have stories about Kim Kardashian making record sums from her mobile app[a3][a16], obama encouraging coding[a5][a14], minecraft founder Persson selling for about $2B to microsoft and outbidding beyonce and Jay Z on a $70M hollywood mansion[a6][a8], large tribute essay in Bloomberg to code.[a9][a12][a13] and theres still a dribble of attn on the legendary steve jobs with a new movie etc.[a21][a22]

covered imitation game in this blog right on its release[b15] and there was a “long tail” of reaction to this gamechanging movie and media attn to turing.[b] a cultural milestone. it didnt pan out at the oscars but hey, we want to leave a little wiggle room & dont want to completely/ entirely “jump the shark” right?

CS education has a lot of developments.[c] there are record enrollments in universities and many CS depts are fat/ bulging at seams with students, faculty, and grants. it has never been a better time to learn CS and there is so much content/ resources available free on the internet, engaging online demos etc; very strong leverage for the passionate individual esp if youre self-motivated.

there is a huge amt of ongoing/ continuing debate about how much CS edu is appropriate for kids. hey, am the first to admit its not a silver bullet and its not for everyone. but lets try to make sure its as approachable/ accessible as possible for those who show some inclination. and dear to my heart, there are a lot of robotics approaches, one of the best hands-on angles around.

the topic of diversity in CS edu and workplace continues to be a white-hot topic this year.[d] its really great to see new heroes emerge in this perspective.[d20][d24] personally think major progress has been made on the awareness side, and think awareness is somewhere around ~½ the battle. again when a supermodel announces a coding initiative[d21,d22] one starts to wonder about complete/ total cultural saturation/ inundation/ domination. “all your base are belong to us!”

[e] looks into the debates about different languages and platforms, which will be with us forever. CS is really great in how its constantly evolving, the tools are always changing and improving. it can be fun to read about and some of the debate reaches near religious levels.

[f] tracks the many major advances in science & research, its connection/ importance to new products/ business, etc.

then there are stories/ debates about industry/ labor elements, working conditions, IBM layoffs, how to hire CS candidates etc.[h]

[i] tracks issues of quality and defective software, crashes, failures etc.; these are inevitable but how can we minimize/ mitigate them? they make headline stories and our culture and society is now tightly coupled with software engineering.

[j] are some various algorithm challenges/ contests. [k] is other misc news.


a. prestige/ cachet/ culture
b. turing/ imitation game
c. edu
d. diversity
e. languages/ platforms
f. advance/ future/ research
g. history
h. industry/ labor
i. quality/ defects
j. challenge
k. misc news

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