Archive for category venting

Outsourcing Academic projects

Came across this post,”UK students outsources IT coursework to India” on Cnet News (UK), which discusses recent findings showing that UK students at the high school and university level were contracting out some of their programming assignments. Is this simply the globalization of cheating, or a more sinister trend.   According to the article even final dissertations are being outsourced with milestones being met by the off site developers. Be it at a shockingly low rate of around $200 (100 UK pounds). One would think a college final dissertation/project would be worth more than that.

This would be a disturbing trend if left unchecked.  Aren’t these individuals robbing themselves of the joy of actively engaging in trying to solve the problem, or what about those long hours spent hunting for that illusive bug.   Some might argue that going out and hiring a programmer in India or Romania, is solving the problem. It is a practical solution to some extent, and depending on the type of work you do after graduation, it’s probably what you will end up doing anyway.

It might be a  small fraction of individuals who stoop to such lengths to weasel out of an assingment, however wouldn’t this behaviour have a knock on effect of negatively impacting both the overall value and perception of a Computing education.

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Microsoft gets bright spark to give away their development tools to students

According to a AP release “Microsoft giving away developer software” Microsoft is letting students download their development studio and server applications for free. Is it a strategic move attempting to position themselves against the trend of web developers going with the free open source LAMP stack or an additional choice for web developers, as Bill Gates explains in the article.

“Gates said students will want to try Microsoft’s tools because they’re more powerful than the open-source combination of Linux-based operating systems, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language used to make complex Web sites.”

Will this have an impact on the open source movement? Would this simply expand the options available for development. Once the application is developed could it be distributed under an open source license, or would the embedded Microsoft technologies pose a stumbling block. According to a Computer world.com article: Analysis: Popularity of open-source, Adobe tools on campus prods Microsoft’s giveaway to students. the free software is intended for educational purposes, and not for commercial software development or software-for-hire basis. The article goes on to quote Joe Wilson, Microsoft’s senior director of academic initiatives for developer and platform evangelism.” But Microsoft has no plans to enforce those terms, Wilson said.” Would this pose a threat to open source development platforms such as JavaBean from Sun or IBM supported Eclipse. Time will tell.

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