Saturday, January 10, 2015

NCSS 2015 - Day 6

Thanks @takafael for the use of the photo:

Excursion Day!

Today is a different format. No lectures and labs but tours of the big sponsors and lots of food. I didn't go on the tour this year because I went last year and was desperate to try to de-rust some of my python skills before the evening activity but i've polled some students and teachers for feedback. In general it was a fantastic day.

Morning: Went to Wisetech Global for second breakfast, a short talk and a tour. Wisetech Global are an Australian software and embedded systems company that helps companies to manage logistics of truck fleets and deliveries and things like that. It's great to see a proudly Australian tech company. It really appealed to the the embedded kids to see real embedded systems being tinkered with.

Middle of the day: Went to Atlassian for a talk, tour and lunch (pizza!). Atlassian is an Australian software development company that develops software to help software development teams. Their most famous product is JIRA. They're pretty famous around the world (and keep being mentioned in my Educational Leadership university subjects) because they have an open attitude to smart people using some of their time to explore new ideas. They also have "Ship-it" days which used to be called "Fed-ex" days because something was delivered overnight. Completely subjectively, Atlassian appears to have won the "awesomeness" award among those polled. Everyone wants to work here.

Afternoon: Went to Google for a talk and tour. I think everyone knows Google. Feedback was that it's completely understandable but a bit of a shame that the tour was of the building rather than of any of the work spaces.

SCHWAG! The kids get given branded merch at each company and they love it! T-shirts and bags and lollies Oh My!

Important Thing Learned: If I stay back to try to bone up on Python I apparently get distracted by the emails from work.

Light interlude: After everyone came back from the tours we had a fun session with maths comedian @mathemaniac.He was great fun and seemed happily surprised to be talking to a non-standard audience. There may have been some math-nerds in the room.

Evening Activity: Programming Comp! Yay!
The kids are mixed up into groups of 3 or 4 and get 2 hours to answer 20 questions. The answers are usually short and can be scribbled onto a slip of paper and handed in. the way to solve the problem to get the answer is *much* less short. We had two teacher teams and we did pretty well considering we don't tend to play around with this stuff every day like many of the kids do.
Examples of tricky questions included tree traversal, regex search and analyse. There were some easier ones and you can use the internet. I barely registered there was a score until the end because we were all working so hard. One of my fellow teachers said afterwards "So that's what 100 engaged kids looks like."

Great Day!

Murder: I'm still a human and alive but I still don't really get how it works. there doesn't seem to be a lot happening this time around. I heard a rumour that there was a mass attack planned by either the werewolves or the vampires at the School of IT today. See what happens.

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