Getting Fired

Submitted by Santosh Kumar on Fri, 03/20/2015 - 8:55pm.
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A couple of days back I stumbled upon Zach Holman's awesome post on his departure from Github.

I think he really nails it and pushes us to confront our touchiness on this subject. What's the big deal with getting fired? Everyone has been through that at some point and yet no one likes to talk about it. Obviously this is due to the fact that the feeling (quite rightly) is that no one will hire you. And I'm calling BS on that prejudice. I'm with Zach -- we as a society need to move beyond these outdated GE/IBM-era prejudices and accept that there could be situations where for some reason people just don't get along and this doesn't reflect badly on the employee that has to leave. It's just that they didn't get along.

Here is one thing that we could do without:
- Reference checks: This forces people to lie or put up with bad behavior. We need a better way to do whatever the reference check claims to be doing (startup idea?).

 

All About Open Source Tools Owned by Giants

Submitted by Panisuan Chasinga on Fri, 03/20/2015 - 10:40am.
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This is just my opinion following Facebook's acquisition of Parse and Google's of Firebase, two leading backend-free database-as-a-service products for front end and mobile development.

I don't know about Google's deal, but there was an interesting analytic article about Facebook's decision to acquire Parse. Facebook doesn't want to end up buying another viral mobile app like Whatsapp with that amount of money again, so buying Parse will make sure it can oversee all the mobile apps using Parse's service. This means that if it sees a promising traction in one, it can quickly strike a deal with the startup early on without having to wait until it grows into another Whatsapp.

Now, that should reflect on how we are using open source technological tools owned or sponsored by these giants. They will have a huge say in the future of the tools and the direction of the users. To give you an idea of some:

- Angular.js and Go are Google's.

 

Early Childhood Education Creates Stronger Economy

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Tue, 03/17/2015 - 2:06pm.
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Early childhood education is the first step in a child’s development. It is also the first step for building the future workforce. Education is very important and many believe that early child education is as important as a college education. Over the past few years, a lot of business leaders have been working together to develop a quality early childhood education system that will improve the workforce in the long run. This issue has also made its way to Congress. Politicians believe that the first five years in a child’s education affect their academic achievement in the future.

As such, they are working on legislation to improve early childhood education. This legislation is open to new early learning opportunities for children around the country. Preparing children well in kindergarten can lead to excellence in reading and they carry it on through their educational journey. However, a poor preschool training affects children performance in kindergarten and grade school. This is one of the major reasons behind dropouts that affect the quality of the work force.

 

The Workplace Gets Gamified & Quantified

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:38am.
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Everyone knows that wearables and fitness tracking software are helping users game the fitness and health fields, but, what if you apply the same leaderboard concepts, quantified "nudges" and dashboard metrics to the workplace? This is an emerging trend according to this, New York Times article. "Quantified work" is spreading through Silicon Valley and beyond thanks to software like Better Works. What is most fascinating to me is this idea of transparent goal setting that allows other teammates to view and "encourage" or "shame" workplace peers. This is a fascinating way to view teamwork though perhaps not the most helpful or healthy approach. As the article listed above cautions:

 

Daughter Sues Father Over Education

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:13am.
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For decades, natural, cultural and traditional beliefs have given parents in many developing nations a lot of authority to the extent that they sometimes forget their role as parents. However, due to advancement, such often held beliefs and cultural norms have slowly disappeared.

This is the case in Saudi Arabia, whereby a father has decided not to allow his daughter to complete her scholarship program. Although this is not necessarily about marriage, the father’s decision appears to be harsh and absurd. Perhaps some years ago, this would’ve been okay, but not in today’s world. Consequently, the child is suing her father because his reasons are not legitimate. I believe this is the right choice by the child because this is probably the only way she can override her father’s decision. Additionally, this demonstrates tha

 

No Health Care for Student Athletes

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 03/15/2015 - 11:40pm.
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For many schools, athletics play a significant role in helping shape their brand. The athletic success of certain schools makes them more popular than their academic success. Student athletes sometimes spend more time with their teams than in the classroom. This means student athletes have to work tirelessly after practice and games to finish assignments. This is all in light of this important article that sheds highlights how schools are technically not required to provide health care for student athletes. The NCAA Division I manual barely has a full page that explains this policy to ensure that athletes obtain health care.

This means student athletes are left unattended when they encounter injuries at games or practices. This report comes as shocking news to most families because recruiters told them that their children would receive a quality education while receiving benefits for playing college sports as well. Should the NCAA be blamed for not paying close attention to healthcare issues pertaining to student athletes or should parents be blamed for not finding out about healthcare from school officials who recruit their children?

 

The 10-Year Old College Student

Submitted by Youssouf Bamba on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:46pm.
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At an age when most students look forward to recess and other “fun” aspects of the school day, 10-year Esther Okade is already an undergraduate in college. The talented Okade is a student at Open University in the UK, where her primary focus is in math. She plans to complete a PhD in financial math and open her own bank; all this before she is 15. She is also lending her a hand at publishing as she is writing a series of math related workbooks for children.

 

Chappie May be a Mediocre Movie, While Being a Robo Ethicists Dream

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:14am.
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Have you seen, or, do you plan to see Martin Blomkamp's, "Chappie?" Regardless, it is an interesting study in robot ethics and the potential for humans to act as moral teachers to their robot underlings. Less a pre-programmed worker with Asimov's three laws neatly in place, Chappie is more childlike in his need to be shown how to behave and given a lesson in moral values as he "develops" cognitively. This is where the relevant learning and teaching aspect comes to bear and provides questions for educators as we prepare to potentially teach and interact with robots in our schools (possibly?!) and continue to teach humans morals as well. As The New Yorker describes in this article:

 

Encouraging Interest in STEM

Submitted by Sarpong Adjei on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:43pm.
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There has been a lot of talk about lack of women representation and/or interest in STEM subjects. This is also reflected in the STEM related jobs. This piece talks about how teacher biases towards girls during the early schooling years can have a profound effect on their interest in math and science. We know the teaching method a particular educator can make a huge different in the way student comprehend the material. The piece also argues that socio-economic status is another important factor in girls’ interest in STEM. Female students from low-income families tend to have even less interest in STEM. What role can schools and the private sector play in bucking this trend?

 

Worst Name, Best Workplace Messaging App?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:52am.
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In case you haven't heard, Slack is taking over workplace email. Long purported to be dead in the age of Google chat and other options for more instantaneous office communication, messaging app Slack, may finally be the nail in email's coffin.

Slack is apparently a more transparent option for workplace chats and has a few compelling features that are missing from other options from Google, Apple and more.

As this New York Times article describes:

But Slack has a few unusual features that make it perfectly suited for work, including automatic archiving of all your interactions, a good search engine and the ability to work across just about every device you use. Because it is hosted online and is extremely customizable, Slack is also easy for corporate technology departments to set up and maintain.

 
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