TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Greetings,

I do a few outreach career events at local high schools and i have one coming up for Roosevelt High School on January 30th. One of the things that I focus on is why i love my job. I was hoping to get a few responses from the TechHui community on why you love your tech job.

any other ideas of how we can reach out the intermediate and high school kids are welcome.

thanks, Aaron

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I think gaming is or at least used to be the main reason kids get interested in the tech industry. It's where I started, a summer olympics game on a Commodore 64... (followed by Wolfenstein, Command and Conquer, Rainbow 6, etc...) ah, good times. Wish I still had time to play!
Agreed. I remember playing Prehistorik and Monkey Island on my 8088. Have 0 time for video games now. So sad....
I agree with Patrick - Talking about game development is a good way to get kids attention. I would also mention that tech salaries are significantly higher than most jobs in travel and tourism. Finally, I would mention interesting local tech companies and what they are doing. Obviously you know about the projects at Referentia. You could also talk about the nanotech work happening at Oceanit (bring up the surfboard resin), Blue Mars project at Avatar Reality, GB Hajim's Strangeframe project and Kuehnle AgroSystems fuel producing algae.
Games were definitely a huge "gateway drug" early on, but now, for me:

- the means of production are cheap/the barrier to entry is low: with a PC and an internet connection, you can both make a lot of money and make a product/service that people want....money/fame/fulfillment

- the computer is a laboratory: you can run simulations and change parameters at will, run what-if scenarios, create as many objects of various types as your memory hierarchy allows and program complex interactions between them

- instant gratification: this sort of goes along with the laboratory thing above, but especially in vision/graphics programming, there is HUGE gratification with hacking out some code, parts at a time, and testing them and seeing them work, then gluing the whole thing together -- you get gratification along the entire process...not just at the end
I would say it's the flexibility. As opposed to many industries I love that I can come and go early or late if I want, work from home occasionally, etc - as long as the work is done and communication is maintained, etc. All my jobs have offered some flexibility in terms of remote work. AscribeData, truman, may be a great case study for this - works where and when he pleases, as long as he handles what needs to be done.

For intermediate and high school students, I think Facebook and iPhone Applications might be the coolest things that get their attention. iFu from Oceanit for example.
Patrick has a point. I think kids would be interested to know that you can make good money being in tech. I know our staff get asked how much they make when they do student outreach... especially at the high school level. In the tech industry, you get to work on cool projects, definitely. Like Daniel mentioned, the nanotech stuff, "lasers" :), iPhone apps!, etc... Let me know if you'd like to use any of our animations. Those get some wows from the kids. :)
hey cindy,

i'd definitely be interested in your awesome animations.

btw, perhaps we dual use companies should get together and trade a few ideas on outreach events. share resources, etc.

thanks, aaron

cindy matsuki said:
Patrick has a point. I think kids would be interested to know that you can make good money being in tech. I know our staff get asked how much they make when they do student outreach... especially at the high school level. In the tech industry, you get to work on cool projects, definitely. Like Daniel mentioned, the nanotech stuff, "lasers" :), iPhone apps!, etc... Let me know if you'd like to use any of our animations. Those get some wows from the kids. :)
Aaron,

Sorry I missed the date on your event, but I am adding a few ideas in the assumption that this project is at the beginning not the end.

Together with Jamie Hatch also here on Oahu I participated in a global 24-hour project, Doing IT Around the World - Women in Technology, designed to gather "a day on the life" stories of women in tech. The main point was to show young women the range of career opportunities in technology. There are compiled PDF's via region available here and a book in production. (Turn down your speakers - a video file auto-loads on the home page; I linked to the regional albums page.)

The Anita Borg Institute in Palo Alto is also working to promote young women to the tech field. They are located on the grounds of HP Labs, with HP offering them office space and support. I just had lunch there with a colleague this past week, and it is a great collaboration. Maybe we could have a local version of that?

Tech Hui Member Judi Clark has done quite a bit of work in this area as well, building a database of women mentors in technology. I suggest connecting with her too.

I hope your event went well!

Aloha, Rox

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