25
NickyBones
248d

My banker is from Kenya and every time I see him we completely drift off finance and talk at length on education, specifically technical education.
I have some experience teaching in high school, and when he said they could really use people like me in Kenya, it resonated.
I would like to go back to the industry once I'm done with the PhD, but I don't think about the industry as endgame.
I'd like to eventually be an educator, or someone who contributes to educational programs and processes.

Comments
  • 4
    That's actually my plan as well, I want to be a CS professor but I am hopefully specializing in OS research more specifically; happy to see I'm not the only one with this plan 😅
  • 6
    Its not specific to Kenya, even here in Germany I found that good computer science teachers at high schools are a rare commodity.

    I've thought about if I would ever teach (whether that be at a university or a school) but idk if I would enjoy it or not.
  • 4
    @chilledfrogs Professorships are legit hard to get - I hope you have people who help you plan your path.
    I was thinking more about high-school level teaching, or practical engineering/programming. I realize not all people can afford to go to university....
  • 4
    @LotsOfCaffeine Good teachers for pretty much everything are scarce everywhere. I think he meant Kenya could really use upping their tech game, to break out of being a third world country.
  • 4
    @NickyBones I am aware of the university tuition problem (even though it isn't really applicable where I live) and I will also do what I can to fix that social issue, but at least for me it seems like indeed if I can get a professorship, I have more agency to try and fix education in my field than were I in school, even though that isn't out of the question at some point as well
  • 0
    This what I dedicated one of my side projects to:

    www.productx.io/causes
  • 4
    Same. To start I've been pushing for opening up our computer architecture courses so that anyone can use the materials to learn on their own including simulated labs and assessments, but it's a bit of an uphill battle with the administration and faculty (tbh they have legit concerns, opening stuff up is not easy and historically we've been a small, research focused uni) not to mention tools (eg. how do we use Synopsys/Cadence/Xilinx/Intel tools for an online open course? No way Synopsys will give us a massive license for VCS for eg.) and I'm a student, not faculty. Thankfully there are open source alternatives like IcarusVerilog, Yosys, and VTR (for FPGA P&R, we actually work with the VTR folks) which could step in instead, I need to do some investigation.

    The profs already post lecture materials online with free access, but what people learning on their own (been there) need are good assignments and feedback and some credibility, so maybe I can take this stuff to Coursera (bit of a dearth of a good introductory to advanced comp arch material there), but it's going to take years of work to do overall. Thankfully, being a PhD student I'm going to be here for a few years :p
  • 4
    I'm from kenya.most CS Professors in the university teach very shallow stuff. You question them, they get furious because they really have zero experience in CS or programming. For example, you find a professor who specializes in OOP (c++ for example)doesn't have any project to show as an achievement, not even a Github profile
  • 1
    You could also just give guest lectures every now and then
  • 4
    As a lecturer/teacher at a Dutch school, I can tell you it's worth it. I really like that we run a small program (some 220 students) so I know pretty much all of them well. Everytime I see it "click" with one of the students, my day is a good day. I often have good days :)
  • 0
    I'll be a professor when I grow old
  • 2
    @was-removed1 quite honestly I wouldn't expect some of my lecturers from uni to have a github with anythijg notable on it.
    In my uni the majority of them came from the industry, so a lot of their experience wasn't in libre/open-source software
  • 2
    @NickyBones I mean of course Germany and Kenya aren't comparable, though its not always perfect here either.
  • 2
    I might be prejudiced, but I read "my banker is from Kenya" and wondered if he had offered you guaranteed $20M USD if only you could provide the funds to smuggle the chest out of the country. It's not so normal to have a named contact at your bank here, unless you're really rich I suppose.
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