SIGCSE, Why Can’t I Implement Everything?

I was going to blog about Mike Richards’ excellent paper on ubicomp, but Katrina did a much better job so I recommend that you go and look over there.

My observation on this session are more feeling based, in that I’ve seen many things at this conference and almost every time, I’ve wanted to tell more people about it, or adopt the mechanism. As Katrina said to me, when we were discussing it over lunch, you can’t do everything because we only have so many people and not every idea has to be implemented at every University.

But it’s such a shame! I want small home-rolled mobile computing platforms and fascinating programming environments! Everything good I saw, I want to bring home and share with people. However, the hard part is that I want them to be as fascinated and as excited as I am – and they’re getting it from me second-hand.

The other things that I have to remember is that whatever we do, we have to commit to and do well, we can’t just bring stuff in, try it and throw it away in case there’s a possibility of our ad-hoc approach hurting our students. We have to work out what we want to improve, measure it, try the change and then measure it again to see what has changed.

You’ll see a few more SIGCSE posts, because there’s still some very interesting things to report and comment on, but an apparent movement away from the content here isn’t a sign that I’ve stopped thinking about – it’s a sign that I’m thinking about which bits I can implement and which bits I have to put into the ‘long term’ box to bring up at a strategy level down the track.

I’ve met a lot of great people and heard many wonderful things – thanks to everyone at SIGCSE!

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