I’m talking about CUSEC 2008, that’s the Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference. What a blast. If you’re a student up here doing anything software-related, attend. If you’re a veteran and they ask you to speak, accept. If you’re an employer looking for talent, sponsor. With some ultra-cute pics.

The culture was undergrad-chaos. They come in by bus, they camp four to a hotel room, they swill beer, they cheer wildly and laugh raucously at the slightest provocation. Gotta love it.

The crowd at CUSEC 2008

You know, the decades creep by on you, and you don’t even notice till you realize everybody’s like thirty years younger than you are. Still, they laughed at my jokes. Being around them made me feel cheery about my profession.

Undergrads at CUSEC
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Undergrads at CUSEC

For a semi-ad-hoc undergrad thing, this thing is pretty well-funded. It’s not hard to understand why; everybody I know in the biz is hungry for talent, and here are 350 kids, a high proportion of them about to graduate, who care enough about what they’re doing to take the trouble to go to a three-day conference including a Saturday. Talk about self-selecting good candidates.

The sponsors had little booths at which they explained what great places to work they all are. Here’s one.

Sponsors looking for talent at CUSEC 2008

The other keynote on the day I spoke was Zed Shaw, and whatever you may think about his online presence, I have to say he’s a lot of fun as a speaker; I’d go see him any time.

Zed Shaw at CUSEC 2008

Congrats to the people putting it on; a damn fine piece of work.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: John Cowan (Jan 18 2008, at 17:33)

Huh. This guy Zed Shaw is a neighbor of mine (his address is given as "LES, NYC", which could also describe where I live), and yet I've never heard of him. It's a large world after all.

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From: Eddie (Jan 20 2008, at 20:33)

Just the name "Zed" is a really cool name to begin with. I wonder if the "Shaw" surname is in relation to Shaw Cable TV network in Canada?

Anyway, its really fascinating to learn that Zed Shaw (both on-line persona and real person) is shaking, rattling, and rolling the world.

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From: SusanJ (Jan 21 2008, at 11:40)

I see a few women in the pictures but a lot more men. Do you think this event help, hurt, or was irrelevant as far as getting more women into software? And does that matter?

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From: Kraig (Jan 22 2008, at 06:39)

Susan, there were also a few women on ISDEF (Independent Software Developers Forum) who work in software development business, but a lot more men. The photos above are very similar to photos from ISDEF 2007 conference :-)

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From: Skrud (Jan 22 2008, at 11:13)

I'm glad you had a great time out here, Tim! It's a shame you had to leave early (and missed our pub night -- 350 geek kids in a bar? We took the place over!)

Thank you very much for the kind words. A lot of students loved your speech and felt like they learned a lot, which is exactly the point. :)

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From: Emanuel (Jan 29 2008, at 06:42)

I wonder if the keynotes will be published online in some form.

Do you have any information about it?

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