School software development curriculum out of date: University of Sydney

Uni programming challenge set to close the gap

The University of Sydney is once again calling for entries for its 2011 National Computer Science School Programming Challenge, which aims to encourage high school students to pursue careers in software development.

The challenge has four streams, set to cater to students at various skill levels, and is being run in conjunction with National ICT Australia.

Co-creator of the challenge, Dr Tara Murphy from the School of Information Technology, said the challenge is also geared toward improving the standards of software development in school curricula.

“In New South Wales, the software design and development curriculum was last updated in 1995 -- in the computing world that’s ancient history,” Murphy said.

“With the proposed national curriculum reducing the hours allocated to elective computing courses we see this challenge as plugging a gap in an area vital to Australia’s continued economic growth.”

The challenge, which began in 2005, drew entries from some 1600 students across Australia last year.

The University also runs a National Computer Science Summer School, which gives high school students an opportunity to spend 10 days on campus to receive tuition in programming for web applications and embedded systems for robotics.

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