Did You Know?

Did you know that some well-known technical companies are eschewing traditional recruiting and hiring methods in favor of … puzzles? An excerpt from a new book, The Rare Find, gives a glimpse into the techniques that companies such as Facebook and Google have turned to lately to help them identify top technical talent. These techniques include posting challenging puzzles and coding contests online, reading resumes “from the bottom up” instead of scanning for keywords, and overlooking Ivy League degrees in favor of other potential success “markers”. What do you think? Does this new kind of approach seem more meritocratic, or does it open a whole new can of worms? 
Did you know that the College Board is planning to develop new Advanced Placement (AP) courses related to STEM subjects? According to U.S. News & World Report, the College Board said it is “exploring the potential of more AP courses in engineering, energy, environment, and anatomy” and that “The College Board has made STEM education one of its very top priorities.” Unfortunately, it could take up to six years to develop the new courses because of the time it takes to write curriculum, pilot the course, and find colleges that will accept the course for credit. 
Did you know that mentors and sponsors have different roles in the career advancement of women? Mentors provide career advice to mentees, whereas sponsors personally advocate for proteges using their elevated standing in the organization. Research from Catalyst shows that women are as likely as men to receive promotions at work when they are being sponsored, but that they fall behind men when they are only being mentored. 
Did you know that the market for mobile phone applications is projected to exceed $15 billion in 2011? University students with computing backgrounds increasingly are participating in the creation of these apps for both entertainment and educational purposes. For example, Megan Monroe, a computer science student at The University of Maryland, created a drawing app and a music service; students at Stanford University designed an app that allows plant science professors to tag physical locations of plants for future use in testing. Does your department teach or use mobile apps in its curricula?
Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.

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