Shortly after I graduated from ITT Technical, a mere 3 years later, I remember hearing about kids being able to take the A+, CCNA, and some Microsoft certification test right in high school. I felt cheated. Cheated because I had just paid over $30,000 to some monkey who ran a school that wasted 3 years of my life giving me a paper that said I already knew a bunch of things kids were learning in high school.
In the tech world there are two ways to learn anything. First, you can go to school and pay a ton of money to learn things from a book, and if you are lucky you will get to put the rubber to the road, at least a little and see how all this theory really works out in real life.
The second I call the Dark Corners. Most tech savvy folk when asked will tell you they prefer to work on their systems, programs, etc. in a lightly lit dark room, usually in the corner of a building. Somewhere that they can loose their crazy socially awkward side and get some real work done. My personal "Dark Corner" is in the basement, a common favorite.
The folks spending time in Dark Corners are learning by doing. They are plugging holes in firewalls as they are learning how they are exposed, and exploited. They are designing websites in HTML5 now because they want to have the advantage when the spec is standardized, and just to be sure they are covered they are working on XHTML2 as well.
These people in the Dark Corners are your geeks. They guys who would rather spend their evenings and weekends figuring out where their packets are going across the network, how they can better encrypt their computer's data without losing everything when one of the drives in their RAID fails.
The folks in the Dark Corners are the doers, and they are the people who know the most, no questions asked.
I am sure you are wondering the point of all of this, the bright future I am talking about is this:
The New Salt Lake City "A Charter School Preparing Tomorrow's Tech Progeny". This is a charter school that is designed around the idea of having your kids be tech gurus! They will learn everything from the history of computing and punch cards, to the latest and greatest OO Programming, supporting and maintaining *nix servers, and even the Windows world.
a brand new charter high school in southern Salt Lake county/northern Utah county area, dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s software and network systems engineers
This is something I would have killed to attend when I was a kid.
They are looking for support from the community in the way of Human Resources, Policy and Procedure, budgeting and more!
As this is something I would hope my kids would one day attend, you can believe I will be getting involved. I hope each of you will see the value of something like this in our community and culture and will give it your honest best effort to help it come to fruition.