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How to help poor people through IT,Computer Science(targetting poorer kids,unemployed youth)

 
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Hi,
Can anyone give me some ideas as to how to help the poor through Computer Science.

1)I have thought of stuff like organising hour of code which has not been done in my region for poorer kids at small schools.
2)Free Java classes for unemployed youth and not something where hours and hours of theory are taught .more job oriented along with interview questions ,somehow i find it is the same questions being asked in interviews as far as core java is concerned ,so thinking that this might help.
3) Organising for 11th and 12th standard free seminars and explain them what is actually taught in computer science and engineering ,what are the job opportunities ,stress levels in the job to be expected .This has never been done in my place and students just take a major without knowing fully about it


For these i think projector ,and my laptop would be enough with a place to actually conduct the event .

I have this idea,i heard that if you type a document in word you get paid for it ,i dont know what it is called i forgot the actual name .But i saw many ads ,that are willing to pay people to write documents without any spelling mistake .I have found an organisation that gives refurbished computers for less money .And most typing softwares are free .So like have a small place ,with a few computers that help unemployed youth.First give them training for typing with the free software ,once they are good at it ,then give them the work.No middle man ,no cuts.They can earn themselves.But the ads on the newspapers look very bad,its like the person who is giving the work is a middle man and wants more profit for himself.Even a 10th standard drop out with basic english should be able to type these documents.

Is this a feasible idea?Are there any other ideas that anyone has ,please share any information ,right now i am just trying to get the ideas ,i have approached with first 3 ideas to some NGO's but didnt get any answer yet.Also money is big issue ,i am looking for things that cost less money and have more impact.

I spoke with professional trainers who train on leadership topics,memory management,speed reading ,women empowerment,time management ,but they are charging a lot of money and also need flight tickets and accoomodation .Are there any trainers who do free sessions ,i searched on net a lot but couldnt find anyone doing free sessions.

Any guidance towards any of the topics would be really appreciated.

Thanks & Regards,
Vamsi Krishna
 
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vamsi naki wrote:
I have this idea,i heard that if you type a document in word you get paid for it ,i dont know what it is called i forgot the actual name .But i saw many ads ,that are willing to pay people to write documents without any spelling mistake .I have found an organisation that gives refurbished computers for less money .And most typing softwares are free .So like have a small place ,with a few computers that help unemployed youth.First give them training for typing with the free software ,once they are good at it ,then give them the work.No middle man ,no cuts.They can earn themselves.But the ads on the newspapers look very bad,its like the person who is giving the work is a middle man and wants more profit for himself.Even a 10th standard drop out with basic english should be able to type these documents.



FYI... Typing from home work is very likely a work-at-home scam. Think about it, don't they have to send you information on what to type? And if so, don't they need to type it via email first? Can't they cut and paste instead?

Henry
 
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Maybe they are scans of something to type in?
 
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I agree with Henry, it is highly likely to be a scam. An important aspect is the confidentiality and possible piracy of the input documents.
No one would like to had over stuff to folks they don't know in person or have some reputation.
Finally, any professional typist will charge ten times less and deliver quick.
 
vamsi naki
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As far as i know they are PDF documents ,or hand written documents that have to be converted to text,entire books that dont have a soft copy.And as far as professionals are concerned ,from the ads in the newspapers they are targetting anyone who can type and has a computer .
 
Henry Wong
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Maybe they are scans of something to type in?



OCR software is actually pretty good these days. And for one or two documents (where security isn't a concern), there are even some online ones to try for free.

Since scanned documents are generally complex, it is probably easier to do an OCR along with a spell check, which can be automated, and then have someone who knows the documents to confirm and fix. Sending the documents to be typed, can't be automated, and still needs someone who knows the documents to confirm and fix regardless. And as Amit mentioned, this later option can only be done with documents that doesn't need to be secured.

Henry
 
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vamsi naki wrote:
2)Free Java classes for unemployed youth and not something where hours and hours of theory are taught .more job oriented along with interview questions ,somehow i find it is the same questions being asked in interviews as far as core java is concerned ,so thinking that this might help.



Please, please do not. That "hours and hours of theory" form an important foundation for an developer so they understand the choices that are made when creating an application or infrastructure. The last thing this world needs is more paint-by-numbers cargo-cult programmers who have been coached in interview questions.
Having done some basic adult literacy education, I will tell you that preparing someone for the work force takes a LOT of work. Many times they will lack the most basic life skills that most professionals take for granted, like reading a bus schedule, much less the technical vocabulary and mathematics it takes to make a decent programmer.
 
vamsi naki
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Please, please do not. That "hours and hours of theory" form an important foundation for an developer so they understand the choices that are made when creating an application or infrastructure. The last thing this world needs is more paint-by-numbers cargo-cult programmers who have been coached in interview questions.
Having done some basic adult literacy education, I will tell you that preparing someone for the work force takes a LOT of work. Many times they will lack the most basic life skills that most professionals take for granted, like reading a bus schedule, much less the technical vocabulary and mathematics it takes to make a decent programmer.



Hi Henry,
I am not saying theory is not important ,but in my region the problem is the trainers at training institutes (in general ,there are some really good ones i am not talking about them) they just by heart the textbook and start training kids,it is just theory ,even after course is over ,no one would have written a simple program .No one knows about IDE.I swear to god i am not making this up i attended a training center where the guy spoke like this "In Java there are many frameworks like Struts "comma",Spring "comma",Hibernate "comma".He was mentioning the word "comma".The entire training that day it sounded like he had by hearted each and every line and was just spilling out.he was even making the students repeat the sentences along with him 2-3 times for Web Services training .He is knowledgable but this is some of the training how it goes. i was selected in an MNC ,during initial training i had 3 teammates all 3 of them even when the first month training was over couldnt even write "Hello World" program.And what i meant by replacing hours and hours of theory was like use tools like BlueJ to do programming which is not done in my region in training centers.

If anyone happens to know any other free tool like "Blue j" please share ,something which is open source.

As far as adult litercay goes i have no knowledge at all.I am thinking of targetting engineering students who couldnt get a job,so that they will have basic knowledge .
 
Amit Ghorpade
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vamsi naki wrote:I am thinking of targetting engineering students who couldnt get a job,so that they will have basic knowledge .


I value your vision and willingness to help and I don't mean to discourage in any way. But from where I belong the scenario is this.

1. Freshers are not usually invited for jobs unless it is on campus hiring or an off campus where hundreds rush.
2. You need to have all the fancy words on your resume like Spring, Hibernate, jQuery, blah blah to be eligible for "interview" (not job).
3. You are drilled through multiple interview rounds. Based on your luck (or even looks :P) you may get questions anywhere from JPA to what is your favorite movie.
4. When selected, they give you legacy code to work on, which if luck has it, is not older than Java 1.5.

What I am trying to say is, you will equip the students with knowledge, which may or may not land them with jobs.

IMO, it will be rewarding if you can get them to work on some open source projects. Or even better free lance projects once they are trained well.
I am not sure how practical this is but I think its more predictable.
 
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Amit Ghorpade wrote:
3. You are drilled through multiple interview rounds. Based on your luck (or even looks :P) you may get questions anywhere from JPA to what is your favorite movie.


Heh!

Amit Ghorpade wrote:
2. You need to have all the fancy words on your resume like Spring, Hibernate, jQuery, blah blah to be eligible for "interview" (not job).


Indeed!
@vamsi, you might also want to consider educating the HR in technology fundamentals (e.g. Java != Java Script).

Edit: Corrected quotes
 
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The thing here is, I think, always if people were smart, and could be a programmer, than they would not be poor or unemployed anyway.

In my country, the Netherlands, the unemployment rate is low, there is a need for qualified technical personal. On the other side of the job market there are a lot of unemployed people though, that cannot get a job. You cannot turn (all) these people into engineers by giving them a lot of education. It will succeed on some occasions. But if you really want to help these people, you should create jobs that require lower skilled personnel. Which is rather frustrating, because using IT, I mostly do the opposite. And that is destroying jobs for lower skilled personnel.

You cannot increase someones talent and intelligence just by sending them to school for years and years. Some just don't have the DNA for it.
 
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vamsi naki wrote:I am not saying theory is not important ,but in my region the problem is the trainers at training institutes (in general ,there are some really good ones i am not talking about them) they just by heart the textbook and start training kids,it is just theory ,even after course is over ,no one would have written a simple program .No one knows about IDE.I swear to god i am not making this up i attended a training center where the guy spoke like this "In Java there are many frameworks like Struts "comma",Spring "comma",Hibernate "comma".He was mentioning the word "comma".The entire training that day it sounded like he had by hearted each and every line and was just spilling out.he was even making the students repeat the sentences along with him 2-3 times for Web Services training .


That sounds completely crazy. As if learning some programming textbook by heart, line by line, teaches you anything about being a programmer...!

vamsi naki wrote:If anyone happens to know any other free tool like "Blue j" please share ,something which is open source.


Eclipse is perhaps the most popular Java IDE and it is free. NetBeans is also a good and free Java IDE. And IntelliJ IDEA is another very good and popular IDE for which there is a free Community Edition.
 
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I try my hardest to avoid tools like BlueJ. I hate BlueJ.
 
Henry Wong
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vamsi naki wrote:
I spoke with professional trainers who train on leadership topics,memory management,speed reading ,women empowerment,time management ,but they are charging a lot of money and also need flight tickets and accoomodation .Are there any trainers who do free sessions ,i searched on net a lot but couldnt find anyone doing free sessions.



The phrase "you get what you paid for" applies here. It is a lot of work to develop a good training course. It is hard to find decent trainers. So, the good courses and trainers are sought after, and hence, not cheap. And certainly, not free.

If you want free, the best you can do is probably some amateur internet videos (like on youtube). Who knows? You might get lucky and find something.

Henry
 
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Here's an idea:

There are a number of structured courses being delivered online for free. Sites like Coursera and edX provide extremely high quality material and have scheduled assignments that are to be submitted online, with deadlines and everything.

Henry's assertion that providing training is hard, and good trainers are expensive, is bang on. However, why not leverage these online resources and invite people to study together. The format is usually a sequence of pre recorded lecture videos, followed by an assignment, released each week and you normally have a couple of weeks to complete and submit the assignment.

You could find a space to work, and invite people to come along as a study group sort of thing. If you can get hold of some volunteers who are experienced in programming to help out as classroom assistants, then you're good to go. I ran something similar at my workplace earlier in the year and it worked out pretty good.
 
Jesper de Jong
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:I try my hardest to avoid tools like BlueJ. I hate BlueJ.


I've never used BlueJ, but as far as I know it is really meant as a learning environment, and not meant for serious professional software development.
 
vamsi naki
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Hi,

Campbell Ritchie wrote:I try my hardest to avoid tools like BlueJ. I hate BlueJ.


BlueJ is good for teaching programming and Object Oriented Programming concept especially.


Tim Cooke wrote:There are a number of structured courses being delivered online for free. Sites like Coursera and edX provide extremely high quality material and have scheduled assignments that are to be submitted online, with deadlines and everything.


I checked few courses in Edx they charge a minimum amount of money to be Paid like 90 $,but CourseEra is free without certification,i will enroll in some courses and see how it is


Thanks
 
Tim Cooke
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vamsi naki wrote:I checked few courses in Edx they charge a minimum amount of money


Search for one called "6.00.1x Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python". It's free. It's just started this week but I'm sure it'll be run again.
 
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vamsi naki wrote:I checked few courses in Edx they charge a minimum amount of money to be Paid like 90 $,but CourseEra is free without certification,i will enroll in some courses and see how it is


Many of the courses that say they charge a minimum amount for a verified certificate also have an "audit this course for free" option.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Jesper de Jong wrote: . . .
I've never used BlueJ, but as far as I know it is really meant as a learning environment, and not meant for serious professional software development.

I have, and you are right about what it is meant for, Jesper.
 
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BlueJ is rather frustrating at first. We used it as our first Java IDE in university. Still using it slighty at the moment. We were taught OO concepts via the use of BlueJ. Creating objects and being able to communicate with those objects. Also BlueJ is where we learnt to create classes etc.
Our main IDE is Netbeans which I really enjoy.
 
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