The CS Opportunity Fair

On April 7th at the Armory inWashington Heights, we will host the third annual CS Opportunity Fair which exposes career opportunities in computer science and software engineering in NYC to over 2,000 NYC high school students who are studying computer science this year.

If you work at or run a tech company in NYC, we want your company represented at the fair. We want you to host a booth and bring colleagues so that the students can see and talk to people working in tech companies in NYC. We have over fifty NYC tech companies already committed to come but we need a lot more. It’s a five hour commitment, 9:30-2:30, but it will make a big difference in our ongoing effort to open up tech jobs to a much broader range of talent and bring much needed diversity to the tech sector in NYC and around the US.

The CS Fair also showcases colleges from around the region and the country where students can continue their computer science education as well as extra curricular programs students can enroll in to further their studies.

I hope I have convinced you to get involved in this fantastic event. If so, here are the links you need.

CS Fair website

To register to host a booth

To email for more information on the fair

To email for information on becoming a sponsor

I plan to be at the fair for the entire event and I hope I will see you and your colleagues there.

And props to AVC regular Kirk Love for his work on the CS Fair artwork and website. Thanks Kirk.

#hacking education#NYC

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Good idea to call it “opportunity” fair, instead of “Job” fair.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Good point. Now that I think about it. “Fair” is quite an antiquated word as well, especially for CS.CS Opportunity Summit. There you go.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Opportunicon? Kids love cons 😉

        1. Jess Bachman

          With lots of Jobplay!

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Well done!

      2. LE

        I am not sure (that for high school kids) the word “summit” is as good as “fair” which they already have an understanding of.

      3. Vasudev Ram

        “Fair” sounds fine to me. Brings back memories of attending fairs as kids.Also there is a tradition of calling computer confs, fairs, in the US – from older days. Like the West Coast Computer Faire . Wish I could have attended. In the boom days of PCs in 80s and 90s.

  2. Twain Twain

    Saw Marlon Nichols of Cross Culture VC present one of the most cogent reasons for investing in diverse founders at Startup Grind conference yesterday.CULTURE IS WHAT MOVES US (aka drives us to do something, engage with someone, buy something).Worth watching this:*

  3. DJL

    We just attended one last week in Houston put on by Rice. It was a fantastic day. Nice to get out of the office and meet young people who are really energetic and many of them filled with the entrepreneur spirit. I also enjoyed networking with the other startups (most of them in healthcare tech.) We got several great resumes.

  4. Kirsten Lambertsen

    You have convinced me. Seeing if I can wrangle this right now.Looks beautiful @kirklove:disqus

    1. kirklove

      Hey thanks. I just executed. Props to the CSNYC team and their directions.

    2. Lawrence Brass

      It seems that this is how Kirk earns his Love.

  5. kirklove


  6. sigmaalgebra

    Good grief: ‘Ats a lot’s uh drum beating with clearly some impressive results, getting lots of busy people to show up.So, for the kids, an “opportunity”: Sounds like career counseling, impersonal, without professional career counseling, without information particular to each of the kids, and from 20,000 feet up.Maybe that’s a good thing to do, but one concern I’d have is, what fraction of the kids that try that “opportunity” will, in 20 years, look back and be able to say that they were really successful in it? I wouldn’t want to think that I’d pushed those kids where some significant fraction were doomed to failure, that maybe if looked was visible now, and where maybe there was something else that would have clearly been more promising for them. The kids might also consider nursing, accounting, getting really good running a fast food restaurant. Let’s take the last: Getting good at running a fast food restaurant: The difference at one restaurant between doing good and doing better can be one nice chunk of change per year. Work way up to running 10 such well, and now can be welcome at at least the 50′ yacht clubs. And pay kids’ full tuition at an Ivy League college. No joke.I don’t want to do career counseling here, either, but the kids should have some good career counseling and not too much hype. The kids should consider more than just computing; for some kids, computing won’t be good, and I wouldn’t want that result on my conscience.Once I was pushed into something like that: IBM went to all the high schools in my city and offered to let all the seniors take their aptitude test. So some hundreds of kids did. The 16 kids with the best scores, then, got a summer program in IBM’s products.Yes, the kids were likely talented at computing, but with some irony, also the kids were so bright generally that essentially all of them were well on the way to college; one went to Yale. E.g., my college math honors paper was on group representation theory, and that is still a bit beyond what is common in computing.I know; I know; can argue that the “opportunity” is much better than the alternatives the kids have. Okay, then, maybe somehow expose them to a wide range of “opportunities”.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Before buying a car I’d recommend most people read Consumer Reports to get an idea of what they’re looking at, but it doesn’t mean they get to avoid the car salesman once they walk into the dealership.

      1. LE

        Well it depends on the person buying the car actually. For many people a car is an emotional purchase it’s not like buying a refrigerator you know. A good shortcut is simply to buy the best or second best selling car in a particular class since with that the market has typically figured out what is a good value for the money. Of course if you are somewhat knowledgeable about cars you will zig and zag from that in some cases.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          In the US, buy a mainline car from Ford or Chevy. Why?(1) They are made in huge quantities.(2) Heavily the major parts have been working very well for years, sometimes decades.(3) There are dealers all over the country; e.g., if need maintenance while traveling, then there will be a dealer close by.(4) Parts are readily available from dealers and also just the huge US network of auto parts suppliers.(5) Nearly every mechanic in the country can do the maintenance work — brakes, exhaust, tires, shocks, ball joints, spark plugs, radiators, lights, oil changes, chassis lube, etc.(6) Ford and Chevy and their dealers will still be in business in 10, 20, …, 50, 100 years. So, resale value will be higher than for some car where the manufacturer went out of business.E.g., don’t buy a Buick. Why? Their volumes are too low. So, e.g., they have too many parts, some crucial, that are unique to Buick, not reliable, and that not even Buick can still supply.Want something special? Okay, get a Chevy Corvette — the engine and transmission are essentially mainline items at GM, and no doubt much of the rest is from the main, central GM parts bin.

          1. LE

            Okay, get a Chevy Corvette911. You can actually drive it in the snow and has mini rear seats!

      2. sigmaalgebra

        At one point, it was first permitted for the US military to use ads on the media to recruit soldiers. So, we got from the Marines “The few, the proud, the Marines”, especially since young men are really eager to belong in that sense. From the US Army we got “Be all you can be” showing some guy using the sights of a M1A1 tank. Now, maybe the guy could be more than that, maybe design the infrared optics, the computer display, the control system that lets the tank fire accurately from 2 miles away while the tank is moving over rough ground — which it can do. A guess — some Kalman filtering, e.g., see D. Luenberger, Optimization by Vector Space Techniques or, fun and profit from the Hahn-Banach theorem. Right I just love that book but can’t recommend that many kids go for that book, either.Well, with those ads, a big stink went up saying that young men should not have such a big decision in their lives made by “Madison Avenue” techniques.So, you are saying that some scared, poorly informed, naive teens should make a big career decision based on interactions like with a car salesman?Okay. Cruel world. Kids need good parents — maybe the parents should also go to the fair. AND the school guidance counselors. And the school principal, AND the head of the NYC school board, AND the NYC mayor, AND Mike Bloomberg, AND Zuck, Page, Brin, Bezos, Nadella, Doerr, and Moritz . I know, Fred will be there. If we are going to pass out propaganda for the kids, a serious subject, let’s be serious.We know it’s a cruel world where kids need good parenting. Ah, dog eat dog and may the devil take the hind most? I know; I know; what the heck else do those kids they have better to do? Again, I know, better that those kids get propaganda to make it in computing than the propaganda to make it in the NBA.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Some parents don’t have a clue-even heavily educated ones. Just get kids to go, get exposure, get their brains thinking. As a kid you should be able to try on a lot of uniforms before you decide. I hate the European model of schooling where they separate them out at early ages.

          1. LE

            Some parents don’t have a clue-even heavily educated onesEducation and common sense are different things. Education and intelligence are different as well. Some people learn intuitively and others need to be taught to learn. They don’t know much that they haven’t been taught or haven’t read about. They don’t figure things out on their own. (They would not make good entrepreneurs typically).I’ve told the story of a girl I dated in the early 00’s who was a radiologist. Valedictorian of her high school class graduated near top at medical school. One night I brought home a pizza in a box and she tried to heat it up in the box at 400o.. She literally didn’t know or think that paper burns at a certain temperature. True story. She did other stupid shit as well. But she was good at her job (I think..) Grew up on Long Island, didn’t even know the NY Times was a big deal newspaper. Wasn’t taught that, didn’t pick it up by osmosis.I think what happens with many middle to upper class people is they have a social circle that turns them on to things that they wouldn’t know about on their own. Then they present those opportunities to their kids.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            A common pattern is, a girl is really eager to please others — this starts literally in the crib. Then growing, she can get just determined to please others. So, she sees what i’s to dot, what t’s to cross, what boxes to get checked off, etc. and get top grades, awards, praise, etc. It’s surprising how far someone can go doing that without knowing more than some trained seal.Your insight is good. It does appear that girls are especially prone to just what you described if only because quite fundamentally the girls are much more eager to please people than the boys are.

          3. LE

            What’s the tie in between “eager to please” and not picking up things by osmosis or perhaps not being as curious (in that way) as boys are?

          4. sigmaalgebra

            The girls want to please others. The general situation is that starting in the crib they are already grand masters at, the way it is sometimes put, eliciting supportive and protective emotions in others, especially adults, especially fathers and uncles.That pattern continues in grade school where some of the girls are the class goody-goodys.Okay, then, on to answer your question: The support, praise, approval the girls get is fairly superficial, and the techniques they use to get those responses are also fairly superficial. So, in grade school, such girls use their terrific abilities at understanding how to please others to figure out how to please the teachers, give the teachers just that, and get back the grades, honors, praise, smiles, etc. With this technique, there doesn’t have to be real curiosity, real interest, a desire for real, comprehensive mastery, an eagerness to take advantage of opportunities to learn by osmosis, etc.In simple terms, a boy who is a good student wants really to understand the stuff and will eagerly take any opportunity to do so, and a girl just wants to make A’s, get on the honor roll, be Valedictorian, etc.The girls will work to please the teacher even if they don’t care about the material, and, for material they like, the boys will work to understand the material and, at least by behavior, tell the teacher to stuff it. I’m generalizing, but I’m not really wrong. And the generalization is close enough to enough particular cases to be important to know.I was an extreme case even for a boy:(A) I cared about cars. I took every opportunity I had to finding everything I could. The first time I saw the crankshaft of a V-8 engine was an enthralling experience. I wanted to understand how the bearings worked, how the counterweights and balance work was done, the results of the forces on the sides of the cylinder walls, the importance of the several cases of I-beams, etc. I wasn’t out to please anyone else and, instead, just wanted to know. Once I was made a Full Member of the SAE.(B) High school plane geometry was for me more fun than eating caramel popcorn. Each challenging exercise was more ice cream and chocolate fudge cake, and I consumed all the ones in the book, that is, the more difficult, supplementary exercises in the back. I worked them all, never missed even one. I wanted to learn the material, and I did. The state test said so, so did the CEEB and SAT tests. The rest of my work in math says so. But I made no effort to please the teacher. Typically I slept in class. The teacher would want to glance at homework, but I wouldn’t show her anything — the homework problems she assigned were usually too easy to bother with;I did only the more difficult problems. I really, really liked the subject, and in a sense still do.In a sense, the difference is between formality and reality.With the work I was doing in geometry, I should have been able to have pleased the teacher? Heck, I could have asked for more advanced, supplementary material; wish I had. So, why didn’t I please the teacher? One reason was, in grade school, unlike the girls who knew in exquisite detail how to please the teachers, I didn’t have a clue. So, commonly the teachers dumped on me. So, eventually I just gave up on trying to please them. Learn the good material in math and science? Sure — great fun and easy. Please the teachers? Didn’t have a clue — hopeless; I gave up.So, when the Math SAT scores came back, in 1-2-3, I was #2, and the other two were little, very diligent Jewish kids, #1 went to Purdue and #3 went to MIT. So, the teacher who read me my scores, one on one, had taught me in the sixth grade and knew me well, opened the envelop and was shaken. “There must be some mistake”. Yup, sweetheart, there has been, for 12 painful years. “This is, uh, uh, very good.” Darned right.There weren’t many male teachers in the school, but there was one for eighth grade science. For me, the subject was interesting but trivial beyond any toleration, so I usually had my head down in class. One day the teacher explained a traditional farm lift pump. Then, since my head was down, to embarrass me he asked me to explain the pump, through the full cycle. Well the picture was on the board, so I just shut my eyes and went through the cycle, in excessive detail, each pressure difference, each valve open or closed, etc. So, the teacher caught on: I knew the darned material, was totally bored in class, and didn’t mind just sleeping. He never bothered me again. The female teachers would have a more difficult time drawing such a conclusion.Men and women are not the same.Here’s another common point: One of the strongest drives of young people is to achieve, call it, adult mastery. That is, soon enough, they really don’t like being treated as children, that is, with an assumption that they don’t know what they are doing and need to be told and to follow orders on everything. So, the kids want to grow up, obtain, say, some adult sources of power, security, etc.Well, in this, of course, the girls want to grow into being good women and the boys want to grow into being good men. Well, the women still want to get a lot of their power and security from pleasing others, especially their husband. Well, say, 100 years ago, the men wanted to get power and security from being able to do things, do work, accomplish tasks, shoe a horse, fix a wagon wheel, plow a field, repair a tractor, lay bricks, mix and pour concrete, frame a house, hang and tape wallboard, repair electrical tools, engines, pumps, etc. So, men wanted mastery of such things. For that mastery, there were no simple multiple choice questions, teachers, courses, credits, grades, etc. Instead, as the snow started to melt, he had to think about what the heck to do between then and harvest, and for all that work he knew that he had to have mastery actually to get the stuff done. So, he wanted real mastery, enough so that he could see his way through to success at harvest. And if there was a better way, say, to repair the water pump on the tractor, then he wanted to know that, too — he was curious, eager to learn, pick up by osmosis when/wherever he could.E.g., early in my work in computing, I wanted to know, so got a hex dump of some of main memory, printed it out, took it home, found the opcodes, translated them back to assembler, looked up what the opcodes did, saw what the data was and how the instructions were operating on it, etc. So, I understood. Quickly I found that a program in assembler could be several times faster than one from a compiled high level language. Curiosity. Wanting to learn. Wanting to achieve mastery. Never told anyone I did that; wasn’t trying to please anyone; was just trying to learn.

          5. Lawrence Brass

            “… Never told anyone I did that; wasn’t trying to please anyone; was just trying to learn”I guess you were trying to please yourself. Don’t you get pleasure from that type of things?I usually get pleasure when I discover a convoluted bug or solve something complex. The type of nerdy pleasure that no one else around would understand, so its usually not shared.BTW, have you seen Jeff?

          6. sigmaalgebra

            Trying out, terrific. More than that, sure. Maybe taking it pretty seriously in high school and in the summers, possibly some good upside and not much downside.But really getting the heart of some 14 year old really set and devoted, betting all he has, emotionally and otherwise, on a career in computing, Zuck or bust, would need someone really good at his back and as a mentor and safety net or the kid could be seriously burned out — with too high probability, for life. I’ve seen too much burn out (not me), and it’s not pretty, tends to ruin some of the very most promising lives.This old pattern of push, push, push kids into something — long known to be risky business, all the way back to some 7 year old playing the Mendelssohn violin concerto.Indeed, at about 19, Menuhin concluded that he didn’t really know how to play violin and, instead, had been brought along, say, as some trained seal. He had a crisis. So, for some years he started over, built on what he did have, and came out very well, in both technique and musicianship.I’ve seen others go down, for the count, never do anything again, and then die young.I urge being successful, doing the kids good and not harm, being prudent, likely including some professional career counseling, some individual expert advice and mentoring, etc. “Opportunity Fair” — since should not be doing something really important about education at a Fair, my alarm bells are about to go off.Uh, you know, we really do take education quite seriously and have a huge profession just for that. Maybe the profession needs improving, but having amateurs circumvent the whole system sounds risky. I mean, for just a start, we really do have guidance counselors.

    2. LE

      The kids might also consider nursing, accounting, getting really good running a fast food restaurant. I agree with many of the things that you are saying. The way I read your comment (the part that I agree with) is that this is typical low hanging fruit of the way the education system works. This is not to be disparaging on CSNYC in any way because what they are doing is good. What is bad is the way this is all handled by the education system. And in particular the fact that there are many off the radar opportunities that are missed because of the boring and non creative people that are working in it. It’s all “same shit, different batch of students”. It’s like “this is a good career to be in the job opportunities are there and it’s a growing field”. So kids will ignore other things that they may be better at because those opportunities are not on their radar. They don’t know they even exist at all.Getting good at running a fast food restaurant: The difference at one restaurant between doing good and doing better can be one nice chunk of change per year. Work way up to running 10 such well, and now can be welcome at at least the 50′ yacht clubs. This is the part that the NYtimes intellectuals are laughing at . They don’t understand that type of practicality. It’s not high line enough for them. Same reason they are laughing at a certain Presidential candidate. It doesn’t fit with their world view. College is for everyone votech is for greasers.Okay, then, maybe somehow expose them to a wide range of “opportunities”.Exactly. But that doesn’t fall on Fred it falls on the people in education who let’s face it aren’t able to think in this way.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Accounting and nursing promise to LAST. Also, they have certifications, RN and CPA, that provide professionalism, respect, higher income, and barrier to entry.For fast food: When I was a B-school prof at Ohio State, one of my students ran a Wendy’s — right, in the town of the HQ. He explained a little of how he did it: Staff levels are a biggie, huge. Over staff and have expenses too high. Under staff and have revenue too low. Let’s see: one person too many/few, 18 hours a day, 365 days a year, ballpark $10 an hour, get10 * 18 * 365 = 65,700dollars a year. Across 10 restaurants, a difference of $647,000 a year. Now, make that an extra $647,000 a year, and would you like that little 40′ yacht, a bit cramped for your beautiful family, or the great deal we have just now on that 50 footer you just looked at and your wife and kids liked so much?How to get the staffing accurate to one person, each hour, over the year? Not easily! Why? We’re talking customers arriving as a stochastic process, guys. There’s a lot of fluctuation, both up and down. Why? Days of month, days of week, weather, special events in the area, ads and promotions, etc. So, maybe have to follow the basketball and football schedules of the local high schools. Definitely have to watch the weather reports, hour by hour. Need a good collection of ‘on-call’ employees. If over staffed for two hours, then maybe catch up on some of the cleaning. Maybe could use some combinatorial optimization software, say, for the first-cut schedule for the next week that uses the available people, honoring the work rules, to cover the work slots for the week, e.g., considering specializations, when want the nicest girls on the front counter, etc. Then adjust hourly.A lot of work? Well, given that there is a 50′ yacht and full tuition at an Ivy League college out of it, I’d thought that the effort would be worthwhile?A guy really good at running such a shop can find himself welcome at a bank ready to give him a loan to start his shop n + 1. That’s part of how to get to 10 shops.And, then, get the kids into the business, a family business.But, but, but, what about competition from China? Huh? WHAT competition from China? There’s no competition at all from anything more than 100 miles away. So, have one heck of a strong geographical barrier to entry. Be the best in a radius of 50 miles and can do well.The difference between poor and great work in 10 retail outlets, over a business career, can mean one heck of a family fortune.

        1. LE

          I would actually encourage someone with entrepreneurial skills to simply start their own non food non franchise business (unless for some reason you have a background in food or an edge there that is). Traditionally, franchises are good for multi unit owners and/or for corporate types who are not self starters and need a book of instructions and rules to follow. Each of the fine tuning that you give above (in terms of labor) is literally one variable that you can use to make money. However in a traditional business the world is your oyster since you can add products or services and charge whatever you want that the market will bear. You know like driving on a track you slow down and speed up depending on the traffic and the conditions. And you don’t need approval from corporate for anything you do. You see something that one customer wants or several customers want and you add the product and the money goes straight in your pocket. You have an idea and you give it a try. Much more exciting and challenging.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            In my email, I read the first lines of your comments and “recognize the lion by his paw”.

    3. pointsnfigures

      Not too much hype. Explain the reality. I wanted to be a CPA until I worked as a grunt accounting aide one summer.

  7. creative group

    The reason we continue to interact on this blog. FRED WILSON!

  8. Richard

    Scope it!

  9. pointsnfigures

    Fred will be the one with the golf shirt tan lines if you don’t immediately recognize him

  10. Rob Underwood

    Awesome job @kirklove:disqus.I hope every tech company in NYC makes its best effort to be there. This is sine qua non as far as I’m concerned to be a member of the NYC tech community. Have to pay it forward to the next generation.

    1. kirklove

      Thank you, though really like you said, it’s a no-brainer helping out this great cause.

  11. creative group

    The history of the 369th Regiment Armory if you didn’t already know.369th Regiment Armory-The Harlem ArmoryLocated in the heart of the community at 142nd and Fifth Avenue, the Harlem Armory was built in 1933 for the 369th Regiment because of their outstanding military valor. Known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” the unit owns a special place in American history. During World War I, the 369th Regiment was the first Black Regiment to fight World War I, although under French command due to American segregation policiesThe Fifth Avenue Armory was constructed between the years of 1920-1930. It was designed by Tachau & Vought.The 369th Regiment Armory is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 142nd and 143rd Streets in Harlem.…Fred again those born and raised in Harlem and understanding the significance ofholding the event at the historic venue regardless of the understanding that only gentrification could bring, you are acknowledged and those who assisted in choosing this venue.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Visiting NYC once I stayed in an apartment right on 125th street, so I thought I was in Harlem. As someone explained me later, Harlem was actually the opposite sidewalk. So every night I *walked to Harlem* crossing the street, to get something to eat or cook. Most days we ended up in the market right below Henry Hudson Parkway, run by very nice and warm people.Can’t make it this time, but surely would like to be there to share.

      1. creative group

        Lawrence Brass:memories are sometimes invaluable especially shared memories with a community you never were acquainted but shared and walked the same roads. Our visit and return is overdue. A product of those structures. In 1980 you couldn’t walk anywhere near there unless you were a First Responder. The Fire Station was across the street.

  12. andrewmaguire

    Fred,We would love to help promote to Looksharp’s network of employers in the NYC area. We also have some free mobile tech that could make it much easier for employers to capture student interest and follow up after the event. Should I drop you a line to discuss?Best,Andrew Maguire

  13. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Not sure if…

  14. Vasudev Ram

    If you liked that poster, check out this. Still makes me laugh, though I’m the one who created it a while ago (okay, modified it from Ruby to Python, saw the Ruby one on an HR contact’s post):The Python Interview:

  15. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Yeah, creative_group deleted its originating comment, so now my awesome gif is just sitting there making no sense out of context. Ha!

  16. creative group

    Kirsten Lambertsen:We assumed our post didn’t compliment and took away from your posts message so we deleted it. We did ask you before deletion.

  17. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I was just trying to be funny with that gif. The asynchronous nature of blog comments are such that I didn’t see your other now-deleted comment before you deleted both. I didn’t understand why you deleted, but I respect your wishes to delete or not delete your own comments :)No harm no foul.

  18. creative group

    Kirsten Lambertsen::-)