ACM News Service: U.S. Slips in Coding Contest. So what is the future here? The vaunted knowledge economy, information-worker paradise or job-sharing at Walmart?
The rankings in the 2005 World Finals International Computer Programming Competition have but one representative of the English-speaking world among the top 16 finishers: Ontario, Canada's University of Waterloo, the North American Champions, in 4th place. Of the 12 schools tied for 17th, there are two more: University of British Columbia and the University of Illinois. Among the 12 schools tied for 29th place, there are four in our language community: Caltech, Duke, M.I.T., and the University of Alberta. But, heh, we really dominated the Honorable Mention category [;<).
If this were covered on the sports pages, I don't think "slips in contest" would be the likely phrasing. I'd expect something like "Eagle mauled by Bears and Dragons while Johny Canuck steals the continent." Imagine the Olympics reportage and handwringing.
This blurb carries the usual apologies along with the automatic appeal for governmental intervention, especially in education. Hey, maybe it's easier. Your kids want a tech career in software development? Send them to Canada for an education. It seems that the declining fortunes of IT workers and their own economic doldrums has not dissuaded the Canadians. Maybe we should study them. And brush up on our Edward Gibbon too.
The 2005-04-07 Ed Frauenheim CNet News.com article provides the gory details. It also features an unbelievable quotation from ACM President David Patterson: "The U.S. used to dominate these kinds of programming Olympics Now we're sort of falling behind." I wonder what it takes to conclude seriously falling behind, or does Patterson find this to be irrelevant for the future he imagines his descendants living in?