Tag Archives: skills

Mature DevSecOps orgs refine developer security skills training

BOSTON — IT organizations that plan to tackle developer security skills as part of a DevSecOps shift have started to introduce tools and techniques that can help.

Many organizations have moved past early DevSecOps phases such as a ‘seat at the table‘ for security experts during application design meetings and locked-down CI/CD and container environments. At DevSecCon 2018 here this week, IT pros revealed they’ve begun in earnest to ‘shift security left’ and teach developers how to write more secure application code from the beginning.

“We’ve been successful with what I’d call SecOps, and now we’re working on DevSec,” said Marnie Wilking, global CISO at Orion Health, a healthcare software company based in Boston, during a Q&A after her DevSecCon presentation. “We’ve just hired an application security expert, and we’re working toward overall information assurance by design.”

Security champions and fast feedback shift developer mindset

Orion Health’s plan to bring an application security expert, or security champion, into its DevOps team reflects a model followed by IT security software companies, such as CA Veracode. The goal of security champions is to bridge the gap and liaise between IT security and developer teams, so that groups spend less time in negotiations.

“The security champions model is similar to having an SRE team for ops, where application security experts play a consultative role for both the security and the application development team,” said Chris Wysopal, CTO at CA Veracode in Burlington, Mass., in a presentation. “They can determine when new application backlog items need threat modeling or secure code review from the security team.”

However, no mature DevSecOps process allows time for consultation before every change to application code. Developers must hone their security skills to reduce vulnerable code without input from security experts to maintain app delivery velocity.

The good news is that developer security skills often emerge organically in CI/CD environments, provided IT ops and security pros build vulnerability checks into DevOps pipelines in the early phases of DevSecOps.

Marnie Wilking at DevSecCon
Marnie Wilking, global CISO at Orion Health, presents at DevSecCon.

“If you’re seeing builds fail day after day [because of security flaws], and it stops you from doing what you want to get done, you’re going to stop [writing insecure code],” said Julie Chickillo, VP of information security, risk and compliance at Beeline, a company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., which sell workforce management and vendor management software.

Beeline built security checks into its CI/CD pipeline that use SonarQube, which blocks application builds if it finds major, critical or limiting application security vulnerabilities in the code, and immediately sends that feedback to developers. Beeline also uses interactive code scanning tools from Contrast Security as part of its DevOps application delivery process.

“It’s all about giving developers constant feedback, and putting information in their hands that helps them make better decisions,” Chickillo said.

Developer security training tools emerge

Application code scans and continuous integration tests only go so far to make applications secure by design. DevSecOps organizations will also use updated tools to further developer security skills training.

Sooner or later, companies put security scanning tools in place, then realize they’re not enough, because people don’t understand the output of those tools.
Mark FelegyhaziCEO, Avatao.com Innovative Learning Ltd

“Sooner or later, companies put security scanning tools in place, then realize they’re not enough, because people don’t understand the output of those tools,” said Mark Felegyhazi, CEO of Avatao.com Innovative Learning Ltd, a startup in Hungary that sells developer security skills training software. Avatao competitors in this emerging field include Secure Code Warrior, which offers gamelike interfaces that train developers in secure application design. Avatao also offers a hands-on gamification approach, but its tools also cover threat modeling, which Secure Code Warrior doesn’t address, Felegyhazi said.

Firms also will look to internal and external training resources to build developer security skills. Beeline has sent developers to off-site security training, and plans to set up a sandbox environment for developers to practice penetration testing on their own code, so they better understand the mindset of attackers and how to head them off, Chickillo said.

Higher education must take a similar hands-on approach to bridge the developer security skills gap for graduates as they enter the workforce, said Gabor Pek, CTO at Avatao, in a DevSecCon presentation about security in computer science curricula.

“Universities don’t have security champion programs,” Pek said. “Most of their instruction is designed for a large number of students in a one-size-fits-all format, with few practical, hands-on exercises.”

In addition to his work with Avatao, Pek helped create a bootcamp for student leaders of capture-the-flag teams that competed at the DEFCON conference in 2015. Capture-the-flag exercises offer a good template for the kinds of hands-on learning universities should embrace, he said, since they are accessible to beginners but also challenge experts.

Box-IBM AI connection core component of Box partner strategy

SAN FRANCISCO — The Box-IBM partnership has spawned the first custom AI applications for the Box Skills Kit platform, codeveloped by IBM and the content management software vendor.

Box has been refining its Salesforce-style developer ecosystem by pursuing two tiers of partners: strategic partners with big market reach, like IBM, and application integrations with leading app vendors, like Salesforce, Facebook and Slack.

As for the strategic partnerships, which also include companies like Google and AT&T, “we work with like-minded companies that have the ability to bring us into their customer conversations,” Niall Wall, senior vice president for business development and partners at Box, said in interview at the BoxWorks 2018 user conference.

Box, IBM go to market together

In the Box-IBM partnership, the companies have formal go-to-market contracts in which IBM resells Box into its customer base, and the companies share about 400 customers.

Wall said a key differentiator for Box in these partnerships is that Box brings a distinct emphasis on cybersecurity and partners and customers can feel that their content is safe inside Box.

“We take all that complexity out,” Wall said. “We say to our customers, ‘We will guarantee that your data will remain secure as you are enhancing it with these third-party AI services.'”

In the latest development in the Box-IBM relationship, on Dec. 18, 2018, Box plans to commercially release three custom AI and machine learning-based Box Skills based on Watson technology and developed in conjunction with IBM.

Box Skills Kit and basic Box Skills also work with AI services from AWS, Google and Microsoft, though those vendors have not yet released custom applications.

Users field-tested AI skills

IBM Watson tested the Box content applications over the last year with Canadian bank ATB Financial and H&R Block Canada.

The AI skills are used to categorize, organize and search Box content using AI algorithms embedded in the Box Skills framework.

H&R Block is using the custom document insights skill, which uses natural language processing to parse text and process basic tax forms.

The tax preparation form uploads large tax documents. Then, Watson learns the language of the forms, identifies key metadata and information, and pulls it out.

“The tax specialist can now say, ‘Here’s all the information and what I need to do,’ versus a human being going in there and entering all this information,” said Rashida Hodge, vice president for embed and strategic relationships at IBM Watson.

Meanwhile, the Canadian bank is using the same document insights skill to analyze and extract information from home loan applications to make it easier for loan officers to handle instead of manually going through application forms.

The content layer in both of these Box-IBM use cases is the Box platform.

IBM talks Box

So, now, we have a foundation where data is living in Box, and we’re taking the complexity and obscurity of AI.
Rashida HodgeIBM Watson

“What I think is fantastic about Box is that, to start any AI project, what do you need? Data. So, now, we have a foundation where data is living in Box, and we’re taking the complexity and obscurity of AI,” Hodge said. “So, customers are saying, ‘We can get these kinds of insights and intelligence from our data in Box, and all we have to do is turn a switch on.'”

Another IBM-Box skill is the custom image insights skill, which uses optical character recognition to capture images and then tag and classify their metadata. A third skill automates document transcription translation into dozens of languages.

“Now, it’s more searchable and more consumable,” Hodge said. “When you talk about AI for the enterprise, the reason Box picked us for their launch partner for customization is it’s not about general tagging or general information about a document.”

“It’s about the specifics of a particular domain, and we can drive that metadata,” she said.

AI business outlook promising

Hodge said IBM was seeing robust sales lead activity at the conference, where David Kenny, IBM Watson senior vice president, joined Box CEO Aaron Levie on stage before thousands of Box users and where the IBM booth was getting heavy walk-up traffic.

Software engineers and salespeople at the booth on the busy partner exhibit floor handled a steady flow of inquisitive prospective buyers and other conference attendees.

One of these curious potential customers was Aali Hashmi, senior software architect at Box customer Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage lender.

Hashmi watched a demo and then engaged in a long, technical conversation with the IBM engineer, who then photographed with his smartphone Hashmi’s conference tag information to follow up after the conference.

In an interview, Hashmi said he can envision using the Box-IBM AI tools to digitize and auto classify content, like home mortgage forms and also HR documents.

“It looks promising,” he said.

Box Skills Kit to hit market soon in general release

SAN FRANCISCO — Box Inc. said it will launch a key piece of its Box Skills AI system, with expanded capabilities for customers to build and train their own AI-based content management tools in December 2018.

In addition to the expected commercial release of Box Skills Kit, the cloud content management vendor revealed new AI and workflow automation tools, Google integrations, security features and third-party app integrations at its BoxWorks 2018 conference.

A few hundred Box enterprise users have been using prefab Box Skills, the Box Skills Kit and Google integrations in private beta over the past year; the Google connections now are available in public beta.

Box also previewed a new Automations feature for workflow automation and a new data security system, Box Shield. Both are slated to be released in beta in early 2019, along with AI-driven Box Feed updates and notifications feature.

Box said Automations and an updated version of Box Tasks, with which users can assign things and deadlines to co-workers, will be out in beta in early 2019.

Activity Stream embeds third-party apps

All this came after Box unveiled Activity Stream, a collaboration system that enables users to work inside the Box platform with popular third-party apps like Slack, Salesforce and DocuSign. That product is expected to go into beta next year.

Users at the conference said they welcomed the open platform design of Activity Stream, Box’s progress on workflow automations, and the impending commercial availability of Box Skills Kit, which will include audio intelligence, video intelligence and image intelligence Skills, as well as the customization features.

The whole focus on workflow and integrations is really positive.
Rich LibbyCIO, Herbalife

“The whole focus on workflow and integrations is really positive,” said Rich Libby, CIO at natural supplements manufacturer Herbalife.

“I have all kinds of workflows that rely on Box documents where Box is not the final destination but stops along the track, so I’m excited to do that,” Libby said of using the Automations feature. “We have all kinds of contracts and agreements that we have to do offline or on email … so putting it on DocuSign will be great.”

Box highlights partner strategy

At the BoxWorks keynote, Box chief product and strategy officer Jeetu Patel  introduced speakers from Box partners like Apple, Google, Slack and ServiceNow.

BoxWorks executives meet media at BoxWorks 2018 conference
Box Inc. CEO Aaron Levie and Jeetu Patel, Box chief product officer, field media questions at BoxWorks 2018.

“In the digital workplace, what you need is a fundamentally modern set of tools to equip your users with so they can start innovating at a very different velocity,” Patel said of Box’s partner strategy. “For these tools to be effective they need to work seamlessly with your content. Regardless of the application that you the user may be working in, we want to make sure you can work with content in Box.”

Analysts said Box appears to be successfully executing a series of product advancements in a range of areas that users have been calling for, though some outstanding questions remain, particularly about the cost of Box Skills and Box Skills Kit.

The AI tools for developers work with AWS, Google, IBM and Microsoft AI, enabling users to customize and derive insights from Box content using those different engines. Users will apparently have to pay both the AI vendors for their services, as well as Box on a volume pricing basis.

Box Skills costs uncertain

“There is a lot of power in combining multiple Box features, like Skills and Automations,” said Alan Lepofsky, an analyst at Constellation Research who was at the conference at the George R. Moscone Convention Center.

“As the number of documents, images and videos stored in Box increases, the number of business use cases increases and the potential for AI goes up,” Lepofsky said. “What customers need to be aware of is these AI calls cost additional on top of Box.”

That cost does not appear to be fully worked out yet.

“The business model is actually quite simple for now. Skills Kit really just leverages our core platform, so it’s sort of a volume-based business model with the volume of data you’re moving back and forth between Box and third-party AI providers,” Box CEO Aaron Levie said in a Q&A session with reporters and analysts.

“We want to make it really, really easy to adopt Box Skills and make it easy to deploy it at scale, so we think it’s the fastest way customers are going to adopt this technology,” Levie said.

Beta user eyes commercial release

Meanwhile, a Box Skills beta user, Rich Guerra, head of application development at Farmers Insurance, said in an interview that he’s looking forward to using Box Skills Kit to develop AI applications for adjusters to enable them to work with videos and voice recording transcriptions from customers.

Farmers, which has standardized content on the Box platform, is also in the midst of a large-scale project to move legacy content from an old IBM on-premises file management system into the Box cloud.

As for Automations, “I was just texting our account rep how excited we were to take a look at that,” Guerra said. “The automation of the workflow is something we’re looking at to increase efficiency for adjusters, to make the process a lot easier.”

Box creating a cloud ecosystem

Overall, Box has done reasonably well in coordinating its far-flung product undertakings and positioning itself as a “Salesforce-like hub” of content services and collaboration, said Bola Rotibi, an analyst and research director at Creative Intellect Consulting.

“They’ve gotten a bit slicker than in the past,” Rotibi said of the orchestrated announcements on the first day of the conference.

“There are areas they can sharpen — like how much people are going to have to pay for Custom Skills — but I think they’re working behind the scenes to simplify that,” Rotibi said. “On the positive side, what I really like is the contextual integration of the third-party apps.”

The fast and the foldable – why the Surface Pro is the only device that can keep up with two motorbike makers – Microsoft News Centre UK The fast and the foldable – why Surface is the only device that can keep up with two motorbike makers

Combining that equipment with the knowledge and skills that come with years of working with aluminium means the brothers can create bikes that are likely to be in high demand for decades to come.

“Everything in here is aluminium, as it’s always considered to be the go-to material,” Bujar points out. “However, it’s a lot harder to work with, and welding is almost impossible, so you need a lot of skill. On the other hand, using aluminium rubber-stamps the quality. For example, Ferrari only made 99 versions of its 1964 275 coupe in aluminium and they now sell for four times the price of a regular model. In 10 years’ time a new bike made out of steel might start rusting, but you can leave our aluminium bikes for 30 years and they will stay exactly the same. It’s not going to look out of date.”

Bujar and his brother decided to manufacture the bikes themselves after failing to find anyone who could copy their designs in aluminium: “We were only approached by old guys who used to do this back in the day. They thought they might be able to do it but not the way we wanted. They couldn’t think in terms of surfaces, only in moulds.”

This was a line in the sand for them. The pair were adamant they needed specific designs to cope with the levels of downforce and lift their fast bikes would create – problems that manufacturers didn’t have to worry about several decades ago, when bikes were much heavier and slower.

Unable to find anyone who could bring their visions to life, the pair picked up their tools and got to work.

The fast and the foldable – why the Surface Pro is the only device that can keep up with two motorbike makers – Microsoft News Centre UK The fast and the foldable – why Surface is the only device that can keep up with two motorbike makers

Combining that equipment with the knowledge and skills that come with years of working with aluminium means the brothers can create bikes that are likely to be in high demand for decades to come.

“Everything in here is aluminium, as it’s always considered to be the go-to material,” Bujar points out. “However, it’s a lot harder to work with, and welding is almost impossible, so you need a lot of skill. On the other hand, using aluminium rubber-stamps the quality. For example, Ferrari only made 99 versions of its 1964 275 coupe in aluminium and they now sell for four times the price of a regular model. In 10 years’ time a new bike made out of steel might start rusting, but you can leave our aluminium bikes for 30 years and they will stay exactly the same. It’s not going to look out of date.”

Bujar and his brother decided to manufacture the bikes themselves after failing to find anyone who could copy their designs in aluminium: “We were only approached by old guys who used to do this back in the day. They thought they might be able to do it but not the way we wanted. They couldn’t think in terms of surfaces, only in moulds.”

This was a line in the sand for them. The pair were adamant they needed specific designs to cope with the levels of downforce and lift their fast bikes would create – problems that manufacturers didn’t have to worry about several decades ago, when bikes were much heavier and slower.

Unable to find anyone who could bring their visions to life, the pair picked up their tools and got to work.

Box Skills integrations give users access to AI

Box Skills integrations took more shape this week, as Box announced the expansion of its Box Skills private beta program with AI integrations with Google, IBM and Microsoft, though some details of the deals still are unclear.

Box first signaled the Box Skills integrations at its conference last year and the expansions of the beta program builds on the content management platform vendor’s long-standing plans to add AI capabilities for document, image and audio management.

“This is the next step of what Box previously announced,” said Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst at Constellation Research. “It’s appealing, but it comes with complications.”

It’s not known if Box customers will have to license the AI capabilities through the integrations or if those costs will be covered within their Box licenses. Another concern is security, Lepofsky said.

“If Box is your approved data provider, do you also have to check to see if it’s OK to pass those images to Google’s API,” Lepofsky said. “Box needs to be open and transparent about licensing and security.”

The vendor’s chief product officer, Jeetu Patel, said Box will announce pricing in the fall, with general availability of the private beta program sometime in the second half of 2018.

Among Box’s roster of beta users are Virgin Trains, Ancestry.com, The University of Chicago and the city of San Jose, the company said.

Box is leaning toward letting customers use some Box Skills features for free, and charging for others, especially for larger custom Box Skills projects, Patel said.

“There will be a specific charge to use Box Skills,” he said. “There will be a set of core foundational skills that we will make sure we will be helping with the contracting of, and then there’s going to be others that you can also buy directly.

In the long term, Box is hoping that a kind of marketplace for Box Skills integrations develops, Patel said.

Box Skills integrates with AI
Building off its announcement at BoxWorks last year, Box Skills now integrates with Google, IBM and Microsoft to provide AI capabilities for its users.

‘Mainly about AI’

The use cases for the Box Skills integrations are abundant and range from simple automation to navigating giant data sets for sentiment analysis or image recognition. And by keeping the AI options open to various market leaders, the new capabilities give Box customers flexibility to integrate into whichever API is best for them.

What it does is provide an incredible amount of additional functionality for Box customers.
Alan Lepofskyprincipal analyst, Constellation Research

While this could be useful for Box customers, Box is unlikely to take any customers from competitors like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to migrate due to these open APIs.

“If you’re using Google or Microsoft or IBM AI platforms, why wouldn’t you just use their content management tools too,” Lepofsky said. “You’re not going to get a Google Drive customer interested in Box because it can now use Google APIs.”

But for Box customers, the Box Skills integrations can create value around AI tools, which can increase efficiency and reduce human error.

“Things like image recognition and metadata tagging — that alone can save huge amounts of time and resources,” Lepofsky said. “What it does is provide an incredible amount of additional functionality for Box customers.”

As for its similarly named competitor, Dropbox, which recently went public, the Box Skills integrations do differentiate Box from Dropbox — something that Box was surely thinking about with this release.

“There’s nothing about Dropbox that says it can’t plug into the same platforms,” Lepofsky said, “but they haven’t made it as developer-friendly.”

When it was first announced in October 2017, Box Skills focused on image, audio and video intelligence.

The integrations with Google, IBM and Microsoft can help with those areas — yet it depends on which vendor the customer is most comfortable with. If a Box user’s organization runs primarily through Microsoft, it will most likely use that Box Skills integration.

“Each of them have some differentiation, but this announcement is mainly about AI,” Lepofsky said. “This talks about these APIs being around images and image tagging, object detection — and most people I speak to say Google image recognition is still the most advanced.”

Patel asserted that the key difference between Box and major competitors such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive is that Box is vendor neutral, partnering with all four of the major machine learning and AI vendors — Google, AWS, Microsoft and IBM.

“As this market, which is in the pretty early stages, starts to develop … customers can rest assured that when the data is in Box, they can take advantage of any of those skills or any of those machine learning models, and apply it to Box content,” Patel said.

Box this month also unveiled a new service partnership with IBM to build custom Box Skills that apply IBM Watson AI tools to the Box Skills framework.

Box also announced support for the latest Azure cognitive services from Microsoft.

News director Shaun Sutner contributed to this article.

Microsoft expands commitment to military spouse community – Microsoft Military Affairs

Today in San Francisco, Microsoft Military Affairs will join our partners from LinkedIn to each share new commitments to the military spouse community.

Military spouses are an integral supporting force for members of our military, but face staggering 18 percent unemployment and 53 percent underemployment due to moves every two to three years, according to a 2016 study from Blue Star Families on the social cost of unemployment and underemployment of military spouses.

As part of our commitment to the military spouse community, Microsoft will launch a pilot program to provide spouses with technology skills training beginning in September.

Microsoft has successfully opened a technology career pipeline for transitioning service members and veterans via the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) program, which has expanded coast-to-coast and has a graduation rate of over 90 percent. We are excited to explore how to expand and tailor these opportunities to military spouses, which represent a diverse talent pool that is adaptable, resilient and highly educated and ready to take on new and exciting opportunities to further their professional and personal goals.

The U.S. government estimates information technology occupations are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Because there are 500,000 open technology jobs annually, we know that career programs are needed to help close the technology skills gap.

“Microsoft is excited to work with technology leaders and other organizations committed to supporting military spouses, and to find avenues that lead to meaningful career opportunities for active duty military spouses,” said U.S. Marine Corps Major General (Ret.) Chris Cortez, Vice President of Microsoft Military Affairs.

LinkedIn also announced today that it is expanding its military and veterans program to include military spouses through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. Beginning this July, LinkedIn will provide one year of LinkedIn Premium to every military spouse during each of their moves to new installations to facilitate their career transitions, and once again upon conclusion of military service. This will include free access to LinkedIn’s online library of more than 12,000 LinkedIn Learning courses, including its newly-launched learning path designed to help military spouses succeed in flexible, freelance or remote-work opportunities.

The Microsoft Military Affairs team is working closely with military spouses and nonprofit organizations to understand firsthand the unique challenges this community faces as we build out and learn from our pilot program.

We are thrilled to begin our pilot program in the fall and to continue our support of military spouses and their community by providing the skills they need to enter technology careers.

How can technology empower the Class of 2030? |

Our world is changing faster than ever. What skills will today’s kindergarteners need to be life-ready by the time they graduate as the class of 2030? How can technology support their educational journey?

To answer these critical questions, we launched a key piece of research: “The class of 2030 and life-ready learning: The technology imperative.” Today, I am super excited to share that the full report is now available.

To conduct our research, we listened to 70 thought leaders around the world, reviewed 150 pieces of existing research, and surveyed 2,000 teachers and 2,000 students across Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Most importantly, we focused on the needs and aspirations of our subjects: the young people who make up the class of 2030 and those closest to understanding their world.

Within that context, we found 2 core themes: social emotional skills and personalized learning. Whilst not new in education, these are newly important for more people. Employers are placing a premium on social skills and emotional literacy with up to 40% of future jobs requiring explicit social emotional skills. Academics are noting their impact on deep learning and the students themselves recognize these skills are critical for success. The research highlighted personalized learning as an approach which supports skill development — both cognitive and social and emotional by guiding students towards greater autonomy and control.

The students were clear: they want to develop these skills to navigate their own learning – to explore and make choices that unlock their curiosity and potential and they want teachers who know and understand them as individuals.

Three technologies were highlighted in the research as showing great promise to support social and emotional skill development and personalized learning approaches; collaborative platforms, mixed reality and analytics powered by AI.

Students across the four surveyed countries prioritized a range of social-emotional and higher-order skills; notably, students valued digital skills, creativity and problem solving higher than teachers.

The students were clear: they want to develop the skills to navigate their own learning – to explore and make choices that unlock their curiosity and potential. Click To Tweet

While not new in education, these skills are newly important to more people and are taking center stage alongside deeper cognitive skills and content knowledge in the classroom and in the workforce. By 2030, it is predicted that between 30 to 40 percent of jobs will require explicit social-emotional skills.

While the need for social-emotional skills is clear, our research highlighted differences between the specific skills that students and teachers prioritize and how well-equipped teachers feel to teach these skills. This variation was mirrored in how both groups described their experiences of social-emotional skills as part of the learning program.

Students already place a strong emphasis on social-emotional skills based on the results of our survey, which you can explore below.

Personalized learning, which is a student centered approach, emerged as one of the most promising ways to develop social-emotional and deeper cognitive skills.

The students we surveyed said they want to have greater control over their learning and not just automation of content delivery. The students wanted personalization involving control over pacing, content and assessment. 70 percent of the students felt their mastery of content would be better with greater control. Quality feedback is critical for personalized learning. Only 40 percent of students we surveyed felt they receive feedback that was personalized; yet 60 percent of teachers felt they were providing personalized feedback.

Teachers have long endorsed personalized learning but have cited a lack of time and resources as obstacles. In our survey, nearly 70 percent of teachers cited time constraints as their biggest hurdle to providing more personalized content to their students. Our research revealed technology can help clear away those obstacles by freeing up as much as 30 percent of teachers’ time, so they can spend more time responding to individual and group needs.

Our research identified other important differences in perspectives between students and teachers about the extent of personalization in their current education.  Explore the data, below.

Three types of technology show especially strong promise for advancing socially embedded and personalized learning, and more immersive learning experiences: collaboration platforms, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality. You can find out more about the current and emerging opportunities in the full report and in the papers and case studies being published across 2018.

The class of 2030 and future generations will face social and global problems beyond what we can imagine. They will learn and engage with each other, with technology and with information in entirely new ways. And they will enter a workforce where job functions and roles will be dramatically different from today.

We hope our research will advance all of our efforts to help the class of 2030 be ready to succeed in work and life.

I encourage you to request our full report and share it widely with anyone interested in shaping the education system of the future.

I look forward to continuing to engage with you about these crucial topics in the weeks and months ahead.

Partnership with Microsoft will bring computer science to four El Paso schools

Microsoft TEALS partners with teachers to provide students with skills required for today and tomorrow’s careers

EL PASO, Texas — April 30, 2018 — El Paso students at four area schools will have the opportunity to learn to code this fall, thanks to a new partnership announced Monday with Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, which helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and technology industry volunteers, will launch this fall at Clint ISD Early College Academy, Eastlake High School, Eastwood High School and Loretto Academy.

“Our region is fortunate to have terrific schools, which will be even stronger with the addition of a program that teaches one of the key skills young people will need to be successful in our increasingly technology driven world,” said JJ Childress, El Paso manager of Microsoft’s TechSpark program to foster greater economic opportunity and job creation in six communities in the United States. “We know teachers want to teach computer science, but it can be challenging to find the time and resources to learn the subject. TEALS addresses this by putting trained technology volunteers into classrooms to teach students, while helping teachers prepare to teach the subject on their own.”

Since its formation in 2009, TEALS has paired volunteer computer science experts from over 500 companies with high school teachers in nearly 350 schools, in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Volunteers join classes in person, or through the internet when enough volunteers aren’t available locally.

John Mack, Prudential’s head of Technology in El Paso, is among those who signed up to volunteer through TEALS. “Technology is driving the world economy, and there are so many rewarding careers available to those who have learned to code,” Mack said. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with young people in our community this fall, and I hope that many others join me.”

Other El Paso-based businesses helping promote TEALS among their employees, and supporting their employees in their volunteer work, include El Paso Electric and Steele Consulting. The University of Texas at El Paso is also helping to promote TEALS among students interested in volunteering through the program. As a result of this support from the community, employees from these companies, and university students, have applied to volunteer.

Edmond Martinez, principal of Clint ISD Early College Academy, a school that has long embraced the need for strong science, technology, engineering and math programs, sees the teaching of computer science as a duty to the next generation, and encourages local technology experts to step up to volunteer.

“We have a responsibility to create pathways for our students from high school, through college, and to professional positions,” Martinez said. “Technical knowledge and skills prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, to solve serious problems, and create new opportunities for humanity. It’s my hope that many of those in our community who have technology training will sign up to volunteer with TEALS this fall. What could be more rewarding than passing on your skills to the next generation of innovators?”

Anyone with a computer science degree or equivalent industry experience, who wants to give back to the community by teaching high school computer science, can apply. Volunteers receive training over the summer, and other support throughout the process. Applications are open now, through the end of May, and can be found at https://www.tealsk12.org/volunteers/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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