State Agencies Technology Incubation

I have a dream: I want to see the state agencies employ computer programmers from our local universities in an effort to give the students some real-world experience, while also giving the state a steady pool of young and enthusiastic developers.

Sounds like a win/win situation if you ask me. The state agencies always have youthful, enterprising developers on their payroll; ready to try new things and offer ideas to problems. The students would be getting valuable mentoring from seasoned agency professionals and time within those agencies that could lead to jobs right out of college. Imagine the students starting their networks while they are still in college, and not just a network of other young collegians trying to make their way, but a network of professionals who can actually help them in their careers.

OK, true, most state agencies do not have the latest in technology, but that is not what we are talking about; is it? No, we are talking about new ideas coming into the agencies, and those same students getting to dig into applications that the state has been using and developing for decades in some cases. I can imagine a scenario like this:

A smart young student is hired by a certain state agency to work with them for the next two semesters. She is tasked with building a new object model based upon an existing database that is being upgraded from Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to MySQL.

In that scenario she brings a lot to the table, but she is going to gain some experience that offers her even more. She has been playing with MySQL on Ubuntu at home for a couple of years, and in school she wrote some applications using Oracle on the schools AIX system, but this is new to her. It is her first real chance to dig into Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft platform where in this case the MySQL will be living.

We know that the particular young student in this scenario will not be staying on with the state when she graduates in a few years, but the state is better for it. The state not only got a dedicated developer who learned a lot while she worked there, but the state also gains another well educated and experienced developer when she moves out into the private sector. Oh yeah, she also wrote a data transformation tool using Ruby and the Rails Framework. Win/win; right?

Oh, and my bet is that a few of these students will fall in love with working for the state, and some of them will be promoted once they graduate. They will get a raise and become a mentor to more students who are on the same track that they were on.

I think we could foster a real sense of camaraderie with a program like this. I will find out what it takes to get something like this in place, who is with me?

Matt Williamson is the CEO of Clevyr, Inc. Clevyr makes software using all the buzzwords like AI, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.