Comments from Dan Ross

What is the optimal size of this group?
Here’s a guess: A core of maybe around 20 with maybe an “extended group” of maybe up to 100. My biggest concern is that the agenda not be dominated by “offhand” or “casual observations” or “the latest anecdotal evidence”, or the person who talks the loudest.

Who should be represented?
Most people work for small to medium sized companies. So they should be represented. The problem here is that it is often that many of these companies are unwilling to participate due many issues such as:

1) Limited resources – they don’t have the man-hours to spend on this – the one or two people who could come to these kinds of things tend to be busy running the company.
2) They tend to be focused on much shorter-term goals – like shipping their product before next Tuesday, not building a pipeline years out.
3) The “what’s in it for me” factor can be lacking. Sometimes these individuals in their capacity within their organizations have less to gain personally from these types of meetings.
4) Even if we do get more varied representation, is will still be a small sample. So maybe what is important here is to have awareness within the group that there are stakeholders that are not present, and get them to consider this.

What are the critical issues for discussion?
Potential issue 1: The ICER report
The ICER Northwest report makes some excellent comments. Maybe we could devote blocks of time to discussing each one of their 5 recommendations (aka “Strategic Initiatives”). Some may warrant more time than others, for example, ICER Recommendation 1c may be particularly relevant to this exercise. Maybe doing this first may help the group decide how to spend the rest of the time.

Potential issue 2: Dissecting the term “computing”.
The grant may use this term deliberately so as to not limit scope or predefine any particular outcome. However, “computing” is a vast and varied field of study, which means different things to different people. Thus, it may promote better communication if some time was spent on a taxonomy of terms related to computing subdisciplines, and/or professions/skills.

Potential issue 3: The role of the community college.
1) 2-years is not a long time to teach something in-depth. Should we try to develop or influence 4 year curriculum of which we would teach the first 2 years as community colleges have traditionally done?

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