Why are we here?

January 27, 2013

Just over a year ago, Mike strolled over to my desk, almost always, this meant he had a ridiculous idea that I was going to get sucked into and all productive work would cease for the day. But every once and a while Mike has a ridiculously good idea (that I would still get sucked into), this was one of those days. Mike's idea was simple, there are so many Stuyvesant computer science alumni out there doing really cool things, why don't we try to connect them all? And so a mailing list was born, it was simple, all we wanted to know was a name, graduation year and what you did. Mike, Sam (who had now been sucked in as well) and I reached out to our respective groups and in fairly short time we had 200 people signed up. The list, which we started to refer to as the "family," came to life almost immediately. Stuy CS alumni from across the years began to introduce themselves and soon the list was being used for job advice, technical questions, meetups and more.

We were so happy to see the list flourish and realized that there were a lot of people out there who not only felt CS at Stuy was an important part of their growth, but that they were also open and seemed to have a desire to help others, to give back. As the list grew, we began to see just how successful this family had become. There were doctors, lawyers, teachers, and of course, workers in tech from the largest and most competitive companies down to the newest of startups. By this time the list had grown to over 400 people and we decided to throw a "mixer" with NYC area alums and current students. We hoped that it would bring together the group and show our current students what kind of possibilities were open to them. The event was an unqualified success (you can read Mike's post about it here: http://cestlaz.github.com/2012/03/31/checking-in-with-family.html#.UQVzZ...). Well after all the pizza had been eaten, the crowd began to thin and a smaller group of alumni stayed behind to talk about what we (the stuy cs family) could do with all of our experience and expertise. There were more meetups, and at each one we went on talking about what we could do and quickly realized three things:

  • Stuyvesant's CS program has been amazingly successful at creating computer scientists, programmers, problem solvers (in many fields) and (in a few cases) cs teachers.
  • There is a gaping hole in the amount of qualified cs people out there.
  • If anyone can do something about this hole, it's us.

Here we are, almost a year after that first meeting announcing the launch of CSTUY. While there currently may only be a handful of people directly involved with the organization, it is a product of all of us, the child of our "family."

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