Getting young people interested in jumping into the Silicon Valley meat grinder is major work for tech firms like Microsoft and Google. Tot talent is what keeps the business alive (and your job at constant threat), but the kids aren't always going to line up nicely for computer science education without at least some furtive …
People would stop believing that their jobs are going to get outsourced because Microsoft keeps doing it, goddammit. Almost 75% of the workers in my building are here with work visas, most of my team is stationed in Beijing.... And of course the hiring bias is towards cheaper, not towards US citizens, so if you are a decent engineer or Developer, you still have to compete with someone that isn't as good, but will work for a quarter of what you are asking....
If you pay them.... they would come.... but you don't
So much to write and so little space....
Science just doesn't cut it with respect to status in the first world. The tech companies are looking for smart third world students who have gravitated to this field as it offers status, a good income and a ticket out of there if they play their cards right. In so doing the tech company gets the same skill level for a third of the price. Oh, and people who will work themselves into the ground for the promise of a green card.
Unless you had an unwavering passion, why choose science over becoming an investment banker (out of favor now but they'll be back), actuary, doctor, accountant etc. ?
The "Cool" Factor
Tech will only bee seen as cool by a fringe element. Stop referring to people like Gates and Brin as being cool geeks as: one, they are in a microscopic minority; and two, they are billionaires. By default being a billionaire makes you cool.
Tech is just never going to have the sheen of marketing. If you've ever spent 48 hours straight in server rooms over the weekend you'll know what I mean.
Women in Technology
This old chestnut. Oddly I've not seen a drive for more men in nursing. This is such a waste of time.
Further, women who are cherry picked by tech companies tend to get the hell out of tech in favor of being a manager as soon as possible. Yes there are exceptions but this is the standard path I've observed. if you've yet to be told this little gem, the management ladder is MUCH longer and higher than the tech ladder.
People Aren't Dumb
This relates to my original point. Look at salaries. The salesman, whose gift is his extroverted personality, with a limited understanding of the product at best is going to earn multiples of what the average engineer is able to.
If you don't already know, these are the true stars of a company if income is anything to go by.
So, why compete to get into such a tough field for limited return? Pick your battles wisely. My advice to future science students is to target those fields occupied by the mediocre where you'll stand a good chance of being at the top of your field for significantly less effort - oh and with great pay and status too. Alternatively, look at salaries and follow the money.
To the anti-outsourcers
There is no lack of people, but there is a lack of really talented people.
If you're a commodity programmer/whatever with nothing to differentiate you from thousands of others then, guess what, you're a commodity item and sensitive to a price driven market - just like the people assembling running shoes or whatever.
If you'[re in that band then it might be a bastard for you personally, but why should you really get that job over some person elsewhere?
If you have special skills, or something more to offer, you should get a job pretty much any time you want. The trick is to de-commoditise yourself. Find something extra. Find some way to sell yourself.
I hate this sort of thing
There are far more male brickies than female brickies. Lets seem some affirmative action there, huh?
It's a radical thought, but maybe girls/women just don't want to be programmers? Who would have thought it?
There isn't enough money in the world to pay me to work at Microsoft (unless I'm given the power to fix some of the stupidity).
"Get the kids in" "hide the hackers" etc
Why do these corps do this. But only actually hire the div's who dont have a clue what their talking about?
@ If you pay them.... they would come.... but you don't
"Oddly I've not seen a drive for more men in nursing"
You aren't looking in the right places my partner works in HR for the NHS and they do try to recruit more male nurses all the time. However I will say IT just doesn't appeal to as many women as men so you'll always have an imbalance. It's already been stated "There are far more male brickies than female brickies" same with all manual work but people don't moan on about that, "Oh i'd really like to see more women collecting my bins". TBH HR is overwhelmingly a femail dominated profession and you don't here people saying "we need more men in this profession" well not often anyway, I'm not sure why IT gets so much focus.
The rest of your post is pretty much bang on though ;)
The Brilliant Poor
Why would anyone want to become a software developer now? You have to be brilliant to succeed at all let alone get ahead in this world & the pay is average at best for a long time.