I will never look at games the same way. Every time I click or perform an action I am going to think about how many lines of code it took to make it happen.
He has been unwavering in his dedication to being a science major and becoming an astronaut, but he said it might be interesting to be a programmer. This is the first time I have ever even heard him consider something different.
The kids had fun, but one major thing came up in discussion:
What resources are available for a teenager to learn programming in Albuquerque?
If they don’t have a class available at school (which most don’t), they are forced to learn it on their own. There are a numerous high quality online resources to learn programming, but it isn’t the same as a class or working with others. Hour of Code did a good job of getting them interested, but what is the next step for an interested student? Private tutors, online learning or technical parents; that isn’t exactly opening up programming to everyone. Are there any clubs, programs, classes in other cities we could copy? Or any resources here I am missing?
All I can think is that the kids are smart enough to see when adults don’t mean what they say. We can preach that every student should learn to program, but if we don’t require it in school or provide a way to teach it to them, will they believe us? And more importantly do we really mean it?
The first Lavu API hackathon occurred this weekend and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. This was my first time attending a hackathon. I had no idea what to expect, but it is something I had always wanted to do and luckily it ended up on a weekend were I had no other obligations.
It was a blast! The Lavu employees did a great job of making everyone comfortable, there was a ton of food, drinks and even some swag. They explained their API and they have a web view section (that I think they just implemented) that allows the developer to add a tab into the actual Lavu interface pulling content from their own system. This allows developers to tightly couple their modules into the actual system and seems like a powerful piece of extensibility. Everyone there was friendly, helpful and had interesting ideas, it was great getting to meet other local programmers I wouldn’t otherwise know.
This was also my first time at the STEMulus center and it a beautiful setup. It was perfect venue for this event, plenty of monitors, rooms to work in, and areas to relax. I think it was a success for Lavu, and the people that went, I certainly learned a lot and it was great having a project with a set deadline and just powering through a bunch of code with little distractions.
It sounds like they learned a lot from this and will be trying to do again in the future, so if it interest you keep your eyes out. I think they main thing that can be better is to get more information about the event out sooner, that should attract more turn out and give people a chance to come up with better ideas. I couldn’t even find any public information beyond the date and place until a few days before.
This is just the type of event that Albuquerque needs to grow as a tech and startup community. It gives developers a chance to practice, learn and network. It lets the company meet local developers, get real feedback about their product and some new ideas. If everything goes right it could give a developer some income and the company a new product.
As a programmer I felt it gave me a chance to learn about my abilities and real insight into how I program and what works or doesn’t work. I’ll share those later.
Next up is another trip to the STEMulus center, this time with my son for the Hour of Code event on Thursday. Bring your K – 12 year old.