Been away for awhile, mainly because the weather has been crazy warm enough to allow me to fit some tennis matches in March into my schedule, and the last 3 weeks I have been working as a merit badge counselor for some Boy Scouts in my son’s troop earning their Computer Merit Badge.
It was interesting – we cracked open a PC, talked about the history of computing, toured our facility, ping’ed some servers to find their IP address and the best part – introduced them to computer languages.
For fun, we used C# to create our new smartphone app that would give a real-time update as to a persons age in seconds – this was sure to be this years big hit (bigger than Angry Birds in Space) and make us all millionaires. With all of the other silly apps being sold, we could not imagine how this would not sell as well
But it was fun to show the boys (especially those interested in computers) exactly how easy it is to get involved in software development – for example, check out Codecademy.
And sites like udacity offering free online university courses is in beta.
Especially appreciate the software development lessons geared towards children such as Scratch – the visual programming language where you build language commands using drag & drop developed by MIT. My son and I played with this to build a simple game where giant Cheetos would chase our jeep around the screen getting faster each time they caught us. But check out the IDE in the below clip
Also there are resources such as Microsoft’s Beginner Development Learning Center
where they can download my favorite starting point for children – Small Basic
And then work up to game development starting with Kodu – a GUI-centered development environment where kids can learn to program with an Xbox controller
Never been a better time for those interested in learning how to program – especially for children. My boy is at home downloading Kodu as we speak. I’ll shout out if we can create something cool with it.