What is programming? Computer Code? We’ve heard these terms but what do they actually mean? Well in our past we were having our children focus on learning a foreign language in hopes of more opportunity in the future. Now adays this foreign language has turned to computer language, which is able to write programs that in turn translate foreign languages to our native tongue, even LIVE! Computers and technology, love it or hate it, it’s part of our everyday life and what better way to lessen the intimidation then by being exposed early to the practical means at which technology can play in our life. It’s one thing to know how to operate it, but another thing to speak it’s language. And THIS is where computer code and programming come in. It’s the language that computers understand. Harness it and you’ll be able to have computers speak to humans in a way never seen before. Dream it and you can create it. It’s a freedom like none other. It’s understanding the unknown.
This is where Summer of Code comes in. This is the beginning of a journey to expose younger patrons to a world that will inevitably wait them. It’s on what side of that line do they want to wait, the one where objects, symbols, and strings of letters make sense, or where they simply are magic. The few brave patrons that signed the “Commitment to Code” a pledge to program for 2 hours per week during this six week course are getting first hand knowledge at a potential future vocation that will ensure a greater understanding and perhaps peak an interest at pursuing this further.
On a first day of a bit of confusion getting everyone logged in and signed up we as a group made it through our first challenges. Snowman were drawn, hands were created, objects where produced, all from the hands of these patrons, all with no prior knowledge of computer code. Thanks to the wonderful free education software provided by Khan Academy we mustered through the beginnings and our voyage has become. There will be troubled seas as well as calm waters ahead, but the pursuit is what matters for these young minds. It’s the “Wow, this is so cool! I never knew you could do this with computers,” that make the entire process rewarding. As a coach, I’m not there to teach, but to encourage, validate, and inspire. I only hope the beginning moments of this Summer of Code captured enough belief in the participants that they’ll want to continue, not only in a classroom setting but on their own, for my direction and motivation can only extend so far, it’s within the home and outside that spirit needs to carry onto and for that, only time will tell.