Event Recap: Intro to Programming with Mendicant U. (New Haven)
To the layman, computer science, as well as other technical/scientific topics, often seems shrouded in mystery and ceremony. Although we use software and hardware everyday, to many people, it just seems like, well, magic. And strangely enough, 9.2% general unemployment has plenty of people looking for some magic in their professional and personal lives – technology workers enjoy a much lower level of unemployment than the overall population. Talk of a tech bubble notwithstanding, plenty of people would like to learn about software development to enhance their earning potential. And for other
But how do you break into the inner world? Some go back to school and into debt in order to get a degree in computer engineering – but getting a degree doesn’t actually confer upon you any coding skill. Some are daunted/turned off by trade lingo (and even superior attitudes of some engineers) or difficult concepts.
But to learn to code you have to, simply put, code. For anyone who has tried to start programming on their own – it is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it’s much easier to learn when you work inside a peer group, with coaching and advice freely available, where trial and error doesn’t turn into a maddening process.
That’s why Mendicant University/Elm City Craft Works should be interesting to those who are interested in improving our state’s technology/STEM talent, and why, even for an experienced developer, the session Jordan Byron and Gregory Brown gave last week was interesting.
Starting with LOGO (a language developed in the 70s as an instructional tool), and then moving into Ruby (one of the latest languages out there), the two gave a “demo” of some simple programs. In the demo, they discussed basic engineering principles, made slight modifications to code to show how the code works/reacts. In short, they gave the audience a taste of what you can use programming knowledge to do, and how to get started pursuing new skills.
It’s great to see people get excited and have fun with something they love – it’s contagious. The team has plans to roll out more workshops in New Haven starting in the next couple months, so if you’re interested, get in touch with them.