Monday, December 9, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Looking back over my previous posts, it's amusing to see what little bumps and discoveries I had in the beginning. It's also sad to see that the biggest lags in posts came during times when I was experiencing so much growth. I wish I had taken the opportunity to document my personal journey, rather than neglecting to share information during my days of stress and deadlines. I'd like to think that this will inspire me to write more now, but knowing how difficult eighty hour weeks have been, I find it hard to imagine that I'll put off bed for thirty more minutes to record a thought or two. Even still, now that the seed has been planted, I believe I'll make an effort.
A quick note about the present. Thinkersmith has taken off, almost faster than I can keep up. I have team members now, and some of those team members even manage other team members! We still do camps, classes, and workshops locally, but we have also developed a curriculum that others can use anywhere in the world (some of those lessons have even been translated into other languages by government agencies!)
Our curriculum was so well received that Thinkersmith was asked to join Code.org in the task of developing a K-8 computer science curriculum intended to be distributed worldwide by 2014 at no cost to schools! Of course we said yes. The better part of my Sept/Oct/Nov was dedicated to this feat, and we're starting to see the finished result of months of trial and toil.
There's so much more to share, but I'm going to have to do it bit by bit. If you're interested in what goes in to starting an international phenomenon, stay tuned!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
|Cartoon Girl by PippySqueaks|
It's a constant battle. I hear people say it over and over again.
"In order to be a great programmer, you need a Bachelor of Arts degree."
The argument is that computer science is a discipline. It's not a vocation. One must study for years, learn all of the picayune details, develop mastery...
First, let me address the concept of a well rounded education. I'm a fan. Understanding a little about a lot of things is the key to understanding a lot about any one thing. The premise that you must have a B.A. degree to achieve that is B.S..
To be clear, I think that the arts should be involved in every aspect of teaching from Kindergarten right on up through a Post-Post-Uber-Doc. Learning to transform highbrow ideas into paintings, music, and poems forces you to process them and digest them, not just regurgitate them at testing time. Plus, there's the added bonus that Americans have a somewhat inherent belief that there is no "wrong" in art. Art is individual. It's a process. And as such, exploring scary things by way of an art project can take some of the fear of failure away.
That alone is not enough to accumulate a $40,000 debt in the name of your "future".
Over the course of my education, I have accumulated a debt greater than the annual GNP of some countries. I, however, still see it as a great value, because I learned a lot about myself, the world, and the way that networking gets things done. I am 100% certain that without my college experience (independent of my college "education") my life would not be anywhere near as cool as it is today.
To sum it up: For me, higher ed was vital. Being well-rounded is important, but college won't do that for everyone. Computer science is tough, but it can be made much easier (easy enough, in fact, for a toddler). And for heaven's sake, you don't need to spend $20,000/year to get a job as a Software Engineer.
Start here free.