Since I’m a woman in technology and that’s considered a rare find, I often get asked the question, “How did you start programming?” and I respond with this story:
When I was a kid, I was a bit forgetful when it came to buying presents for holidays, and I woke up on Mother’s Day realizing that I had no present for my mum. We lived in the boonies, and the nearest store was a two-hour walk away, past a high-security prison.
Well, I could have done the “draw a card, it’s the thought that counts” route, but I’d already done that in forgetful years past, so I needed a new “thought that counts” gift.
I had just recently discovered the web, and thought “Hey! I’ll learn how to make a webpage!” After a few Yahoo! searches (Google didn’t exist then) and a download of the “Microsoft Internet Explorer Assistant Plug-in,” I had made my first webpage.
It was just a converted Word art banner proclaiming “Happy mother’s day!” but hey, it was a webpage! And I made it myself! Needless to say, my mum was impressed, and from then on, I’ve been a programmer *and* never had to buy presents. :-)
So when it came to coming up with the curriculum for our Khan Academy Hour of Code, I thought I’d bring that same experience to the many new students learning to program this week, and made the final project be a greeting card, to share with anyone you want.
We’ve had thousands of projects made today, and it warms my heart to see that many of them are greeting cards filled with warm fuzzies and addressed to loved ones. Here are a few of my favorites — addressed to parents, relatives, teachers, and friends:
I love that the creators of those cards are learning that they can not only use coding to solve problems, but also to show they care.
We’re looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with on the second day!