Maybe Not the Programmers They Deserved, but the Programmers They Needed

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Maybe Not the Programmers They Deserved, but the Programmers They Needed
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We read to know we are not alone Is there something you would change in the world if you were a wizard? Make vulnerability your cloak Make determination your hat Make code your wand What do you care about? We care about girls and women being enabled to choose their future We care about increasing diversity in the trade we love We care about arming children with the confidence that they can do anything Why are we here? We’re trying to use our programming skills to make that a reality. It’s a journey, one we invite you to join for whatever you feel strongly about. We were not the first, we were definitely not the best, and we won’t be the last. But sometimes, inspiring people to help is just as hard (or harder) than helping. We wanted to give this talk to show others that it CAN be done and YOU can make a difference - regardless of your skill level or experience. Our Story 1. The Use Case Listening: “I’ve been wanting to teach Python for a while but we don’t have anyone.” - Girl Scout Leader Acting: “I can do that!” - [Presenter 1] (even though she was pretty sure the ideal person was way more experienced than her) Deliverable: The Hackathon - A Python challenge for both beginner and advanced coders. Two classes, 25 girls each, ages 10-18 years old. 2. A Master Plan Check out our options: We reviewed existing resources, but didn’t find anything to meet our needs (list some of the good resources we found and were inspired by) Make a decision: “Let’s write our own!” - [Presenters] (because nothing that’s out there fits in two hours…) Have a Cool Learning Experience: Coding the game and taking our first stabs at writing the tutorial were great learning opportunities for us! 3. The Dream Team (AKA: Help!) The Pair Programmers: Gaining perspective and tripling productivity, Megan and Jessica start figuring out what to teach and begin making the tutorial come to life The Project Manager: Added for some very necessary skills - making things looking professional, doing a code freeze, checking our spelling, and making sure the presentation is consistent The Coaching Team: With a common goal and united front, an all female team of software developers, engineers and IT managers unite to form a coaching group! 4. Go Live Hot Fixes: The girls begin the tutorial and questions come rolling in. Confusion abounds. They don’t know what a Start button is! Nothing shows them their opinion matters like change, so we began live editing the tutorial! Being vulnerable, admitting imperfection, and not taking it personally evolved the tutorial in real time to fit our audience. It also gave the girls a sense of inclusion that was priceless; even though they weren’t writing the code to make the edits, their voice was heard and their suggestions were implemented in real time - a powerful way to build confidence! Unexpected Popularity: The girls were engaged! Among raised and waving hands and the din of voices, we kept our cool and took each issue one step at a time. Frankly, we were all a little in shock. Better than we imagined: We might have expected too little of ourselves, but when all was said and done - the girls felt successful, they were all engaged, and their parents were inspired to learn for themselves or keep their girls involved with code going forward! 5. Refactoring Simplification: It was late and everyone was tired - make things simpler, have more milestones, include more affirmations Organization: Planning pre- and post- tutorial huddles to get to know each other and set expectations, figuring out how to guide/redirect parents who were doing the tutorial for their child, investigate letting the girls try pair programming Keep Building: We are still working to evolve our tutorial, make it more accessible, make it friendlier for our target age group, make it packaged to shared, and shopping it around to other tutorials as an expansion (we’re looking at you DjangoGirls ;) ) 6. An Ever Expanding Universe Sharing is caring: We did it and so can you! Expanding the number of contributors as well as the project scope will only make things better! So, we will share our code, share out tutorial, share our experiences, and share our enthusiasm with anyone who wants to make a change! The Takeaways You have a lot of power, in the you code help create, in the people you mentor Don’t wait for someone else, endowed with imaginary super coding/people skills, to help create the change you want -do what needs to be done Don’t try to be a panacea, focus on a single thing and do it well Contact us! Let us know if you’re interested in building something or want to do something similar to what we did Act.
Programmer (hardware) Presentation of a group Mechanism design Computer animation Computer icon
Adventure game Computer animation Software developer Software Universe (mathematics) Expert system Social class
Group action Computer animation Copyright infringement Ring (mathematics) Software developer Multiplication sign Representation (politics) Electronic visual display Mereology Metropolitan area network Number
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Laptop Email Decision theory Multiplication sign Fitness function Online help Tablet computer Goodness of fit Voting Computer animation Energy level Ranking Figurate number Object (grammar)
Trail Musical ensemble Group action Confidence interval Multiplication sign Shared memory Fitness function 1 (number) Mass Online help Bit Mereology Code Word Different (Kate Ryan album) Web-Designer Different (Kate Ryan album) Website Energy level Energy level Game theory Metropolitan area network Alpha (investment) Social class
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Slide rule Implementation Divisor Inheritance (object-oriented programming) Code Feedback Multiplication sign Feedback 1 (number) Online help Mereology Perspective (visual) Event horizon Formal language Expected value Word Arithmetic mean Computer animation Factory (trading post) Universe (mathematics) Energy level Pattern language Right angle Divisor
Slide rule Game controller Musical ensemble State of matter Multiplication sign Motion capture Online help Mereology Lattice (order) Computer programming 2 (number) Number Energy level Software testing Circle Information security Exception handling Online help Forcing (mathematics) Computer program Open source Electronic mailing list Plastikkarte Group action Data mining Word Computer animation Hydraulic jump Annihilator (ring theory)
Point (geometry) Presentation of a group Open source Code Expert system Online help Lattice (order) Programmer (hardware) Arithmetic mean Process (computing) Computer animation Video game Writing Social class
Adventure game Information Meeting/Interview Logic Multiplication sign Linearization Video game Bit Game theory Mereology Metropolitan area network
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OK mechanism icon will please God don't let me have to do this alone I said on the perfect called I and welcome today to the presentation and another programmers they deserve it but the programmers they needed an the constraint and that maybe there will be a presentation today I
and so 1 way in so it really we're talking about so I'm going to make a lot of new and at the University I'm just a I'm a senior software developer at the University of Texas at Austin as well class where the co-creators umbrella learning Python on Mars which is a text-based adventure tutorial we wrote for the girls deaths of Austin
right so maybe you today because you like and like the things in the world and make it better about it I don't have enough experience and or maybe I'm just not an expert were a rock star Koedinger I may have had a great teacher the and maybe I just of while I
worked here today because we'd like to the more people all from all the representations in development and and the thing part of that starts with people and getting exposed the under age so we got involved with teaching Beckham I yes
so but 1st we want to start a little metaphor and a small display ring here I I am not a bad man aficionado I do enjoy it but I don't know about and sorry about that and also for copyright infringement reasons we've chosen to use our own terrible that's no so you know bear with us for some speakers we denote any trouble we make it into so yes so battered metaphor there's uhm approximately 10 million people living in Gotham City and fortunately there is only 1 Batman so given the high number of crimes in Gotham City higher than average I would say and the amount of transit time between places and often supervillains that's a whole nother issue that takes up lot of time and just the fact that that man is not always that many spends a lot of time being party boy Bruce Wayne has so given all of those things if I happen to be in distress and wondering that how much of a chance to I have had that men actually rescue me you just can't produces on the not so great yeah
that's what I was afraid of and now were not very great with math so if any of you guys
1 actually figure out the statistics and really scare me to death please do so after this and let me know and that basically I we need you to help that's what it all comes down to we can't just sit around and wait for Batman the show up we need people like Commissioner Gordon and the police department we need firemen we need and nurses doctors everyday people this step up and help the community and right now there's a lot of people that think they need to sit around and wait for someone with more experience more talent and and that's just not true only 1 and hopefully share with you guys today that you can also be a big help without being Batman yeah so
where are going to let you in my experience if the whole bit with the clicker that and so for me this all started I have been need made in the world the tutorial and Austin Texas where we live and I was talking to the locals them leader for the girl scout and she mentioned that you've been wanting to teach high number while but she didn't have anybody to do it and I'm and vision of the ideal person with a lot of political by a little something better than nothing right so that have happened 1 coming up and they kind wanted to do this in the laughter and the media 25 people maximally class theory eating candy between and it's the from 8 to midnight almost a deal breaker that right and I think what they're and yet so we're going
to give you some hints but do keep in mind that this is based on our personal experience we were very new to doing something like this so your mileage may vary but we think that there's some pretty good takeaways here for you so go ahead and then hit number 1 of the 1st step is to do some research so before I got into this whole thing I'll look at you know what and they try to figure out what would fit into our is and what the probability that a pipeline as N and I can find it would fit right right so I said made my own apartment adventure game if you're not familiar with the Tigers that's the out of the gained about the hand side but if I was that I would be but I think that a lot of research I decided to a lot of animals or other kind of cool that's the moment we have your own 1 times score music level at so how would you like reading figure out what's already there use it talk to other people don't really know that if I take this and I think it was about hair because I hate attacks adventure game it was found that play out like this and they often had to just the goes like you think that that and that I'm I'm game but you really think you should cover cost this inheritance if it had not yet the 10 year olds as the little you know that
yeah and yes so increment that there we go so I had to use
to make a plan so after you've done a lot of research decided and where you think your experience level kind of fits in in what and how big of a risk you're willing to take with making the leap into helping your community and it's a good idea for you had to decide who it is that you want help and that's the 1st thing and will have some good suggestions for that you guys later And next you wanna figure out how you wanna help and there's some things you might wanna consider an namely cost and you can do things for free you can also go out all and find sponsors and try to do fancier things and you also can on a figure out your role and by facto Megan became the leader because it was his idea the idea is that yes and we all kind of Denver CO as objects of and and then also venue and getting and you can be challenging their definitely people a community that have already been working with mentorship and doing workshops and I would reach out to them to try to get ideas about the new and but keep in mind you it should be non distracting and fit within your budget and you also wanna think about supplies that you might need to buy and or the medium you wanna work in so if you choose to do something with raspberry prize money to probably by some as price and if every in the working on tablets or laptops that something else you figure out ahead of time and make sure the plan for the power outlets was a direct and has a direct hit from the barber and Katie topic they gave about the younger voters who stole that and and we have some more suggestions coming later but basically figure out how you wanna build or if you wanna help someone that's already started Our or if you want to just use something that's already out there it's a big decision to make and doing a research will help you make that decision as so our plan was to help the Girl Scouts they came to us so super easy we really have to make any big decisions there I we decided to build because it was difficult to do anything in 2 hours and nothing really existed that would mean that timeline for us and we also don't wanna spend any extra time having instead of the e-mail accounts to get into things that already existed because it was just in you know the 2 hours that we did have an with would be a good learning experience for the 2 of us in a totally was so and the other thing is be perfectly comfortable with being imperfect and this is so important because the 1st time around you're definitely not going to generate much like this talk right now and that the that's there plenty of opportunities be imperfect but it doesn't mean it's not helpful so keep that in mind
so we asked the help that man is in a one-man show think background you have alpha in the back hallway track health of in depending on what you know there's a problem or whatever the lot of the people that held back and and the 2nd is a lot of people would probably like to help you know it was to help make the world a better place if you have an idea for a but but the man I you know you could have so I had a wonderful group of people just go back the came help the tutorial not horrible and then we had to rely entailing and work of post 9 site where money merge the NPT mankind who all came and help that actual have on anywhere maybe more important than actual 212 itself because they were well women who were in that paper able to be there for the girl scout into them what it was like to be a real person who does that engagement and action and and it's also harder to fail and I'm working with that share the blame just it that
a so if you do it so another the important thing is to figure out what it is that your audience wants to get out of whatever help you decide to get so what interests them what goals do they have these are important things to figure out you know and do a little more research about a try to tailor the fit for whatever it is you're trying to accomplish to the actual Goals of the people that you're trying to help and also you wanna consider experience levels of your attendees some people be at a much higher level some people will be complete novice and you need to be able to kind of adjust accordingly and really if you think that they're going to have people with different needs and different experience levels you may consider doing completely different solutions for those people and we we tried and we were told we would have 2 different classes 1 of complete beginners 1 with a little more experience in turn it out to be more of a giant blended class that slowly trickle then as they felt they were ready and which made it a little difficult to meet their needs as so in the future we may try to psychic that a little bit more and and also you wanna keep in mind that no 1 is going to master concepts uh at at the at NASA kind concepts at their own time and and they're all going to do it differently so i don't make assumptions no one's gonna master everything they probably won't master anything they will maybe gain knowledge of something to give them the confidence to move forward and that no 1 is gonna sit down in 2 hours or 8 hours no all of Python no all of jingo on all of web development is just not going to happen I still don't in the game for 4 years and in also keep in mind that not everybody enjoys coding and I definitely had is right to enjoy coding but for the most part I really like it and then you may have people come and say they're excited about coding at the and decide this is for them and that's totally OK and we have girls show up at that were super engaged we also had girl show up that word deciding pizza and dancing in the aisles was much more their speed and they got and had a great time and it was great dancing so we would like to the so expect the unexpected the
but the fact of the automata per month and it's a really shouldn't be unexpected it should be no part of life they don't always go exactly as you plan don't panic and it can actually kind of like you know you have a new challenge of don't worry and so as you mentioned certainly no and 2 groups of 25 was not the case an adult and we have assembled in various slowly turned into like 50 this category must have them environment people model and the introduced and in that we had have made the tutorial so that they can scale up easily based on how much you're new so that way we had the land they were you know whether somebody RT knows about you know the variables in the play that maybe they don't know how to do they could just get ports that another thing with that have with the meaning we had a lot of parents can't were really excited about coding let you could themselves which was also and that also has gotten away and the children themselves getting think about problems in the ontology developers meeting 1 word in the code you write is how we think about the problem and design so something we want to work quite sure how to deal with is getting little and their space to think about the problem and then lastly and they didn't really know what it started the online and that was really frightening nearly all of really were so all the nodes here that although the test
SuperBoomerang and the so at that kind of leads right into our next time which is just to be vulnerable and this is so super important and you can you know we were getting vulnerable by getting up her given this talk it's our 1st time but we want to share this information with people and so were put ourselves out there the same thing with this tutorial we had never written a tutorial before we never worked with this age group before an N being vulnerable meant that we were willing to expose the fact that we weren't super experts at this choose them and ended up working out super well I'm being human is super inspiring it's OK to be human it's OK to make mistakes and and so for us you know taking feedback was also a huge part of being vulnerable it means that people in the critiquing your work stuff that you've put your heart and soul into in a lot of time into you and you think I've got at this level of super great and in some ways like doughnuts so much and that's OK like that's how you get better and so being able to take that feedback graciously regardless of its crítica coworker friend and colleague or a 10 year old girl as so our real human moment during this remember those start buttons and Save buttons and that was pretty much the beginning of the tutorial so once they didn't know what those things were we were like 0 no a set of books and we decided to do lot editing on the tutorial as it was taking place your mileage might vary with that and I don't necessarily recommended of biopsy turn out to be a good experience for us as long as the girls started making suggestions and asking questions we got right in there and started implementing that serves as they were rolling in and I think it ended up being really inspiring for the girls they were working in the tutorial because they became part of making this thing and they could see that their stuff was being implemented at the same time that they were asking it so that it also let them know that they were kind of defacto coding like even though they were writing the code they were actively manipulating codebase uh with with very beginner skills and that was super inspiring to them and inspiring to us in boosting their confidence in that way was was a really awesome something so being vulnerable very hard very worthwhile
the and so the next you to go and that of and so we finish that happened really they enjoyed it was successful they went away and we don't had girls are like half an hour so much that it was you know we got them what we need to it then but you know when the Russian words and all of these are talking about the fact that like to do it again and would like to do even better and so that is to say you know if you're not going like here where you should be they didn't like the code you have low and the factories that starts with the out what's wrong and so you know I'll try and you and your project and for us we need to make it more accessible it was even a simplified and made it events where and is it really like is now 10 o'clock at nite and the 10 year old the pizza and dancing In the end it could get simpler well and they may languages also rejected by the time gap and redirecting parent and experimenting with pair programming the younger ones to decide on a by great in another thing is we realize that you know how we at universities have like a little perspective on the world but you also all have all factors so if you were looking for something the help with that I can't and yeah yeah the have
OK so I can is to react refactored this is a part of natural coding it would obviously be a part of whatever whatever it is that you decide to build maker implement for your community and so we decided that we need a practice more everybody should practice more and we also know that you should always be looking to simplify that's the same as coding keep it simple keep making it simple and and again feedback get as much feedback as you can and implemented as often as you can and are takeaways are basically more milestones in more affirmations I think this is a good lesson at any level keeping people engage means letting them have lots of small wins and not just 1 big 1 because you don't know if they will have time to get to the big payoff as a simple simpler is better simplest is always best and even when you think you have it at the most simple level there's always room for improvement in that arena and lastly just at the expectations and what should they accomplish what should they expect out of what you're trying to do and we should set better expectations and how a lot ways but we mean we should have probably started by introducing ourselves we can do that that so we put a slide right at the beginning of this talk to make sure that we introduced ourselves the yeah the patterns
so that number 9 are going jump in for and like this is something that I know that they are state responsibly and immediately you know you're working on a project that working and not you know they're like creating new you know they probably have a interesting where test yourself just that you can you know level yourself up to get really needs to be for that project I I start small and medium securities each everything in Austin program and we just had a group of people who needed our help in the middle of the field and and then people generally want to succeed I mean you know gap have basic comedy is based on unexpected failure in the house of cards and for each other but that's not real like most people you work with what you succeed in your project there 1 that is a programming we finished on time so you know my have faith in yourself and the other thing is is that you know and there is no failure and there is a failure by and there is I think about the way by beyond that these were the situation there good momentum with OK to fail and then you know there's an idea that in movies there's going to be the capture and it's like 5 seconds the you know have rocket going to come crashing down on the other hand the in like 5 seconds like get into the frame and make it work and you notice that they never get like knowledge of mine exception because they always a word like I spent most of my day debugging and a lot of you know lot you the dealing with her but I think it helpful the girls to realize the debugging part of it and Shamir nothing wrong with that as long as the control
the and so to kind of start coming back full circle we did mention earlier and that there were some ways that you could help and maybe if you don't know who it is you want help this is a small exhaustive list it's just all we could fit on the slide it might still be readable to the people in the back and so there are a lot of other people it's just important you find something you're passionate curious about and then go out there and ask them and talk to them that see what they need see how you can help and see if it aligns with where you feel like your expertise is or where you want to go so that you kind of force yourself to level up and and will our slides online later so you can read this if you can get a chance
the the last 10 is not all hoping for you know getting involved means coding in fact I would say that probably more helping falls not coding right the company but rather a something called Caroline and she was really helpful for us a thinking about all those things around the tutorial ready we would necessarily part of like code freezes then you know spelling but it still no way I could 1st but the point is that there are a lot of ways to get involved at all involved writing code you have open source project many people do you know how to figure out how we a design thing documentation you know there's going to the kitchen and actually being the person that's going to help the people so regardless of like where you live in the coding life globulin and all I just ingredients that waiting for somebody else to be the person yeah so
once more with feeling and to bring it all the way all around as so we definitely want to programmers these girls deserve would love of the people who wrote jingo girls could come down and teach this class for them but things like that just are realistic and they can't happen everybody in there's much more of a need and there are people to fill the need so even if you don't feel like you're an expert you know something it as long as you're willing to put it out there you can help somebody so we ended up being the programmers these girls needed and you guys are also really needed so we hope that we've inspired you to get out there and regardless of rather not you think you might be ready or the right person for the job and help bring people in this community
so I know you're running out of time but were not into it is like the black and the state so that that happens once again the contact information were real people think a few under the question I have a 10 year old girl my life and her mother had asked me a couple of times teacher coding get her interested and of enabling other interested in like some like CSS she likes to make things pretty bigger talking about a text adventure game where it's going to be a little bit less visual so do you have any advice on how to find at the enthusiasm for for things that you don't involve sparkles the yeah and so we found out that they have to play the but adventure game 1st and and the other thing is that and we allowed them to change like the story like we allow them to change on into the story so they were like actively creating part of what that game man so there a lot of logic there that like your linear rover on Mars and then you go to different low emissions so you could have like aliens the different things yes the their
lives and are only so in