We’ve Broken Your Software, Sir

I was recently interviewed by the nice people over at TeachPitch. They wanted to find out more about the projects behind my TED talk and discover how I engage my pupils in my workshops. You can read the full interview here.

“It also teaches the pupils how to test what they make. I teach them how to trace their tests using trace tables. Being able to test software and document the outcomes is a good skill in itself. I can see that look on their faces when they do find something wrong with what I’ve written, ‘We’ve broken your software, Sir.’”

Postponed – Salisbury Minecraft Event

This week First Coding would have been hosting another Salisbury Minecraft event, this time in the Salisbury Art Centre. Unfortunately due to the current situation, it’s been cancelled. However, First Coding is now working closely with Wiltshire Creative to help organise another Minecraft event during the summer. So everyone will hopefully get the chance to build their favourite part of the city later in the year.

TEDx Salisbury

Last night Salisbury’s Arts Centre played host to a very special event, the city’s first ever TEDx talks. The theme of the evening was all about crossing boundaries with a set comprising of four guest speakers and two musicians. I was very flattered to have been selected as one of those speakers.

I thought long and hard about the topic of my talk and in the end went with something very personal to me, dealing with self doubt when artists and creatives showcase their work. I called it Connecting the Dots Differently and is all about the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone. The video of my talk should be available to watch on the TED platform soon.

I remember the tickets selling out rather quickly but the popularity of the event wasn’t realised until I stepped out onto the red spot to be greeted by the audience. To be the first speaker at the very first event was a huge privilege, if not a little scary but once I settled into the talk and spoke about the many paths my creative coding projects have led me down, it all felt strangely natural. I think part of that is down to teaching and running classes both in schools and out.

Afterwards, the audience were encouraged to chat with all the speakers and I really enjoyed meeting everyone last night. There are so many kind and creative people who came out to see us, there was a lovely positive vibe about the whole event. To the people who told me they were going to give coding a try for the first time – go for it! To the others who said they never post about their passion projects through fear of rejection but are going to give it a shot after attending this event, you are awesome in so many ways.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped organise the TEDx Salisbury event. They were all volunteers, giving up their own free time to help make something magical and get the people of Salisbury sharing and discussing ideas.

My chatbot projects featured heavily in my talk, highlighting the many uses for a simple project born out of boredom a couple of years ago. There is now a simplified version of Cass online for people to play with, pull apart and add their own features if they wish to. The online version along with the code and Android download can be found here. I would love it if people were to get in touch in a few weeks time to share with me their ideas.

 

Read All About It!!!

Keep an eye out for First Coding’s Minecraft project in the papers. We’ve set everyone the challenge to build the whole of Salisbury in a virtual world and there will be more exciting news about future events with Wiltshire Creative happening soon.

A short video of the progress the children made back in December can be seen below. Well done to everyone involved.

 

Python Programming Course

Python Introductory Course

First Coding is running another Python introductory course for 11 – 14 year olds who are confident around computers and would like to start developing their coding skills through this programming language.

Over the four weekly sessions, students will learn the important concepts of programming whilst working towards their own text-based adventure games. We will also cover how to host and distribute the games you make.

The course starts on Saturday 15th February between 2.30pm and 3.30pm and will run for four weeks. The cost is £80 per student and sessions are held at the First Coding offices here in Salisbury: http://www.firstcoding.co.uk/contact/

TEDx Talks in Salisbury

I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to talk at next month’s TEDx event here in Salisbury. I will be talking about ways to use code creatively whilst showcasing First Coding and a few of its projects. I have always wanted to say “Thank you for coming to my TED talk” and now I can!