Leah H

Coding Day Camp: Python

Prior to this assignment, my experience with coding would probably lie somewhere on the scale between beginner and intermediate, but probably way closer to the beginner side. I am currently in Intro to Programming, in which I have been learning how to code using the program Processing. I’ve heard that Processing uses a bit more difficult language than Python, so I decided to try learning Python this time around to see what the similarities and differences are. It started off easier than I thought it would be, as many of the logic concepts and syntax were similar to that of Processing, but as I continued it got to be a bit more complicated. The logic was starting to get a little confusing, but the examples in each step really helped out a lot. I especially liked the way in which the lessons were set up to relate to practical situations in which you can use coding in real life, such as going to the grocery store or planning a trip. Many people think programming is only useful for people who build massive, complex software programs, but these tutorials showed how you can incorporate it in your own everyday life.

I definitely want to continue this tutorial and start tutorials for other programming languages through Code Academy as well. I felt really motivated while doing this and continued coding past just 90 minutes; I think I’m 40% of the way through completing the Python tutorial. I looked at the profile the website creates for you, and I liked seeing how many badges I had earned and noticed that they have a “streak” count, showing how many days in a row you’ve been coding. I want to try coding a little bit each day so that streak doesn’t go back to 0. I would definitely recommend Code Academy to my friends, my parents and my siblings, even if they don’t know they are interested in learning to code. Many kids take keyboarding tutorials in school, but very few take coding tutorials, so if they want to learn how to code it is a skill they have to learn on their own later, and this is a perfect way to do so. I think people with very limited coding experience or none at all can still learn from Code Academy because it explains everything very clearly and you cannot move on to the next lesson until you’ve correctly coded each step within your current lesson.

coding

Women and Tech in the 1990s

ExpertiseConference (1)

This image shows participants of a conference about the acquisition of expertise in “complex dynamic environments” in Wakulla Springs, FL in 1995. Participants of this conference learned ways to acquire expert performance in their fields. There are two women and thirteen men shown in this photo.

Ericsson, K. Anders, ed. The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996.

For additional reading, visit the Google Book version of The Road to Excellence here.

trafficmanager

In this photo, Donna Eaton uses some of the first touch-screen technology implemented in radio/news operations at BBC to run the News Traffic Unit. The new computer technology revolutionized the way “rolling” news was reported.

Kempster, Jonathan. “Radio News Ops in the 1990s.” Old BBC Radio Broadcasting Equipment and Memories. N.p., 2006. Web.

For additional information on how technology changed BBC in the 1990s, read Jonathan Kempster’s article here.

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This is a Nintendo ad for the GameBoy Pocket from 1996 that was featured in several UK magazines. The ad became controversial and Nintendo was immediately required to stop using it.

The original ad resides in magazines such as Loaded, FHM, and Viz.

For additional reading about this controversial advertisement, read the post on Pixable by Keith Estiler here.

Apple-IIGS-Buyers-Guide-V4N1-Fall-1990-cover

This is the cover of the Fall 1990 edition of The Apple IIGS Buyer’s Guide that explains the different Apple software that was available for purchase at the time. This “Back-To-School Issue” highlights the use of educational software.

The Apple IIGS Buyer’s Guide 4.1 (Fall 1990).

To read this issue and other issues of the guide, visit The Apple IIGS Buyer’s Guide’s Online Resource here.

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This is an advertisement for Sony’s MiniDisc that was never really popular with many consumers. It was introduced in the early 1990s and disappeared by the late 1990s. The ad features a scantily clad woman using the product with the caption “You Know You Want It,” but apparently not many people did.

“Brainz.” 12 “Dead Technology” Advertisements. N.p., 2010. Web.

For additional information about similar Sony Ads, read this post on Telecompaper here.

Lack of Interest or Lack of Influence?

When you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up, you hear the usual answers of “president,” “a cop,” or maybe even “a superhero.” If this young child is a girl, you might also hear answers like “a princess,” or “a ballerina.” However, as she grows older, she realizes that her chances of becoming a princess are pretty slim, so she has to decide which real career path to take. Unfortunately, the chances of her choosing to become a computer scientist are rather slim as well, as the number of young women who choose to pursue fields related to computer science is dwindling, and an overall lack of interest in tech seems to be prevalent.

In 2010, Google created Made with Code, an initiative to influence and encourage young girls to consider pursuing paths in tech fields related to coding. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, posted on Google’s official blog stating that “fewer than one percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.”1

In hopes of changing this statistic, Google has not only created their own campaign, but has also given millions of dollars to programs such as Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, Code.org, and Technovation.1 Girls Who Code, a program designed to immerse teenage girls in the world of coding, states on their website that “women represent 12% of all computer science graduates” and that “in 1984, they represented 37% of all computer science graduates.”2 This suggests that as time progresses, we are seeing a decrease in the level of interest in computer science fields by young women.

I agree that there is a significantly lower number of young women who express interest in computer science when they are young and still in school, but I wonder where the influence for that is really coming from. Could it be that their parents do not work in those fields? Is it that there are not enough female role models in the tech world? Or could it be the lack of exposure to coding in their high school classes? I’m not yet sure where the lack of influence lies, but with more organizations being created to increase the participation of young women in computer science, I am hopeful that more young women will become engaged and stay engaged in these fields as they choose their career paths.

1 Wojcicki, Susan. “Things You Love Are Made With Code.” Google Official Blog. 19 June 2014. Web.
2 “Girls Who Code.” Girls Who Code. 2014. Web.