Teaching Chaos

Chaos Theory

My friend Linda teaches drawing at University (amongst a wide assortment of things), and she was explaining a fascinating exercise to me. Requirements: white paper, charcoal, eraser, glue stick & tolerance for dirt. This is all about developing lots of strategies for recovering from errors and changes, and stumbling upon expressive, aggressive marks and effects […]

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Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Boxed

I lucked out in being in town when the Women Powering Technology Raspberry Pi event was on, and also in hearing about it – and being allowed in at the last minute! Of course I had heard about the Raspberry Pi, and loved the idea, but I’m pretty intimidated by hardware and cables, so it […]

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Pycon AU: Making Python More Fun for Everyone

Screen shot from Spy Who Coded game

Interesting talk from the creators of SingPath – games to help people learn to code. Left me wanting to try the game! Some insights about women and what they find off-putting – nothing unexpected. Notes below: Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation: autonomy, mastery, purpose (Dan Pink’s book – Amazon). Want to extrinsically motivate people without killing […]

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Come the Revolution

I was talking to a – male – programmer the other day, and he was telling me how much his high school CS teacher sucked. This is not an uncommon story. I know some good high school teachers. I’ve heard about a lot of bad ones. This particular bad one taught Visual Basic, and gave […]

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Friends Don’t Let Friends… Become PMs

Careful

Recently, I heard about a school that has a mandatory “technology” class that students have to take in order to take CS classes in later years. It features: wood-working, circuit building, and Excel. This is horrifying. I want to go there with picket signs and stage a protest. Dress up as robots and chant things. […]

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Misconceptions of What Software Engineers Do

connecting the dots

My first proper day on my new project, and our PM says to me – “Cate, you seem to like to travel. How about you spend time in New York?” – I’m tasked with helping another team out, and being the bridge between that team and my team here. Initially I was a bit… thrown. […]

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First, Do No Harm

Bluenose II, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

We took a whale watching boat in Lunenburg. As we pulled away from the pier, the tour guide talked about the history of the town. How many boats used to go out. Where the fish came in. Until the big fishing boats came, and drove out that way of life. He said, the old fisherman […]

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But, I Don’t Want to be an Entrepreneur: Permission and Choice

Achievement: You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To When You Have Vision, Determination, And An Endless Supply of Expendable Labour

Tina Seelig, author of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (Amazon) teaches courses in Entrepreneurship and Creativity at Stanford. I was fascinated as to what teaching entrepreneurship would consist of (you can see the course list here). The big message I found in her book was about giving yourself permission – permission […]

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4 Hours to Smash the CS Stereotype and Create Something Beautiful

Haribo Micro Mix

Ali and I will presenting our paper 4 Hours to Smash the CS Stereotype and Create Something Beautiful (pdf) at the upcoming CICE Education conference in Toronto. Christine Alvarado of Harvey Mudd college came to Google last month to gave a talk on how they’d brought female enrollment in Computer Science up to 42%. The talk is called “Three […]

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School is Not Life

Math Cards Icon

The biggest difference I see between the education system here and in the UK is grading, and that creates some interesting differences in perspective. In Canada, marks in the 90’s are commonplace. I actually got a 99 on one of my assignments – I was dying to know what caused the loss of a point, […]

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