Sunday, August 23, 2015

Camp Innovation

Eryn's been in camp for two weeks in a row.  She spent one week at my workplace for a corporate-sited Camp Innovation.  I don't know what was going on in my head. I thought it was a girls' only coding camp.  I suspect I got my camps all mixed up.  So she was a bit disappointed that was NOT what it was.  But she had fun anyway.  A lot of kids she knew were there from school, and she met the kids of some of my other coworkers, including one who has a shared passion for Five Nights at Freddy's.  Her project was FNaF focused and was a box that allowed you to take a one-question quiz and it would play theme music using the basic-driven processing board they were given.  So there was some coding, just not along the lines of Java or Ruby.

Here are kids.  I had a chance to talk to some of them during a panel where we talked about what it was like to work in technology.  I talked to them about the meaning of the word "done" and how getting agreement on things was an important part of technology projects.  My example was to talk to their parents about what "done" meant in the context of their chores to them, to their friends, and to different adults.  I suspected no one would agree.  So imagine what it's like with a project with hundreds of people.

One of them (sibling of one of Eryn's schoolmates) made a Tardis nighlight that would come on when the sensor detected the lights were out (waving your hand over it, for instance).  Very neat.  A lot of cars.  And one kid wrote a program for presenting a series of numbers and you had to guess the next one.  It would have been more interesting if he could have presented multiple series, but he had the direction right.

Here's Eryn explaining her project to a parent and to my skip boss.  The piece of paper is to magnify the soundtrack.  Amusingly, only one of her buttons - the correct choice - was wired up.  I thought at first that her program would evaluate yes or no, but that would have simply been wasted effort for her scope.  Easier not to wire them in the first place.  That's a good lesson for me and my software teams.

And here she with her FNaF box, all smiles after a week of Innovation, Caribou in the mornings, and slowing fermenting children (a lot of sweat being generated in that room).

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