Strange Loop

Teaching Code Literacy

Programming is a life skill. Kids needs to learn how to code for the same reasons that they need to learn physics, chemistry, and foreign language. They need to understand how their world works. We need to stretch their brains when they are young. But kids don't care about all that, they want immediate gratification, but they are also motivated to take the tools they see on the web and put them to use for their own amusement and self-expression.

How do we craft a language to meet this goals? or should we? Sarah Allen will share how she made a little language called "Pie" for web and mobile game development. She'll share positive and negative reactions from her test audiences. You'll learn a bit about how to create a domain-specific language (DSL) in Ruby, along with more general ideas of what works (and doesn't) in the creation of a new language.

Click to view published talk video

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen

Blazing Cloud

Sarah Allen leads Blazing Cloud, a San Francisco consulting firm that specializes in developing innovative mobile and web applications. She is also co-founder of Mightyverse, a mobile startup focused on helping people communicate across languages and cultures. She is President of RailsBridge, that has a mission stretching outside of Rails to bring computer programming literacy to whoever wants to learn. Sarah Allen has a history of developing leading-edge products, such as After Effects, Shockwave, Flash video, and OpenLaszlo. Sarah was named one of the top 25 women of the web by SF WoW (San Francisco Women of the Web) in 1998.