Hackety Hack

All I can say is it’s about time! I was made aware of Hackety Hack today, which is an adaptation of Ruby to make the introduction of programming to children easier.

It’s come up a few times, over lunch or coffee, we reminisce about programming basic on our computers as kids. I started on a Sinclair ZX84, before graduating to the ATARI 800XL. Transitioning wasn’t all that hard, BASIC was similar on both systems.

Thinking back on it, I had mastered quite alot. I had input and output to the screen, branching, looping and arrays mastered. I hadn’t quite got file I/O for procedures.

When we got our first PC, I remember being rather upset, that basic was no longer available to me. By the time I had found qBasic, I had lost interest, i.e. was going through the moody teenage years.

By the time I got to college I realised what I had learned stood me in good stead. Term one of my Computer Engineering degree had us learning Pascal. Suddenly branching, looping and arrays were back, but this time with proper functions and procedures.

Since then I’ve gone on to be a fully fledged Software Engineer. I can’t help but think that, that early exposure to BASIC were the first steps on the journey that brought me here.

I kudos to why, and his effort to make programming easy and fun for kids. We need more people in IT, and this is as good a place to start as any.

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