Jamis, First, thanks for writing this. I just picked it up and am anticipating having fun learning. A thought struck me while browsing the book description and looking at the text itself: “Could this be possibly be adapted so that kids could learn programming using it?” I think that kids would have a high level of engagement with learning how to create mazes programmatically. I’ve got a couple of middle school sons that are learning to program and I expect they will be very interested in this (if it can be made approachable enough). I may be tilting at windmills here, but I really believe if you could adapt this content to be comprehensible to middle and high schoolers then it could have a major impact on getting kids engaged in learning to code. (In fact I’d love to see Pragmatic Programmers develop a series of titles aimed at kids- I can’t imagine anyone that would do it better). If you have any inclination to doing something in this vein then I’d love to help in any way possible. I’m part of a parent-run mentoring group for middle schoolers learning to code. We meet on weekends and basically offer help and guidance to kids that want to learn and build projects of their own choosing. Thanks for this book as well as what you’ve contributed to the world already. I’d love to hear your thoughts (as well as the PragProg community’s thoughts). Cheers, Mark C
Mark, thanks for picking up the book! I absolutely agree that this topic could be hugely successful in teaching kids the different concepts of programming. In fact, my 13yo son has been my primary “alpha reader” through this process, and has really enjoyed following the code examples. I’d love to talk more about how to use mazes to introduce programming (though it’ll probably have to wait until May, as I need to finish this book in the next few weeks, and then prep for a presentation I’m giving at RailsConf in April).
Jamis, Thanks for responding so quickly. Understandable that your schedule is packed for quite a while. I’m jazzed that you think this could be a great avenue into programming for kids. I look forward to the opportunity to talk more when you’ve got the bandwidth available. Thanks again, Mark C