Friday 16th September, 2011
9:45am to 10:15am
Forget about JRuby. MacRuby? Forget it. Forget even Rubinius. As cool as each of them is, they are old. Like, you know, for adults. Introducing the real future of Ruby: KidsRuby… because the future is about the kids!
KidsRuby was born as a fresh approach to the most important problem we as an industry face: who is going to maintain our code in its old age? Most of us in the Ruby community are aware that it is a great time to be a programmer. However, it's not so great to be some company trying to find an experienced programmer to hire. And the problem is only going to get worse, since the state of computer programming education is the US and UK is down, even as demand increases. Like becoming a master musician, master programmers are not created quickly. Many of the best programmers today started when they were young.
There have been a number of excellent contributions for teaching kids to program using Ruby. The most famous Ruby environment for kids being Hackety-Hack, from _why the lucky stiff. However Hackety-Hack is showing its age and inherent limitations, especially if you want to use it with any normal gems, or want to contribute to it. Even the 1.0 release suffers from these problems. KidsRuby is a real Ruby, so that kids are not treated like second class citizens just because they are learning Ruby. It helps to solve a number of the biggest technical problems with teaching Ruby to kids.
In 30 minutes I will share not just the technology used to build KidsRuby, but more importantly the social glue needed to help start out the next generation of programmers with the language we all love. It it time for a general call to arms to the Ruby community. We all need to get serious now about training the next generation of hackers. After all, think of the children!
Software developer, contributor to open source, author and speaker, iconoclast. Ringleader at The Hybrid Group (http://hybridgroup.com) bio from Twitter
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