A Daily Double on Programming

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Sadly – Here in the US, computer programming is not openly taught in many Elementary or Middle Schools.

Instead, Teachers focus on Word and PowerPoint.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, you get some Excel thrown in.

The amount of exposure to Technology is something we, as IT Professionals, should be advocating – and I for one am pledging to start with my son.

Already James is a great athlete and an Honor Student.  He does an outstanding job in Math, and I am pleasantly surprised he has taken to foreign language as well as he has.  Given these two positives, the question is – how to motivate him into computer programming as well.

Well, today marks the beginning of the first annual Computer Science Education Week, and I for one am going to use this opportunity to get him some exposure.

The Website HourOfCode.Com has some great resources, and I am honestly curious to see how James takes to this, once he realize how easy  it is to make his own video games.  His current DS favorite “Pokemon” games are pretty basic point and clicks….and given enough time, I think he can be doing something along that lines fairly easily.  Stay tuned to see what happens.

Meanwhile, it is not just coincidence, today would also have been the 107th Birthday of Rear Admiral Grace Cooper – a visionary and true American Hero.

For some background – Wikepedia describes Admiral Cooper as

“…an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (inspired by an actual moth removed from the computer). Owing to the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.”

Not bad for a woman rising up in what entirely a male dominated field – a fantastic role model.

Here she is talking about nanoseconds – and I must admit, that I wax nostalgically at her….as she reminds me of my first military instructors, Mr. Applegarth (some of you old school 33’s will know who I am talking about).

To think that she was the oldest serving woman (at 74) in the Military is just astounding….and she really does earn my /Salute.

For those wondering….”How influential was she?”

Well, not just us military people are impressed – all you have to do is go to Google today, because she earned her own “Google Doodle”.

Well done Ma’am…..well done.

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