European Code “Week”

European Code Week is this 7th of October through the 22nd (this is a week by European standards? In binary? I blame ex-Hurricane Ophelia for sending us time traveling so that we only actually got 7 days during that span of the calendar).

Ready to go at Harold Boys'
Ready to go at Harold Boys’

The boys at Harold Boys’ National School in Dalkey have already written up this event, but they ran through an Hour of Code with the basketball-building game at I like Codesters Python editor because the boys were led down a path to writing Python code, with all of its idiosyncrasies, in a pretty gentle manner; the kids can drag and drop methods and variables from the library on the left before they’re ready to start typing, and Python’s indentation-based structure can be tough to pick up in the span of an hour. Last spring we had run an hour of code with the same boys with a block-based Pong-building game, so I was really hoping to get them thinking more about the text and able to affect things like the forces at work on the ball when they used the left and down arrow keys and the placement of objects on the 2D grid.

The session was a big step up from last year’s, though I was happy to hear quite a few “yes!”‘s and see a couple eureka moments for a couple kids.

If you’re looking to run your own Hour of Code with kids who’ve touched on the coordinate plane, a little tiny bit of physics (just to understand the terminology and why the ball might behave in a certain way), and a tiny bit of algebra, maybe, this is a good coding session to run. And even without that knowledge a quick sketch on the whiteboard of a grid with x and y coordinates (0,0 in the center for this lesson), another quick sketch to explain force in different directions and what that might do to an object, and then a last talk about variables being a bit like a box that can hold different things, an easy way to refer to something that might change will help the boys realize how some of the stuff they’re learning (or will learn) can help them write their own games or programs.

Next up for code week is a session with the girls down at Loreto in Dalkey!

ARKit in Swift Playgrounds @ 404 – The Recap

As mentioned, I spoke at 404 at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Saturday, October 7th.

I was demoing a little Swift Playground I had thrown together just after WWDC, when ARKit was announced.


The original demo, a flat little SpriteKit-based playground, was not terribly exciting, so I spent a bit of time throwing together a few passes at more engaging content (because, frankly, I was a little panicked this was going to be the most boring demo ever).

ARKit in Action
ARKit in Action

Continue reading “ARKit in Swift Playgrounds @ 404 – The Recap”

ARKit in Swift Playgrounds @ 404

If you’re in and around the Dublin area, are into technology in some fashion or another, you could pay some money (~€25) to attend 404, a conference/meetup at the Royal Kilmainham in Dublin 8. There’ll be some good speakers there, a few cool installations, and then me.

At the Royal Kilmainham Hospital
At the Royal Kilmainham Hospital

I’ll be showing off ARKit in Swift Playgrounds and showing off a couple cool things you can do with an iPad and a couple hours on your hands.

So I’ll see you at 11:45 in the Ante Room on the first floor!