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Baby Hackers

April 30th, 2007, By Duncan Gough

A while back I posted about baby gamers, asking where the next generation of hackers will come from. Given that a lot of my generation of programmers experienced the same excitement at building simple games, like Hunt the Wumpus, it’s hard in this Web 2.0 age to imagine kids copying the code for a MySpace clone out of a PC magazine, for example.

My thoughts at the time were that Actionscript would be the ideal solution – it has a decent interface, is games focussed and can provide some rapid feedback to satisfy kids who want a bit of instant gratification to make learning programming more palatable.

Now, it seems, Ruby has joined the fray:

In the 1980s, a language called BASIC swept the countryside. It was a language beginners could use to make their computer speak, play music. You could easily draw a big smiley face or a panda or whatever you like! But not just BASIC. Other languages like: LOGO and Pascal were right there on many computers.


One of Hackety Hack’s sincere pledges is to make the most common code very easy and short. Downloading an MP3 should be one line of code. A blog should be very few.

You may already have heard of the author, _why. But, either way, Hackety Hack seems a great addition to the getting-kids-programming movement.

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