Building communities: Stone Soup & starfish

The short URL for this post is Like most of my blog this is a work-in-progress (wip) draft that will, hopefully, be updated.

Mystery Code Society is AWESOME!!

I was asked to chat about tech community building & ways people and play a part. There are many ways. The quickest is to donate to Mystery Code Society.

Everyone can add to the Soup

Stone Soup is a powerful story that I first learned from the book "The Pragmatic Programmer."

Speaking of adding to the soup... Omaha Java Users Group is looking for speakers. Most computer clubs are. If you're looking for a place to speak, and you live around Omaha, I'm happy to try and help you.

The hardest parts

For computer clubs, the hardest things to do are:

  1. Finding speakers
  2. Finding places to meet Like many things, it's easier with a group.

Starfish yourself

Rachel Myers' talk about RailsBridge references a book about leaderless organizations: "The Starfish & the Spider." Ideas that caught my eye include:

  1. "People doing the work determine the direction of the entire organization."
  2. When a starfish is cut in two, it does not die -- it grows into two seperate starfish
    1. "She asked us all to starfish ourselves."
  3. Spend marketting budgets on babysitters and beer
    1. In Omaha, I'm unaware of a computer club connected with babysitters. Many churches have daycare centers. Perhaps the computer community could team up with daycare centers?

Boys Scout Explorers

  1. Had a nice experience at Iowa Western Community College.
    1. IWCC has also hosted several Code Retreat events. I hope this happens again, because it is great.
  2. Boy Scouts has a good training program for volunteers.

AIM CoderDojos

This was a wonderful experience. Each table in a large room:

  1. A large rooms with tables and laptops
  2. Three kids and one programmer per table
  3. Awesome AIM staff walking the room helping out
  4. Programmer chats with the kids - as a group they decide what to work on. Usually each kid creates their version of a small program. Sometimes each person works a different project
  5. Programmer chats with the kids - as a group they decide what to work on. Usually each kid creates their version of a small program. Sometimes each person works a different project

NorthStar in March 2019

Dave & Northstar is a good set of stories.

  1. Some lessons based on Mary Rose Cook's amazing talk where she live codes space invaders from scratch in JavaScript (about 170 lines).. She has a wonderful web page with the annotated code.
  2. JavaScript breakout
  4. and moving a "ball" accross the screen.
  5. We have hasty notes at etc

Creative Commons

Lawrence Lessig's 2002 talk "Free Culture - Creative Commons" is amazingly thought provoking. Lessig founded the Creative Commons.

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule and kindness are excellent guiding stars.

The Nike's Just Do It Swoosh and Shia LaBeouf's "Just Do It" Motivational Speech have merit.

  1. has excellent gamified learning, communities, and instructional videos
  2. is a fun way to practice programming in both java and python
  3. Many Koans & Katas are free online.

Clubs in other places

  1. The Recurse Center is online & in New York city. They cultivate a heartwarming culture using the self-directives and other mechanisms.
    • The social rules "They help create a friendly, intellectual environment where you can spend as much of your energy as possible on programming."
      1. No well-actually’s
      2. No feigned surprise
      3. No backseat driving
      4. No subtle -isms
  2. Oklahoma

Local Conferences are great!

  1. Sometimes there are scholarships to conferences.
  3. Conferences

Tags: programming, people, talks

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