30-Mar-2014 by Allison McMillan

Read Time: Approx. 1 minute

Ember for Children

I thought it was nice that this session was included in the first ever Emberconf. With so much information to cover and so many interesting components of the technology, it was nice that the organizers made sure there was a talk that focused on the community and what we can be doing together for underserved communities in technology. Highlighting an achievement like this, really shows that even though we’re cranking out amazing technology, building the community is important and giving back is core to that idea.

DeVaris Brown (who also does ember hot seat) talked about a new initiative he’s launched which takes at risk youth and teaches them about programming and code. He started by talking about the bootcamp idea (something I have mixed feelings about and have written on before) and wanted to provide a bootcamp-type opportunity to high school students that wouldn’t be able to afford something like that. He walked us through the curriculum he used to teach these students, the time he put in, and where the students were today. He worked with Black Girls Code and other organizations to find students. He also spoke honestly about the challenges he faced like reasons students couldn't come to class or the basic typing skills necessary (for which he recommended typing.io).

DeVaris received a standing ovation and got a lot of questions from people on how they can help and get involved. I think it’s great that the community is so interested in providing these opportunities and focusing on these sorts of initiatives. I hope that they can work together and some of the already established organizations to make more things like this happen instead of trying to reinvent a new initiative.

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