The next generation of Java developers got a taste of programming and had fun at an all-day Devoxx4Kids event on Saturday, before the official kickoff of JavaOne. At this program, a collaboration between Oracle Academy
, 150 kids, ages 10 to 18, got hands on and had fun with programming, robotics, and engineering. Topics included: Getting Started using Java with Alice, Creating Java Programs with Greenfoot, Lego Mindstorm Programming, Introduction to Python, Minecraft Modding, Raspberry Pi Gaming, Scratch with LeapMotion, Nao Humanoid Robot, and Introduction to Arduino.
The cost of the event was $25 and kids attended four sessions of their choice.
“Teaching children how to program must be a priority in a society where technology is becoming more and more important and Internet usage is also more and more important,” says Daniel de Luca, worldwide manager of the Devoxx4Kids initiative.
Devoxx4Kids started in 2012 in Belgium with programming workshops for kids. The program aims to teach and inspire kids about computer programming while having fun. Since its founding, Devoxx4Kids has shared its curriculum with Java user groups and other organizations around the world. To date, more than 80 Devoxx4Kids workshops have taken place, with 2,500 participants.
“The kids are all excited . . . they are running around between workshops,” said Arun Gupta, of Devoxx4Kids Bay Area. “Our focus at Devoxx4Kids is to have a fun experience with technology. We need to train our kids in technology, and have them stay engaged in the technology at an early age. If we catch them raw, show them it’s fun, it’s possible, they won’t be scared.”
Tim Gonzales, a 14-year-old participant from San Francisco, attended two morning Python workshops. “It’s been really cool . . . I really liked it,” he said. He plans on pursuing a career in technology. “The door to opportunity is just so open. I just need to find out my passion within technology.” He added that programs such as Devoxx4Kids can help him get where he needs to go.