Bath Ruby: Linda Liukas - principles of play

I’m at Bath Ruby 2015, live blogging some of the talks

Photo of Linda Liukas by

photo by @Naomi_Freeman

  • Railsgirls in over 277(?) cities
    • Started in Helsinki
  • “The most scalable change in the world happens when you’re 4 years old”
  • “If you draw 1000 circles eventually your circles will get better”
  • Realtity distortion: being in the community allowed her to think “Hey I can write a children’s book, even though I don’t know how to draw, or write a book, or program very well
  • 3 principles of learning: Playfulness, Curiosity, Rules
  • Learning Real-world languages (Finnish) by reading other people’s texts, not by learning grammar rules first
  • “Little girls don’t know the are not supposed to like computers”
  • Two joys of programming: 1. Building beautiful elegant proper things 2. trying things which you’re not sure will work and thrilling when it actually works. This second one is the playfulness (what she’s focussing on”
  • 3 components of learning: Achievement, Social and Immersion. Traditional learning mainly just focusses on the first
  • Rules: how do things work. “Imposing logic on something otherwise hard to understand”
  • Teaching through metaphors: baking cupcakes - if you change the recipe you’ll get different cupcakes.
  • Curiosity: Asking why
    • Introduce 5 year olds to the idea that any object (cars, dogs, toilets) could have a computer in it
    • Opening up to asking questions: “what happens when I press play”, “is the internet a place” - these sort of questions which many adults don’t really ask
    • Making computers out of paper - totally open thinking: this button prints out lego - that button makes breakfast.
  • __why’s poignant guide etc. - opens up to this idea that people in programming can be whimsical, human - not what an initial picture of programming might be like
  • Programmers have found the loophole: we are the world-builders: making something out of nothing using just words: Programming as Storytelling