Last Friday, at the iOS developers workshop, we started discussions with looking at a Geiger counter that Andrew had built from a kit. Several groups clustered around iPhones or iPads looking at new apps that are being developed.
Our topic of discussion was the recently open sourced iPhone app called Brushes, a rich set of drawing tools. One of the really interesting things about looking at this large iPhone application was watching experienced developers dig into it to figure out how it worked. I hadn’t really thought about the power of the MVC framework that one uses to build iPhone apps, but part of the beauty lies in the separation of presentation, user interaction, and actual application work. The model contains the meat, and starting there one can get to an understanding much more quickly then if the user interaction and layout were embedded in that process. I was also struck by the generosity of the Open Source community in releasing projects that have taken hundreds of man hours to build.
We capped the meeting with a short puzzle of how the Interface Builder and programmatic style settings can interact badly. Steven shared the process of beating his head against a font change that just wouldn’t happen, and also gave us a glimpse of a beautiful new app he’s working on.
In November I didn’t know anything about Expand Your Horizons, an organization whose mission statement is “Inspiring girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)”. At the end of January a group of us spent a delightful Saturday morning teaching girls about Scratch, a visual programming language developed by MIT to be a gateway to learning programming. What happened in between is the magic that happens in coworking spaces. Quiet conversations between people who are involved in activities as diverse as building video courses to teach website design to engineering devices to make life more accessible for the handicapped. Conversations about helping out with a project to give girls exposure to science, technology and more choices in careers. I would never have volunteered on my own, but with a team of three other dynamic women it was a no brainer to do this, and watching bright young minds figure things out was so inspiring. So, thanks coworking! 🙂
You can read about the conference in the Albuquerque Journal: http://www.abqjournal.com/347367/news/girls-get-exposed-to-science.html Our class was the Game Design Workshop.