MozFest 2016

I’ve just got back from MozFest 2016 which is a technical gathering in London at Ravensbourne college which is opposite the o2 in the docklands.

I ran a workshop in the Youth Zone although there were 9 floors of Zones and speaking sessions.

My workshop on Building for the Microbit was modestly attended and was my first attempt at delivering this workshop.

I always find it difficult at these types of event as I’m never sure what to expect. In the end, I had a handful of people and I used the time to get the Microbit to display something and then get them to change images on the Microbit when buttons were pressed. If they handled, that then we started to look at building a simple game of Rock, Paper Scissors.

I found that many of the children had already built a rock paper scissors sample in class, but I found asking them to make an addition, perhaps having some extra button presses to save scrores or cheat kept them engaged.

One teenager taught me a fair bit about the Microbit and built a multi user collaborative paining app with the Radio stack... I was in awe of.

In summary, I learnt about the Microbit:

  1. Get the code on the device quickly… That first button press event gets younger kids excited.
  2. I need to work on my language, I kept saying words like increment and compile. There was probably no need.
  3. Show them the basics first so that they don’t get overwhelmed first, but try not to write the code for them.
  4. Kids of all different ages, learn at all different speeds.
  5. I need a better game than rock, paper, scissors.

Published by thebeebs

Martin has been a web developer since 2000 and now work for Microsoft as a technical evangelist.