nate's blog

Coding As a Trade

This may be my weirdest piece of Photoshopped blog accompaniment yet.

One of my coworkers recently left an interesting Wall Street Journal article on my desk - it was a short piece by Christopher Mims about how programming should be thought of as a trade, more akin to welding or woodworking than, say, structural engineering (Side note: the article is behind the WSJ's paywall. Sorry!). Mainly, he thinks that a computer science degree shouldn't be the only thing that can get you into the field.

Teens learning web development at the library: DevCamp wraps up!

Last Friday, we wrapped up DevCamp, a two-week crash course in web development for teens. Over six days, 24 teens learned the basics of HTML and CSS - with a bit of JavaScript sprinkled on top - and worked in teams to develop websites on topics they selected.

Teens - Make your own electronic instrument in the ideaLAB!

UPDATE: Registration for the workshop is now FULL. You are welcome to still fill out the registration form, but you will be placed on a waitlist.

Summer of Tech 2014 is Going to be SO RAD.

Teens! (Parents of teens!) Looking for something to spice up your summer? Bored of lazing around the house? The ideaLAB's Summer of Tech 2014 TECH BLITZ will have have you out of the house and making amazing stuff! 

Mass surveillance, the internet, and you

You may or may not have noticed, but June 5th is Reset the Net day. It's been a year since Edward Snowden leaked documents detailing how broad and far-reaching the National Security Agency surveillance of American's telephone and internet activity is.

Free summer tech camps for teens at DPL!

DPL DevCamp logo

UPDATE 5/14/14: BuildCamp and DevCamp are both at capacity, but you can still register to be placed on the waitlist!

Denver Public Library's ideaLAB is proud to announce two exciting opportunities for tech-minded teens this summer: BuildCamp and DevCamp!

Join Our Toy Hack at the Denver Mini Maker Faire!

The Denver Mini Maker Faire logo

Please join us this May 3rd and 4th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the National Western Complex for the first-ever Denver Mini Maker Faire! Denver Public Library will be in booth 815, hosting a toy hack - Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado has generously donated a mountain of broken toys, and we're inviting you to make something new and exciting out of them to take home (see what our teens made at our last toy hack here)!

Teen Tech Week in the ideaLAB

Teen Tech Week is full of geeky goodness.

Teen Tech Week celebrates everything that you can do at the library besides checking out young adult dystopian paranormal romance mystery novels. This year, the ideaLAB is doing it up in style: from March 10th to March 15th, we have a full week of workshops, where you can do everything from make simple circuits to coding your own Minecraft mod.

All events for Teen Tech Week in the ideaLAB are free and open to anyone ages 12 to 19. Most of them will be held in the ideaLAB on Level 4 of the Central Library. Here's the details:

Electronics Scavenger Hunt! Monday, March 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Come rip apart an old piece of electronics (we’ll have some on hand) and compete in a scavenger hunt to find out what makes it tick!

What is Net Neutrality and Why Should Anyone Care?

No entry sign, courtesy of Elliot Brown on Flickr

On the 14th of this month, the US Court of Appeals for DC Circuit issued a ruling in a case brought by Verizon against the Federal Communications Commission. Verizon was challenging the FCC's attempt to "compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source," as the ruling put it - what is popularly known as "net neutrality." Verizon won. Mostly.

Back in 2010, the FCC adopted the Open Internet Order - a set of rules designed to provide a basic framework for internet service providers (ISPs). It banned content blocking (where an ISP simply blocks subscriber's access to a specific site or type of data) and charging content providers for access to their network (think Comcast charging Netflix to provide its service to Comcast internet subscribers).

hacking, making, and coding at the library

Creation from ideaLAB toy hack

Libraries have always been places where communities come together to learn. Most of that used to happen through print - as more and more of our lives are mediated by bits and circuits, libraries have made the shift as well, making emedia and online research tools readily available. 

A couple of our recent programs in the Community Technology Center and the ideaLAB are taking the next steps: helping people open up the tech they use everyday and see what's inside.

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