Teaching Kids Under Drinking Age Computer Programming

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Probably the most popular question during Java technical interviews is “What’s the difference between abstract classes and interfaces”.  In my own three year old book I’ve offered the following answer: “An abstract class may contain code in method bodies, which is not allowed in an interface.With abstract classes you have to inherit your class from the abstract one because Java does not allow multiple inheritance. On the other hand, you can implement multiple interfaces in your class.” But starting from Java 8 this answer is wrong. This is how I’d answered it now: “Both abstract classes  and interfaces allow you to implement common static methods while leaving the implementation of some methods to other classes. Abstract classes can also have instance-specific methods and they enforce vertical inheritance hierarchy.  Interfaces can’t have instance methods, but they... (more)

Teaching Kids Programming: Even Younger Kids Can Learn Java

My solution to the problem? I've written my own e-book on it: Java Programming for Kids, Parents and Grandparents. Dave became my first kid student and this has helped me a lot to understand the mentality of the little people. This is what I've learned while working on this project: Most of the programming tasks require minimal knowledge of arithmetic and algebra skills. To start programming, a kid needs to understand what x = y+2 means. Another important concept to understand is an if statement.   Kids develop the abstract reasoning abilities by the fourth-fifth grade, and they also easily perform such tasks as browsing the Web, downloading and installing software. Dave have learned how to type, compile and run Java programs in Eclipse IDE in no time.   Kids learn much faster than adults, but they do not have "previous programming experience", which may actually be... (more)

Aspect-Oriented Programming and You

One of the coolest parts of the new SproutCore View layer is its ability to use aspect-based programming to add behaviors to views. Aspect-based programming is built on the premise that often objects that don’t follow from the same class hierarchy may in fact need similar behaviors. This is especially true in GUI programming when designers come to you and say something like “I came up with this new widget - it looks kind of like a progress bar but it acts like a button when you click on it”. In SproutCore, you capture these common behaviors in a “mixin”.  A mixin is just a collection or properties and methods that are added to your class when you define it.  The view layer will actually look for specific hooks on your mixin so that you can automatically hook into the drawing engine, listen for events, etc.  It’s very powerful. Take the example above: with the button... (more)

Java for Kids - Episode #0

One day my son Davey-steamboat showed up in my office with my rated “R” Java tutorial in his hands. He asked me to teach him programming so he could create computer games. At that time I’ve already written  a couple of books on Java and taught multiple classes about computer  programming, but all of this was for grownups!  A search on Amazon could not offer anything but books for dummies, but Davey is not a dummy! After spending hours on Google I found either some poor attempts to create Java courses for kids, or some reader-rabbit-style books. Guess what? I decided to write one.  To help me understand the mentality of the little  people, I decided to ask  Davey to become my first kid student. This series will be useful for the following groups of people •    Kids from 11 to 18 years old •    School computer teachers •    Parents who want to teach their kids programming... (more)

Disney Brands a Netbook

It had to happen. Only the timing seems a bit off because of the recession. But there's gonna be a Disney netbook, a "Netpal" for 6-12 year-olds, made by netbook pioneer Asustek and selling for $350 at Toys "R" Us starting in late July. A version with more storage and a longer battery will go through Amazon.com and other retailers. The widget should go international by the end of the year. It's based on Atom and XP with an 8.9-inch screen, 16GB or 160GB of storage, Wi-Fi, integrated web cam, heavy parental controls and a cutesy user interface. ... (more)

Advanced Introduction to JavaScript

Some software developers have an impression that JavaScript is a second-league interpreted language with the main purpose of making Web pages a little prettier. The reality is different though. JavaScript is a powerful, flexible, dynamically typed language that supports object-oriented programming. JavaScript functions are the first class citizen that can live their own lives as opposed to Java’s methods. HTML5 has become the new buzzword, but 80% of development time on such projects is spent writing JavaScript code. This presentation is a super-intensive overview of the modern JavaScript programming language. I’ve recorded this screencast for the Fifth Annual Farata Symposium on Software Development. Readers of my blog who want to enroll into my 6-session hands-on online course on JavaScript should use the promotional code yakov.js to get 30% off the tuition.  ... (more)

Students from Hong Kong Win Title of ‘World Champs’ in Microsoft Office

Certiport today named Fung Yin Sang, 20, and Fu Shing Kong, 18, from Hong Kong this year’s World Champions in Word 2003 and Excel® 2003 for culmination of the most prolific competition on Microsoft® Office to date. In its eighth year, the 2009 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office boasts more than 80,000 student competitors hailing from 53 countries who participated in rounds of local, country and regional competitions—capped by the Championship Round in Toronto, Canada. “Right now I feel very excited,” said Word winner Fung Yin Sang. Notwithstanding his victory, he said he still has more to learn on the Microsoft Office suite of applications. He plans to learn even more about them. “Actually this was unexpected,” said Excel winner Fu Shing Kong. “I didn’t think I could beat so many strong candidates.” Go to the Certiport channel at www.youtube.com/user/certip... (more)

Thai Student Wins Title of ‘World Champ’ for Microsoft Office Word 2007 in Competition Hosted by Certiport

Certiport today named Kankawin Kowsrihawat, 17, from Thailand this year’s World Champion in Word 2007 for culmination of the most prolific competition on Microsoft® Office to date. In its eighth year, the 2009 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office boasts more than 80,000 student competitors hailing from 53 countries who participated in rounds of local, country and regional competitions—capped by the Championship Round in Toronto, Canada. “After I heard I was the winner, I was very glad,” said Kankawin Kowsrihawat. Once graduated from high school, he plans to continue his education where he will study computer science. Go to the Certiport channel at www.youtube.com/user/certiportcomms to view video footage from the Gala award ceremony and interview with the World Champion. Print-quality photos of this year’s winners along with images from Gala can be previewed a... (more)

Taiwanese Student Wins Title of ‘World Champ’ in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 in Competition Hosted by Certiport

Certiport today named Wen Hsiu Liu, 26, from Taiwan this year’s World Champion in Excel® 2007 for culmination of the most prolific competition on Microsoft® Office to date. In its eighth year, the 2009 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office boasts more than 80,000 student competitors hailing from 53 countries who participated in rounds of local, country and regional competitions—capped by the Championship Round in Toronto, Canada. “I want to help other students learn to use Excel when I return to Taiwan,” said Wen Hsiu Liu who was the first ever student from Taiwan to win the Worldwide Competition. Go to the Certiport channel at www.youtube.com/user/certiportcomms to view video footage from the Gala award ceremony and interview with the World Champion. Print-quality photos of this year’s winners along with images from Gala can be previewed and downloaded at: w... (more)

Submitted a proposal to IoT track at Cloud Expo New York

In June a large expo and a conference Cloud Computing comes back Javits Center in Manhattan. This year it includes a new track Internet of Things, which promises to be “The Next Big Thing”. In our company we have enough of early adopters of anything related to software development, and we’d like to present what we can do in this field. Here’s the proposal I just submitted to the IoT Expo: ABSTRACT Case Study. IoT In The Field Force Automation From software development perspective IoT is about programming “things”, about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. This case study will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform t... (more)

Mixed Feelings and Java for Kids

Nine years ago I’ve written an e-book “Programming in Java for kids, parents, and grandparents“. If was a self-published book, which I offered for downloads free of charge. A year later fellow software developers from France translated it to French. Last year, a group of developers from Eastern Europe translated it to Russian language. All these versions are available for free, and I’m really glad that non-programmers of all ages can start learning this widely-used programming language without the need to have any serious background in programming. Today, I got a message that my book is pretty popular among Russian-speaking people. The Russian translation of my eBook is #2 with 13667 downloads from this site, and the original English version is #13 in this bestellers list. Only Herbert Schild is ahead of me at this point. Yay, time to celebrate! But there is a bitt... (more)