Teaching your kids to program

March 8, 2010

About a couple of days ago I came across Microsoft’s SmallBasic (on Scott Hanselman’s blog). It looked like a great way to introduce my 10-year-old to the world of programming. She’s been bugging me for a while to teach her how to code and I’ve always struggled how I would do that using the languages I normally use (i.e. C#, Ruby, JS, etc.) Those languages aren’t really good for a 10-year-old.

SmallBasic’s simplicity and the speed with which a kid can get something up and running is impressive. I sat down with her today to play with it for the first time and the results were nothing short of awesome 🙂 She had never written a line of code in her life and in less than 2 hours she (with my help, but she did all the typing) built a command line calculator. We then spent another hour in which she designed (purely in code) a calculator UI.

She’s really excited to keep going and is already thinking of a slew of features she wants to add to her calculator. Once we’re done with that, I think we’ll move on to building a simple game 🙂

I was so proud of how quickly she picked this stuff up!

If programming is your passion and you have a kid between 10 and 16 years of age that want to learn to program… I would definitely recommend that you take SmallBasic for a test drive. You can also “graduate” your program to Visual Studio (only support VB upgrade) so that you can help them take their coding to the next level 🙂

Happy coding!


StartupDrinks.ca is live!

November 16, 2009

StartupDrinks Canada now has a new home! The new blog is up and running and can be found at http://startupdrinks.ca Waterloo has it’s own tab with all of the information about our next event. You can find that page here.

The next Startup Drinks Waterloo will be held on Dec 1st, 2009. Hope to see you all of you there!

Stupid bomb threat!

September 28, 2009

So… I spent all day getting myself psyched to go to Crossfit today the Workout Of the Day (WOD) today was:

  • 50 Pullups
  • 400m run
  • 21 Thrusters 95lb men / 65lb women
  • 800m run
  • 21 Thrusters 95lb men / 65lb women
  • 400m run
  • 50 Pullups

But the gym was closed due to a bomb threat on King St. of all things… I guess I’ll have to do something else at home. If nothing else I have 28 Burpees to get through 😉

The best chocolate!

September 26, 2009

Yummy!Every once in a while, you come across an individual (or group of people) that take their craft, what ever it might be, to the next level. When you look at at their creations, you can tell without a doubt that not only are they good at what they do, but that they take pride in it and strive for perfection.

Fleur de SelTwo weeks ago, I came across an example of this and lucky for me, this person’s passion is… CHOCOLATE! yay 🙂 I could probably write a very long post describing her chocolate and how good it is, but instead, I’ll let a couple of pictures do the talking and urge you go and visit her at the Kitchener Market and actually taste the product. Katharina is the chocolatier in question, uses all organic, fair trade chocolate. I can’t say enough good things about it.

FleurThe name of her company is Anna Tolazzi. They don’t have a web site just yet, but I’ll post it here once it’s up. In the mean time, if you need to order some chocolate before the next market day. You can reach them at:

1 (519) 342-8264 or Katharina [at] annatolazzi.com

Anna Tolazzi

Startup Drinks Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa – Sep 30th, 2009

September 25, 2009

Our friends in Toronto and Montreal are also holding Startup Drinks (the last Wed of every month). The info is up for this month, and here’s where you find it:


Update: Startup Drinks is on in Ottawa as well:


And don’t forget about Starup Drinks Waterloo taking place on Oct 6th. Info can be found below:

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138061698885

For those without a Facebook account: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/442739245

Crossfit Kitchener – Grand Opening

September 24, 2009

I’ve been doing Crossfit for almost a month now and I’m loving it. It definitely feels like the best workout I’ve ever done. The good people at Crossfit Kitchener are having their grand opening this coming Sat (Sep 26th, 2009) from 1 to 4 pm. Come out and see the memebers do the 300 workout (yes, the workout the actors did to get in shape for the movie).

While there, you can also take part in a free introductory workout.

Rumor has it, there might be a one day discount if you’d like to sign up 😉

See you there!

Startup Drinks Waterloo is on!

September 23, 2009

startup-drinksThe first ever Starup Drinks Waterloo is now a go 🙂 Come out and share a pint with other startup folks. A chance to meet new people, catchup with old friends and talk about what you’re up to, what you might need help with, or anything that crosses your mind…

Where: McMullan’s on King, 56 King St N. Waterloo, ON (map)

When: Oct 6th, 2008 (Tue) starting at 5:30pm to 10pm

Facebook event open to all can be found here. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can always reserve a ticket here. It’s all free!

Please spread the word to anyone that you think would enjoy this event.

Hope to see you there!