Austin, TX is a hot-bed for technology. You can find a user group for just about any technology and purpose meeting almost any day of the week.
And now, there is a group that intersects with giving back to the community and helping the next generation of programmers. Code the Town is a group that does just that. Clear Measure, and other companies, are sponsors of the group. The official description is:
“This is a group for anyone interested in volunteering to teach Hour of Code https://hourofcode.com/us in the Austin and surrounding area school districts. The goal is to get community volunteers to give the age appropriate Hour of Code to every student at every grade level. We want to have our own community prepare students for a technology-based workforce. We also want to build a community of professionals and students that have a passion for coding and teaching. We want to begin the Hour of Code in the high schools first. High school students would then be prepared to teach the younger students. Once this group has momentum, it will be able to form motivated teams and use software projects done for local non-profit organizations to not only reinvest in our community but also to help our youth gain experience in software engineering. Whether you are a student, parent, educator, or software professional, please join our Meet Up! This will be fun! And it will have a profound impact on the next generation.”
The long term vision is to create a sustainable community of professionals, educators, parents, and students that continually gives back to local community organizations through computers and technology while continually pulling the next generation of students into computer programming.
It all starts with some volunteers to teach students the basics of computer programming. In the 1990s, the web changed the world. Now, we have hand-held smartphones and other devices (TVs, bathroom scales, etc) that are connected to computer systems via the internet. In the next decade, almost every machine will be connected to computer systems, and robotics will be a merging between mechanical engineering and computer science. Those who know how to write computer code will have a big advantage in the workforce where the divide between those who build/create and those who service what is created might get bigger than it already has.
Code the Town will focus on introducing students to computer programming and then pull them together with their parents, their teachers, and willing community professionals to work on real software projects for local non-profits. In this fashion, everyone gets something. Everyone gives something, and everyone benefits. If you are interested in this vision, please come to the first meeting of Code the Town by signing up for the Meetup group.