As soon as our students saw the spinning psychedelic kaleidoscope of color they new this would not be an ordinary Skype chat with just any old ordinary programmer. Andrew Stone, software guru developer and creator of Twittelator skyped with students of TLCoding Lab to help inspire and build community around computer science, as part of a new inspirational series TLTalks developed by Academic Excellence@TL. Stone's chat about coding was as creative and artful as many of the programs he developed throughout his illustrious career; including sharing with our students his simple and fun psychedelic animations he created with his Videator app-that creates special effects to pics, videos, and movies!
Stone immediately connected with our students by whimsically taking his webcam to show the class his development studio high up in a castle tower that he design at his home in New Mexico. Early in Stone's career he was an architect and his discussion was very visual and conceptual which made it even more interesting for the beginning programmers, and also engaging for our more advanced programmers. Among the many ideas and insights he shared was his concept of "Coding is a group activity." It was most surprising as our students, especially in the very beginning steps of coding, considered programing as the stereo-typed--an almost solitary pursuit of a lone programmer hacking away, sipping Mountian Dew, into the wee hours of the morning. Stone shared that programmers work and collaborate in a variety of teams from technical to marketing. Stone emphasize working your great idea even if it is a silly simple one...creatively and collaboratively ...then mapping it out ...finally begin coding, and "that's how an app makes a million bucks like many of the silly ones we read about... like the flatulence app!"
"Do what you love and it won't be work....just as Confucius did", encouraged Stone. Clearly, he loves what he does and his success followed throughout his brilliant long career in software development. Stone's nuts and bolts discussion was made accessible the awesomeness of his expertise, fun creativity, engaging visuals, and especially his genuine laid-back cyber cool stream of consciousness and his easygoingness . He also shared that a primary reason he develops for Apple is that deployment is much easier cross- platform cell, tablet, desktop. Students also learned that Stone brings his creativity to many things in his life and career including: programming, writing, volunteerism, and various projects including raising chickens that live below his castle tower at his home. Our hats-off to Andrew Stone for his generosity and cool conversation, creativity and coding with our community in TLCoding Lab.