[Bookworm] Hello Ruby - Programming Fundamentals [Age 4+]


Hello Ruby is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.


The story

Ruby is a small girl with a huge imagination. She stomps and stumbles around her own little world while her dad is traveling. On her adventures, Ruby makes friends with the lonely Snow Leopard, visits castles made of windows, and solves problems with the wise penguins. She bakes gingerbreads with the green robots and throws a garden party with... Ruby's world is an extension of the way the author Linda have learned to see technology. It goes far beyond the bits and bytes inside the computer. This is the story of what happens between the ones and zeros, before the arrays and the if/else statements. The book and workbook are aimed for four to seven year olds.

Why this matters?

Code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABC of Programming is imminent. Our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it. More importantly, writing software is about expression, creativity - and practical application. Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn't designed to. Just as they would with crayons and paper or wood and tools.

The Book "Hello Ruby" will be published around August 2014. For more information, please visit helloruby.com.

While waiting for the book to come out, the author Linda Liukas also shared with us a list of interesting resources in her blog. Linda said "Finding the right product or motivation for your kid is the key. You don't need to be a professional developer to get kids started in programming. Many of the products include lightweight curriculums and roadmaps to help the kid learn more."

For the smallest ones (5-8)
For the elementary schoolers (7-12)
For the teenagers and beyond (13 -> )
  • Codecademy. Interactive exercises in the browser for Python, Ruby, JavaScript, HTML (full disclosure, I used to work here!).
  • Codeschool. Dive deeper into different programming languages. 
  • Dash. Learn to make websites with an interactive tutorial. 
  • Coursera. I liked the Startup Engineering course. 
Ruby for children (just because of Ruby)

Books and stories

Curriculum and community

  • Code.org has a very large resource list to try out.
  • Mozilla Webmaker includes tons of tools and guides for building the web.
  • CoderDojo is a global non-profit for starting a coding club for kids. 
  • DIY.org is a community for kids to learn to make things. 
  • CS Unplugged has activities you can do without a computer to teach programming fundamentals.

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