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February 10, 2012 AT 10:32 am

How One Kitchen Table in Brooklyn Became a School for Coders

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How One Kitchen Table in Brooklyn Became a School for Coders @ The Atlantic.

Every week at a kitchen table in Brooklyn, coders Amit Pitaru and David Nolen host a salon/workshop called Kitchen Table Coders, bringing together a small group of people to discuss and study one subject at a time.

“We modeled it after our ideal teaching environment,” Pitaru says about the genesis, “which means we only take as many students as can fit around our kitchen table (a maximum of five, because the small number is ideal for group-thinking). The seating arrangement is important, as we all get to talk and look at each other rather than face a big projection on a wall.”
Pitaru adds, they avoid too many guiding rules: “the driving one being that we’re only allowed to teach things that we’re wildly excited about that week. This means that often workshops are only conceived days before they are run.” In fact, some of the workshops are so esoteric that almost no-one shows up, but others form long wait-lists.

Anything related to Javascript or iPhone is a big hit. But a close second is teaching creative people how to code for the first time. “The goal is to introduce the craft to people that are specifically visually or musically minded rather than mathematically so,” Pitaru says. “We use great open-source tools like Processing and Open-Frameworks that were made specifically by creative-coders for creative-coders.”

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3 Comments

  1. I like that! Of course, as a Community fan, I’m pre-disposed 😉

    They need a Chevy Chase in there.

  2. This is awesome. We’re currently doing a C class at Bloominglabs (Bloomington IN’s hackerspace) that has the same environment. Now I want to make it a regular thing.

  3. Ha, These will be your most favorite times! in the early days it started in the garage, now they start in the kitchen!

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