Diversity in Programming: Code Camps Provide Collaborative Learning Opportunities in Computer Programming Languages
By Imad Al Saeed, Ph.D., College of Information Systems and Technology
Diversity Day is April 10, 2013 and in honor of the day, CTU is presenting a blog series from faculty in various program areas to highlight the importance of understanding diversity. In this post, Dr. Imad Al Saeed shares how Code Camps enable learning of diverse programming languages.
Learning new programming languages is one of the most important skills that any computer science or Information Technology student has to master. For many students, studying solely via textbook is challenging and time consuming. Studying through textbooks alone is also typically inadequate at teaching the complicated scientific concepts used in computer programming. A collaborative teaching environment called Code Camp may be one of the most effective methods for learning innovative new computer programming concepts.
Many of the world’s greatest ideas have been born through collaboration - a key basis for the creation of Code Camps. Code Camps encourage diversity, collaboration and entrepreneurship, allowing camp attendees to develop programming skills within a “learn by doing” atmosphere.
What’s a “Code Camp?”
A Code Camp is a community event hosted collaboratively by various program developers to simplify the process of learning new programming languages. The term “code” refers to the programming code used to develop new software applications. “Camp” is a reference to the programmers who attend, coming together from different cultures and communities to discuss innovative programming ideas.
During Code Camps, programmers work together, sharing responsibilities such as lecturing classes, brainstorming new ideas, translating those ideas into programs, and solving specific programming problems.
This is not your typical Microsoft or other software application demonstration or sales event. Almost anyone can attend and speak at a Code Camp. They occur on weekends and are free of charge, sponsored and supported by businesses with an interest in reaching computer programmers. Many learning sessions surrounding computer programming are held during the camps. Each session is approximately 75 minutes long, with 60 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes of Q & A.
Code Camps offer an amazing opportunity – two days of face-to-face instruction time with developers who work using a variety of programming languages such as SQL, ASP.NET, PHP, Java, Web Design, Visual Studio and more.
As a result of these events, students:
- Work in groups to solve specific programming problems.
- Learn diverse programming skills.
- Interact and collaborate together.
- Become critical thinkers.
- Use a variety of technologies to solve programming problems.
- Deliver working prototypes during the end of the event.
Colorado Technical University has sponsored, supported and hosted several Code Camp events at our South Dakota campus, bringing professional programmers from diverse backgrounds in Sioux Falls to present the newest technology and introduce the best practices in software development to our students.
Imad Al Saeed, Ph.D, graduated from Colorado Technical University with a doctorate of Computer Science in Emerging Media. He also holds a Master of Science in Software Engineering and a B.S in Computer Engineering. Dr. Al Saeed currently serves as Program Director of Information Technology at CTU.
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Image credit: Flickr/Martin Gratzer