My name is Yuka Hashimoto and I am a Talent Acquisition Program Specialist at VMware Tokyo. Last month, I decided to use some of my service-learning hours to volunteer at a programming class for kids hosted by the Professional Services team in Japan. The class was a product of the Japanese Coder Dojo an initiative aimed at introducing basic programming skills to kids.
The class started with the definition of programming. The instructor introduced basic programing concepts through an unplugged activity – a drawing game. Then the kids were also taught basic coding by making them create omikuji which are random fortunes written in strips of paper usually used in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Finally, they developed a Tetris game through easy coding with the help from a member of the Professional Services team. They were taught techniques on how to customize their Tetris screen or blocks, such as the color and size. I even saw a boy chatting with his co-participant sitting next to him, trying to maximize the Tetris playing screen by customizing codes. It seems they had the most fun with the session, they were asked to present their works in front of the class. A boy raised his hand and said, “I worked out how to make the screen bigger. Step five which is rotating the block was hard, but I want to continue working on it at home!”
Technical account manager, Jumpei Matsuhashi whose son participated in this class said he watched his son with nervous excitement, adding, “My son said he enjoyed programing and now he wants to play a programming game at home. We are planning to participate in the next class as well.”
I believe the tech industry and VMware in particular is always seeking a way to make the world a better place with technology. Although I don’t have hands-on experience with technology, participating in this programming class with kids has made me realize why I like working at VMware.
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