Canadian Smalltalk Competition
Canadian Smalltalk Competition
We want to conduct a Canada-wide software competition to further the education of secondary school students.
We want to conduct a Canada-wide software competition to further the education of secondary school students. Read more
About this project
As part of a new and exciting campaign to promote the Smalltalk programming language, we would like to conduct a Canada-wide software competition open to all secondary school students. We need to raise the money for the scholarship prizes, as well as minor advertising costs such as T-shirts, posters and bulk mailing.
Smalltalk is a revolutionary language (created 40 years in the past!) that has the power to transform the future of software development. It promises extraordinary productivity gains for programmers. And it's a superlative educational tool for computer science.
A friend of mine suggested that information scattering is not useful for my campaign. She asked what makes Smalltalk better than other languages. And I provided a capsule answer that I hope is more succinct and in one place:
Ah, the $64,000 question. It would be difficult to summarize in a brief Facebook post. That's why I have an entire non-profit advocacy organization to explain Smalltalk to the world. Nevertheless, I'll try to give it to you in a nutshell. Smalltalk (and its associated programming environment or IDE) is an extremely simple and elegant software development tool that amplifies productivity manifold (typically 3X or 5X). It is simple so it makes it easy to learn; ideal for high school students and even elementary school students. The key element of this enormous power stems from the fact that when you program in Smalltalk, you are dealing with a system of "live" objects that you can inspect and change in real time (i.e., you can actually alter the running code in the debugger and continue execution!!!). This absolutely minimizes the cognitive cycle of programming; hence, the productivity boost. I don't know if this is a satisfactory explanation.
My friend then eloquently summarized what I said as follows: "Smalltalk is a revolutionary simple and efficient way to program that will be more accessible to the general population."
To another friend who asked why not use the most popular language for the competition, I responded:
Yes, an argument can be made about using the most popular language. However, the whole point of my advocacy is that the traditional method of software development that we've used (and refined) since the days of C/C++ and Java is antediluvian and inefficient. I do not deny that we've refined this beast to the highest order. Nevertheless, software engineering can be dramatically improved by going back to basics, back to simplicity, and paying attention to the humanistic process of programming. That's what Smalltalk is all about.
If this competition is successful, it will gain wide recognition and in the process raise the profile of Smalltalk. Moreover, as a proof of concept, it will serve as a model for similar competitions in other countries. At least, that is my hope.
Be a part of this future! Help make it happen.
Who am I?
I'm a retired software developer who works pro bono for worthy causes. I created these websites, The Good Sex Network and StressRelief, for Dr. Frank Sommers, as well as the associated mobile apps (iOS, Android). I assisted Dr. Sommers with his book on stress management. With solid experience in the mental health field under my belt, I turned my attention to the education field (raising scholarship money).
I'm working closely with David Buck of Simberon in Ottawa, a member of Smalltalk Renaissance, to bring this competition to life.
Why a software competition?
The importance of programming language support cannot be overstated. The continuing vitality of the IT industry depends on inspiring a new generation of coders who will write the applications that will drive the digital economy. This is why organizations such as Codecademy and Code.org, using pitchmen like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to encourage coders, have sprung up recently.
Please contribute to the future education of our students. You can help in two ways:
- Provide scholarships for up to twelve winning students.
- Incentivize the next generation of software developers to learn Smalltalk, the most productive programming environment ever created.
No Corporate Sponsors Yet
In our websites, we have shown corporate logos for the purpose of illustration only. Actual sponsors who contribute $5,000 or more will get their logos published at our sites and be added to a donor list of "Platinum Contributors."
Rewards for Backers
In addition to the rewards shown on the right, all backers may play this little game at Come Play With Me and uncover a secret about me!
But the best part is that the first 50 personal donors of $20 or more will receive a free copy of an Android app that will change their lives! This is the health app that everyone should be using. Although it costs $2.99 at Google Play, its true value is beyond measure. Our thanks to Dr. Frank Sommers for his generosity (I wrote the app for him).
Risks and challenges
The key challenge is to notify all secondary school students across Canada about the competition. We will try our best using social media and contacting various schools or school boards. Otherwise, we do not foresee any difficulties.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The software competition is a team-based event. Teams may comprise up to four students. While a team may have fewer than four members, against other full teams it may have a competitive disadvantage. But that's not our call. We wish smaller teams the best of luck.
Support this project
- (30 days)