‘Pragmatic Programmer’ Dave Thomas to be Guest Speaker at iCode Inc. 2nd Anniversary Celebration

DALLAS – May 19, 2017iCode., offering after-school, weekend and summer programs that provide science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education to students in first through 12th grades, today announced that Dave Thomas, best-selling author, software developer and consultant, one of the original creators of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and member of the iCode Advisory Board, will be the guest speaker at iCode’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration, taking place Friday, May 26, at the iCode Frisco campus.

Thomas is a best-selling author of numerous influential books, articles and videos on computer programming. He is co-author with Andy Hunt of The Pragmatic Programmer, and responsible for the popularity of the Ruby programming language and the Rails framework, which have changed the face of the programming industry. Thomas also serves as an adjunct professor of computer science at Southern Methodist University and recently joined the iCode Advisory Board. He studied at the Imperial College London and moved to the United States in 1993. He currently lives in North Dallas.

“I became interested in computer programming education because I was so distressed about how programming skills are taught,” said Thomas. “All too often the magic and excitement are taken away, to be replaced with rote learning and tedium.”

He went on to say that programs such as iCode, which focus on growing local computer talent, are not only good for the United States, but also good for the students who are gaining the necessary skills for a rewarding career.
“I really respect the people who run iCode and I like the fact that the program is solid. It’s not just teaching at the surface level, but teaching kids to be real programmers,” he added.

iCode’s courses use agile approaches to provide computer science and robotics instruction in a fun and creative environment. Students not only receive coding instruction, but also learn how to work in a cooperative environment, using critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“Critical thinking is a pivotal element in all the lessons we teach at iCode,” said Abid Abedi, co-founder and CEO of iCode. “We want to help prepare students to contribute and stand out among the growing number of workers seeking employment in our increasingly global economy.”

As part of the anniversary celebration, approximately 65 iCode students will receive certificates of completion to mark their accomplishments over the past year. Before taking the stage, students will write out what they hope to accomplish at iCode in the coming year and make their predictions for the next “up-and-coming” technology. These goals and predictions will be placed into a time capsule to be opened a year from now.

For more information about iCode, its Summer Boot Camps and other programs, visit icodeschool.com.

About iCode Inc.

Based in Dallas, iCode. was founded in April 2015 and provides instruction in an exciting and unique learning environment that resembles a high-tech campus. iCode offers after-school, weekend and summer programs in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) courses in computer programming, robotics, and innovation for students from first through 12th grades. Its courses use agile approaches to teach students the latest in robotics and embedded technologies. iCode students not only control and play with artificial intelligence technology, they actually learn how it works. iCode also offers adult boot camps to help adult learners obtain new technology skills for the workplace. For more information about offerings and enrollment, visit iCodeschool.com. 

Media Contact for iCode

Linda Graham
The Power Group

To Hack or Not to Hack?

In today’s society, more and more opportunities are becoming available for careers in computer science. The demand for young talent in these fields is steadily growing as corporations become aware of the potential of the new generation. Fields such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, and Internet of Things rapidly expanding and present great career opportunities for those who specialize in those fields. Despite the growing need for able-minded technicians in these areas, public school systems are doing little to encourage or compensate.
Many students struggle in the areas of mathematics and science, and those that excel in those subjects are not often given ample room for growth. In addition, many schools do not offer many classes for engineering or technology, especially primary and secondary schools. The education industry is slowly starting to catch up, but it will be many years before well-developed curriculums centered around STEM are widely used. However, there are many other ways for young students to get involved with STEM.
Hackathons, sometimes called hacks for short, are a great way for anyone to build and learn new things. In a hackathon, teams of two to five people put their heads together to design and build a solution to a predefined real-world problem. Both inexperienced and experienced participants work together in a friendly, competitive environment to exercise all aspects of STEM. Usually, there are experienced mentors who have strong backgrounds in a STEM career to help refine the projects and provide positive criticism.
Anyone who participates is guaranteed to learn new things, and winning a hack looks great on a résumé. The winners of the competitions are also awarded with internship opportunities among other things. When I participated in my first hackathon, I worked with people I had not known previously to build a device designed to optimize waste management. I had no experience going in, however I was able to work with a team of some very talented entrepreneurs to combine our ideas, and we ended up winning 2nd place. iCodeHack 2017 http://icodeinc.com/news/tabid/194/post/917/competition-heats-up-in-frisco-for-weekend-ihack-event is a great example of a hack which was created for elementary, middle and high school students.
No matter how much experience one has with STEM, participating in hackathons are a great way to broaden one’s horizons and acquire the skill set needed to work in a field of Computer Science.
Eric Krekeler
Lead Lab Mentor, iCode