When you’re a developer (or perhaps even a normal power-user), you seem to
acquire a bunch of custom config, scripts, and tools over time. Often, these are
little snippets. A one-liner command alias that you paste into ~/.bashrc. A
custom format for your PS1 prompt. A default setting for Vim.
This year, Computer Science Education Week will be
December 7-13, 2020. In honor of CS Education Week, I wanted to write this blog
post about the first computer game I wrote, and what I learned along the way. I
was about thirteen, and this story picks up near where I left off in my previous
blog post about my first computer program. When I wrote that blog post in 2017, I was
working mostly from memory. Since then, I actually found an old floppy disk
with my game on it. And finding that old floppy disk got me thinking about about
how much I learned from writing computer games in my childhood, and how much
others might be able to learn from writing their own first computer games today.
The Social Dilemma came out about a month
ago and got a lot of people thinking about the influence the internet and social
media have on their daily lives. I’m a programmer, and I’ve worked for an
internet advertising company, so none of this was new information to me. But for
a lot of the American public, watching The Social Dilemma was an eye-opening
experience into the ways that internet companies try to track and manipulate
people. Many of my friends used words like “unsettling” and “eerie” to describe
how they felt after seeing the film, but most of them also weren’t really sure
what to do about it. They weren’t sure how to make positive changes in their own
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