September 9, 2013

Coding Challenge


Maggie: It is estimated that this year, up to 80 billion smartphone apps will be downloaded. In today’s Get Your Geek On, we meet up with a group of students who are adding a few more to that number. Shelby Holliday talks tech with the students. And some of this stuff, I have never even heard of!

Ian McJohn: I know Python…

Ashley Williams: The Sinatra and Reels framework.

Virginia Cook: I think I know Java best.

Shelby: They might sound foreign to you, but these computer languages are actually something you use every day.

Virginia: There’s really nothing these days that you don’t need technology for.

Shelby: What is coding?

Ashley: Coding is writing a set of very specific instructions for a machine to follow to move data. It’s the new literacy. Code runs your life, and you can either understand it or you can be ruled by it.

Shelby: And the more we use devices, the more we rely on code. Right now, about 40% of the world’s population is online. And by the end of this year, there are expected to be more internet-connected devices – like smartphones, tablets and laptops – than there are people in the world. That is why more and more young people are starting to learn how to code.

And what can you do with coding?

Dawson Marcin-Jones: Practically anything on the internet.

Meredith Hoo: I’m pretty much the tech savvy one in my family, so I’m always helping them out.

Shelby: Some teens code to create apps, build websites, or even develop games. But here at this Young Rewired State event, students are working to solve some of New York City’s biggest problems with their keyboards. Their mission was to take data available around New York City and build something. So, the students came up with things like maps that spot graffiti, a directory for local high schools, and an app that locates good restaurants with Wi-Fi.

Virginia: It’s called Wi-Food, and hopefully it’ll be on the app store and it’ll be online soon.

Shelby: After this weekend, will you be able to use this app and go find a restaurant?

Virginia: I think so. I think it definitely has a purpose, and I know that I’ve definitely needed a Wi-Fi hotspot and I’ve just, kind of like, looked around for a Starbucks. But now there’s so many more options, so…

Shelby: Another group used code to help moviegoers.

Ian: We’re working on a project called Rotten Potatoes that allows you to text a movie name to a phone number and get a bit of a summary of the movie and a rating of the movie.

Shelby: So, not rotten tomatoes?

Ian: Rotten Potatoes!

Shelby: The event was held by Young Rewired State, an organization that started in London and has expanded to cities around the world.

Steven Flower: This event is a weekend event for young people to get together, work with computer code and make things out of that – so whether that’s phone apps, websites, visualizations – but, in teams, they make things with data.

Shelby: At the end of the weekend, the students had created fifteen new applications, websites and services.

Virginia: And I think code is so cool because you can make projects that you can really see the results of so quickly. Like, we’re making two fully functional applications in just 24 hours. And I think that’s awesome!

Shelby: Right now, you are helping a city. You hope to someday change the world?

Ian: That’s my goal, really. You could practically solve anything if you just have a few experienced coders with the right motivation.

Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.

Maggie: Apps that can help me find good food and movies? Great work, guys!


2 comments on “Coding Challenge

  1. 2013-9-11-Avery-Miller

    I think the coolest things I’ve coded are my blog (, an android app, and a text-based game I made, I think.


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