Sunday, April 1, 2012

Can a 57-year-old artist learn to code?

Now that I'm interested in creating apps, I find I cannot get past the art creation and design stage to actually publish one if I'm not competent in coding in a relevant computer language. I would need to hire someone to do so, but I don't even have the competency to decide who is competent enough to program my design of a children's app. Alternatively, I would need to enrol with one to the DIY companies that offer templates for you to plug in your art and interactions. (My favourite of these is Kwiksher.)

Enter Bill Martin, a fellow Vancouverite I met at Dust or Magic's App Camp. He is willing to team up with me on the creation and publication of my design for The King Has Goat Ears, based on the wonderful book by Katarina Jovanovich and Philippe Beha.

But all this hunting around for the means and knowledge to publish an app has made me realize that I need to have at least a passing acquaintance with the subject of coding. A search for a format (book, course, online tutorial?) that my brain will take in has led me back, unsurprisingly, to and Simon Allardice's Foundations of Programming video course. I am actually understanding his teaching, surprising because, to quote Adrian Mole, "I'm an intellectual, but I'm not very bright." Or, like most people, I'm smart in some ways, but thick in others.

But to return to the clever and amiable Bill Martin: he's started a Vancouver meetup for anyone interested in children's apps, and that includes parents, librarians, illustrators, authors, programmers, publishers, designers, teachers - anyone interested in this topic. The first meet and greet is scheduled for April 26, 2012. So check out Northwest Apps for Kids if you'd like to join the discussion.

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