I gave a wee talk on the raspberry pi at techmeetup Aberdeen last night. Thanks to Bruce, James and the sponsors for having me.

My talk very much focussed on the implications of introducing ‘proper’ computers to young people, and giving them access to simple computing from an early age.

My eldest son, Dugald, will be 4 on Sunday. I’m sure that’s well below the target age for the Pi. We’ve had the Pi a few weeks and he can already log on to a linux box. He still gets N and H mixed up sometimes, but he can log onto a linux box.

pi

I was barely able to write a for loop at 14. He has 10 years on me. If he decides to pursue an interest in computing / code he has TEN years on me. By the age of 25 he could have TWENTY years coding under his belt. Get your 10,000 hours? Pah!

The discussion was lively, and I think one comment in particular, about dilbert being ‘diagnosed’ as an engineer, has huge implications.

If every child is given experience of computing, the ones who have an affinity with it will be able to explore, start early, and build an intuitive relationship with the computer. Those that don’t will move on to something else. It’s a nice thought that the Rasp Pi makes it more likely that these kids will experience Linux, Open Source, and the Maker ethic when first experiencing computers – rather than some closed down, dumbed down environment ‘for kids’. I’m looking at you VTech.

Here are my slides from the talk. If the video appears I’ll link it here later.