The Flying Developer

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21 Apr 2010
The Flying Developer is a Mentor

My XO Laptop](

Over the last couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of a pair of XO Laptops at my disposal. The XO is the result of the One Laptop Per Child project, founded by Nicholas Negroponte. The device itself is a real marvel of design and engineering, and I’ve had great fun hacking around with it.

The reason I am able to do this is because I am a volunteer mentor for OCRI, the Ottawa Center for Research and Innovation. In a nutshell, their remit is to promote Ottawa as a prime candidate for software and other technology companies to set up shop in. To quote from their website:

Our Vision for 2010 is to make Ottawa recognized as one of the most innovative cities worldwide.

One of the things OCRI does  is run a high-school program to encourage students to consider a career in the technology sector. That’s where the XO laptops and I come in.

Over the course of 12 or so weeks, myself and other industry professionals (I feel like such a fraud calling myself a ‘professional’) go into classrooms around Ottawa and mentor the students as they design, create and test an educational game for the XO laptop platform. The idea is that these projects will become available over the internet to teachers in Africa whose schools are part of the OLPC project and that they in turn can pass the games on to their students.

The students at the school I’m mentoring in are currently preparing presentations on their game designs, and I’m really excited to see what they come up with. I hope to post follow-up articles over the coming weeks describing some of the challenges of programming for the XO, as well as neat things the students manage to pull of. I already have a post in the works on mesh networking which I will be putting up later this week.

Thanks for reading! If you like my writing, you may be interested in my book: Healthy Webhook Consumption with Rails

David at 10:44


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