Pretty quickly into my Happenstance residency I realised that most people I spoke to would love to learn to code if they had such an opportunity.
I started running a weekly lunchtime coding workshop so that the Lighthouse team and other people in the building could try it out - it was free and we started from absolute zero. No prior knowledge necessary.
The aim wasn't to turn them into programmers. I wanted to instill a little bit of the hacker mentality: trying things out, being curious, breaking things, knowing how to learn new things and look for help.
The first session was about how the web works, and discovering HTML. We used Mozilla's X-ray Goggles to peek at the code of popular websites. The attendees then proceeded to deface the BBC and Daily Mail sites. I was very proud.
Once we finished making simple websites, we played with Arduinos and built a simple light controlled theremin. After that we did circuit bending (no code, I know) and a brief intro to Processing - mainly manipulating data from the built in cameras. I also got to show off my new Kinect and what you can do with it in Processing.
→ Friday Code Club