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Hackety Hack – The Foundation for a Revolution

Why the lucky stiff is a well known name among most Ruby developers. Many have read his Ruby programming tutorials and seen his spectacular performances (or whatever they are) at RailsConf and elsewhere. Personally, I owe him a lot for Hpricot, the liberal HTML parser (at my government agency we use it to run the quarterly test of all public websites in Sweden). Hpricot is also the default parser for the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit.

The Hackety Hack

Hackety Hack t-shirtHis latest endeavour seemed uninteresting at first. Hackety Hack, a toolbox to teach programming to kids. But after a while it dawned on me. If Ruby on Rails is beginning to make inroads into the Enterprise by challenging web development paradigms, Hackety Hack will in time question many of the programming paradigms taught at universities today.

My first programming class at university was in ML, a functional programming language. I remember that we played with lists a lot. And recursion. Then we made a parser for our own symbolic programming language. I guess that pretty much killed my entrepreneurial spirit for a couple of years.

Kids who learn how to set up a blog in five lines of code, send messages over the internet and play with mp3 files will not accept that. The first kids out of Hackety Hack camp will soon be arriving at universities all over the place. And they will question the curly braces, the semicolons and Arcane ways to make Old programming languages Pleasant.

If I was a university professor I would make sure to have a look at some other programming languages apart from Java and C# (do they teach C# at universities?) before these kids come and ruin my programming classes.

I predict that Sweden will be the last bastion of uninterested software developers. To make some sort of vague statement I have made a Hackety Hack t-shirt for my 2 year old son. I hope he will be at the front lines of the Hackety Hack revolution.

Update: A bunch of people asked me where the highres print came from. The original logo is of course from Why the lucky stiff. Here is the Hackety Hack logo PDF that I created in Inkscape.

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  1. do they teach C# at universities?

    In Lund, the department of informatics has a course called “Modern software development with .NET architecture” where the language used is C#. Needless to say, the computer science department doesn’t have such a thing.