First Day to Code

This post is submitted by Erum Hasan from the YWCA Girls Centre. Erum is a 17 year-old blogger, an active member of the YWCA Girls Council, a long-time member of Hive Toronto and part of the Ca.pture Youth Council. The accompanying illustration is done by youth facilitator and artist Lena Xu.

Our second co-design workshop took place on Saturday, November 5th. We started this session by reviewing our personal goals and those of the project to make sure that our expectations are aligned with the aims of the project. I learned that my personal goals were very similar to that of the other council members, one of them being that we all want to learn to code.

To prepare our group, we began looking at current popular communication apps; while categorizing them based on usability, security, community, and privacy. This was of great significance as we can incorporate the features that are appealing to us in our web-based platform. The tool we will be using for our digital storytelling is Mozilla’s Thimble program. In pairs we were able to “remix” an example, while learning how to manipulate the basic layout, color, font, image, etc. For example, we were able to edit the code in the navigation panel on the left, and then see these changes displayed on the right. This user-friendly aspect allowed us to edit the code in the project without the constant need to go back and forth to see what has changed in our actual work.  My work with Abeer, another Ca.pture Youth Council member, was really important to me because the trial and error process taught me patience and being hopeful, but in the end I learned that little changes in the massive program can be of great impact.

Our goal is to develop a template for other youth to add their own stories to the web-based platform we design. One of the things I am most excited about is to see others post their stories and how we can help this platform grow by collecting feedback. I am looking forward to sharing my technical knowledge with those who are unfamiliar with this web-based plaform. It is definitely a great addition and I can see myself using it for school work as well.

Finally, look out for more blogs from me, as I continue to record my experiences. Also, I would like to thank Lena for the wonderful illustrations of the sessions.

Here is the original Thimble template:

Abeer and I re-coded it and remixed to make this: