Creating a learnable and inclusive programming language
Software is playing an increasing role in everyone’s lives, and therefore it is important (and fun!) for kids to become creators in the digital world. However, existing programming languages are not necessarily designed for learnability, with cryptic error messages and a lack of easily accessible resources. In this talk, Felienne will outline what issues existing tools have, and how these issues disproportionally affect underrepresented minorities in programming including girls, kids with disabilities and non-English learners.
She will then outline her story of inventing and creating Hedy, an inclusive, multi-lingual and gradual programming language for learners. Hedy is open source, runs in the browser, is free to use, and available in 47 different languages (Including English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi). Hedy was launched in early 2020 and now serves about 300.000 monthly users (Try it for free at hedy.org)
Felienne is a professor of Computer Science Education at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She also works as a high-school CS teacher one day a week at Lyceum Kralingen in the Codasium program.
Felienne is the creator of the Hedy programming language, a gradual and multi-lingual programming language designed for teaching.
She is the author of “The Programmer’s Brain”, a book that helps programmers understand how their brain works and how to use it more effectively. In 2021, Felienne was awarded the Dutch Prize for ICT research. She also has a biweekly tech column on BNR, a Dutch radio station.
Felienne blogs at felienne.com