Programming in the Small - Teaching my 5 Year Old Ruby

Short Form


My children are growing up in an age of devices, phones and tablets, that hide so much of the underlying machine. Come with me on my journey to teach my daughter how computers really work, using Ruby and a love for drawing and games as our guides.


My dad’s a programmer, so I grew up with PCs and—more importantly—programming tools my friends didn’t have. I learned early on that text I typed could make these machines do anything I could imagine.

Now I have kids of my own, and as my daughter’s learning letters and arithmetic, I’m scheming to give her similar experiences. Come along on the journey of introducing her to programming. We’ll talk about the software we used, the puzzles and games we made, what worked and what didn’t. Along the way we’ll pick up tips on teaching programming novices of any age.


Ruby, teaching, kids

Speaking experience

This talk has not been given previously.

I've spoken at several Ruby conferences over the past year including Mt. West Ruby, RubyConf, CodeMash and Ruby on Ales.

Slides from prior talks are available at
Videos at