Teens learning web development at the library: DevCamp wraps up!
Here's links to the sites the teens developed. They did astounding work - especially when you keep in mind that these groups had only six days and the majority of them started with zero knowledge of HTML or CSS. The diversity of subjects, approaches to design, and the teens' eloquence when talking about their work were absolutely amazing.
None of this would have happened without the fantastic group of mentors who participated in DevCamp. Each team was paired with a working professional who generously donated their time and expertise, and there is literally no way in the world we could ever thank them enough:
- Michaella Dirkes, Freelance Designer/Developer
- Chris Holder, Freelance Designer/Developer
- Yasu Hotta, City of Denver Technical Services Applications
- Jonathan Spencer, partner at BLKDG
- Spencer Williams IV, back-end developer
Alongside all the coding, we also took field trips to Galvanize and City and County of Denver Technology Services to see what it looks like to work as a professional developer, and listened to guest speakers Michael Arestad from Automattic (the guys who make WordPress) and our own Angela Sigg on what it is like to actually move a website from development to production. Thanks to all of these amazing people for taking the time to talk to our group! I'd also be remiss if I didn't also thank Cake Crumbs Bakery for donating cupcakes for our final party and Codepen (a front-end playground for web developers) for donating pro accounts for our instructors during the camp.
While we had a ton of fun, what I'm most excited about is to see what these young people do in the future. We did a survey at the end of camp, and 71% of the teens said they can see themselves working in web development, over 90% feel comfortable using HTML and CSS, and 91% of them have decided that coding is fun. (Also, only one attendee disagreed with the statement "The library is rad," which should renew any faith you may have lost in the youth of today.) These teens did some amazing work - watch out for them in the future!
We plan on repeating DevCamp in the future - if you're interested in activities like this (or know a teen who might be), please keep your eye on Denver Public Library's teen website and the ideaLAB tumblr.