Inspirational OSCON keynote

Nat Torkington lives in New Zealand and has spent the last couple of years volunteering as a sysadmin, computer club organizer, and teacher at his local primary school. He shares his experiences of teaching programming to 8-12 year olds in his blog (and also on O’Reilly Radar) as well as in this inspirational talk from OSCON 2008. His conclusion, a call to arms for geeks everywhere to help their local schools, is inspirational. But I was struck in particular by his observation that girls in this age group are better than boys in most skills required to be successful programmers: what happens between primary school and University that so drastically reduces their interest in ICT and, by extension, the other sciences?

A video of Nat’s keynote, hosted at is syndicated here:

OSCON 2008 Keynotes

Today was first day back “at work” and I’ve spent much of it catching up on OSCON 2008, O’Reilly’s annual open source conference, which was this year held in Portland Oregon between July 21-25. Greg Pollack of the RailsEnvy Podcast has made a nice video introduction to the conference (OSCON in 37 minutes) in which he gets various luminaries and speakers to introduce their talks and so provide a nice lead-in to the presentations, most of which are on-line, and the keynotes which were video-recorded and made available for syndication via