Code TN

Client: Great Schools Partnership/Code TN

Concept: To capture the first annual Code TN competition - students learn to engage with the technology around them by making apps that help the community with real-world deadlines.

Deliverables: Two 3-minute videos

Can you imagine a high school not having foreign language courses? Can you conceive of any high school in America not offering Spanish, French, Latin, but not offering the language of the digital age?
— Buzz Thomas, Great Schools Partnership

What excites me about this programming competition is not the fame and glory of the winning team, but rather the creativity that drives everyone involved, from organizers to the high school teams themselves. Each of the interview subjects talked about the reason why they got into coding in the first place, and many of them likened the process to creating a piece of art.

At the end of the day, if you write code and you don’t sit back and say, “Wow, this is a masterpiece,” and invite people in to look at it, you’re not doing it right. Code is an art form. I’ll look at it some times and think “Wow, I really learned something here, I really structured something nice. Man, I really solved a problem.”
— John McCulley, Professional Coder

At the end of the day, I was both motivated and nostalgic. The whole day harkened back to my own formative high school years where I started to take filmmaking seriously, and even tried coding a website for the school's film club using Microsoft FrontPage. And now to see high schoolers discover something that drives them to work hard, to express themselves, to communicate with their teams, to identify their strengths, to help the community, and to get equipped for the jobs of the future - that excites me. And I can't wait to see how this competition unfolds!