How to Attempt a Guinness World Record

On Saturday 13 June, The British Computing Society Women brought together 1093 people across 30 sites in the UK to attempt a Guinness World Record and promoted it as an Appathon. This is what I learnt;

Not getting your first choice can be good.

I signed up to the challenge late. Of course I did. So I ended up at The Crystal one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. Located in east London its somewhere I had never been before. They kindly threw open their doors to their cities exhibition which was fun.


Kids are programmingProgramming Class

With so many articles about skills shortage in the industry, to find myself in a room of kids and their parents who knew tons about programming, lifted my spirits.

I love programming

I had forgotten how much I loved this stuff. For the second time this year BCS had taught me a programming language and boy am I delighted.

Visual programming

Seems to be what the kids are doing. The kids at the challenge had already arrived knowing a variety of programming languages that use drag and drop interfaces. It reminded me of the 12 year old on Finland who gave my team an introduction to Visual Python.

Scratch

This was by far what everyone in the room had been using https://scratch.mit.edu/ It meant that is was a simple step up for world record programming challenge.

You can teach how to code an Android Application in an hour

As we proved with the challenge. Across the UK 33 classrooms and computer rooms were filled with1093 on a overcast Saturday morning all learning to code an app. Which we did.

Great Teaching Material

Splendid well thought out lesson plans by Hannah Dee were certainly key to the success of the challenge. We created a Cat App that meowed on a button push.

WP_002237Everything is in the title

I had thought we were doing a largest Appathon challenge. Microsoft seems to have the set a record in Bangalore for the Appathon in one location. Looking more closely at my certificate I realise we attempted the record for the Largest Programming Lesson (multiple locations).

Results

Everything was filmed and the videos gathered by the officiators. At this stage we are still waiting for the final result.

kavitakapoor

Kavita is an advisor to Micro:Bit Educational Foundation and Tido. She writes about technology and business. She is mostly based in London. You can contact her directly or via twitter (kavitakapoor)