My 13 year old daughter, Alyssa, has shown a little more interest in the computer than her older sister and she seemed like she might be a good candidate for pulling into the world-o-programming so I ran down to the company store the other day and bought her a copy of VC#. She dutifully installed it and then said, “so what does this do?”
“You can write your own programs!”
After about 3 minutes of explaining to her what a program is (can you believe that someone who has been using a computer for years doesn’t know what a program is…I guess I’m supposed to consider this a good thing) I opened up C# and created a simple winform app. I created a button and when you clicked the button it displayed a message box. Cool!
We compiled and ran it and it worked! She was minorly impressed.
I then added a textbox to the winform and set the message in the dialog box to the text entered in the textbox. She was more impressed! And with a tear in my eye she pulled the laptop from my lap and she wanted to do something.
That is where it all went downhill.
She looked over the toolbox quickly and dragged a datagrid control onto her winform. It was sized about 5 pixels by 5 pixels … so it basically looked like an unintelligable tic-tac-toe game. With a little help from me she got it sized so that it was semi-intelligable.
“What do I do with it?” she asks.
“Well, you should have a dataset that it is bound to, but we don’t have a database…we’ll just create a DataTable real quick.“
So I started trying to explain tables and columns and rows and types while I re-grabbed the laptop from her lap and started manually filling in a DataTable and…
…someone turned the TV on.
DataSets couldn’t compete with Kim Possible.
While she basically ignored me I created 2 columns and 3 rows of data about pets and after a couple compile errors I managed to get something up and running. She nodded over in my direction and said, “yeah, cool Dad,“ which was her polite way of saying “whatever.“
My dreams of coming home to my daughter meeting me at the door with news of the latest feature she added to her super-gizmo application were slowly dying. I was hoping at least one of my children would become an asocial nerd.
But then it dawned on me! I’ll get her a book!