Geek Harvest
Parents + Kids + Summer + User Groups

About Geek Harvest

We are software developers, and we belong to programming user groups. We have varying skill levels. We know different languages. We think and feel that social coding (coding with a group for fun) is the best way to learn. All of us were once kids, and we know that code (at it’s best) is great play.

Some of us have kids. We often try to fence-off our professional lives as a way to protect our family time. Geek Harvest is an experiment for us to open the fence (for the summer) and bring our kids into the world of coding-for-fun. As parents, we teach our kids how to play chess, fish, plant seeds, knit, throw a ball, and cook. Why not software? Why not how to code?

What language could you learn with your daughter or son this summer?

Could you write a game?

Could you look up RFC 2616 and build a web server from scratch?

Is there a civic-minded project that needs building?

Whether your kids are five-years-old or teenagers, coding-for-fun will help you see each other’s minds in a new way. Our bet is everyone will come out a bit smarter and closer.

The “harvest” part is where your user group reserves the September meeting for a show-and-tell presentation from its parent-kid teams.

A Recipe

Below is a recipe/template that has worked well for user groups in previous years.

Dear GroupXYZ Members!

This summer (May-September) we are going to participate in Geek Harvest (more info here). Geek Harvest is a bit like bring-your-kid-to-work day except it lasts all summer and it's much more fun.

The one-liner:
"Parents in the group, bring your kids to some meetings, pick a summer coding project, and show-and-tell your work to the group at the September meeting."

Interested parents, here's how to participate:

  • Bring your kid(s) to a meeting and declare your team.
  • Pick a fun summer project to code with your team. Think of how your team can show-and-tell the project to the whole group in September.
  • Show up to as many of the summer meetings as you can with your team, and report your progress.
  • In August, sign up for a timeslot to show-and-tell in the September meeting. A block of 5-15 minutes works great.
  • In September, Geek Harvest teams will present (show-and-tell) their projects. It can be pure talk, slides, code walk-through, demo or a combination of any of these.

  • Your group is welcome to use this recipe as-is, or modify it. Either way, you don't need our permission. Geek Harvest is just an idea, and this site is simply a place to introduce folks to the idea. We would love to hear if your group adopts Geek Harvest, and how it goes. We are happy to add your user group to our Twitter list, cheerlead, and pass along your good ideas for other to use.

    Comments and Questions

    We look forward to your ideas, comments, or questions. You can always ping us on Twitter, but if your message requires more than 140 characters, please use the form below.