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Alumni Interview: Abby Howell


Meet Abby Howell. Abby first became interested in computer programming while working with Deaf children and using Scratch, a visual programming language for kids developed at MIT. Here’s her story.

What were you doing before you came to GA?

I was a teacher of Deaf children with special needs. I taught for five years at the middle school level and one year of elementary school. I was teaching my students to use Scratch to make little games and was struck by the creative potential and started using Scratch for my own projects. I used Scratch to build teacher tools, interactive science simulations, self-grading quizzes, vocabulary practice games, all kinds of things. I started using Scratch to solve Project Euler problems on the weekends. I bought books about programming and started teaching myself JavaScript. I wanted to learn a real programming language but I didn’t know where to start. I knew a lot of software developers but they had all taught themselves programming when they were kids, and none of them seemed to know how to teach programming or how I could go about learning it.

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