Coding for the lovelorn

by Eva

At our open house last month we offered a series of workshops and games that introduced the many aspects of our work in entertaining and hands-on approaches (see Saturday afternoon at the studio). In the spirit of spreading the love, we decided to show our affection for code by teaching people how to code love poems.

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By titling our workshop «IF yes THEN what?» we were hoping to encourage geeky marriage proposals. Yet unrequited crushes and broken hearts proved to be equally inspiring. The romance aspect offered a fun entry point for people new to the subject, while also challenging advanced coders into being especially clever.

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Prepared with simple examples (PDF) demonstrating the core principles of coding – variables, conditional statements, comparators, loops, functions – we set out to introduce the uninitiated to the world of programming.

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By working together with the participants of all ages – and offering equal amounts of code debugging and relationship counseling skills – the open house produced a big selection of english and french-language code poems. A best-of selection made their way onto the wall in our office and can also be found on ifyesthenwhat.tumblr.com.

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Thanks to Jonathan for running the workshop with me, and thanks to everyone for participating!

If this inspired anyone to learn more about code poetry, here are some good starting points: code {poems} by Ishac Bertan, Program Code Poetry by Florian Cramer, Black Perl by Larry Wall, the code.Poetry() challenge and Instacode (instagram for your code)!

And if this inspired anyone to code their own love poem, our tumblr is open for submissions!

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