03/02/2022 Introduction to JavaScript TechShop Recap

Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman

Illustration of a young woman looking at a laptop with javascript code in the bakground
Gayathri Parthasarathy, a principal software engineer with Medtronic, is no stranger to programming. Software is a huge part of what she does in her day-to-day job. She heads up software development for the Gastrointestinal Hepatology team. A big part of her work is developing software for ablation devices that treat tumors in the liver, kidney, and lungs.

So teaching an Introduction to JavaScript virtual TechShop was pretty straightforward, even though it was her first time teaching the subject. “JavaScript is one of the popular languages used widely in web and mobile applications,” she says. “It is a beginner-friendly language, [so it’s] very easy to learn.”

Gayathri found it a pleasure to teach middle school girls coding, and really enjoyed interacting with them and watching them learn. “The girls were not afraid to learn new things. Some of them were challenged, while others felt it to be very easy, yet they were excited to be at the workshop and were very interactive,” she says.

Since it was her first time teaching the workshop topic, Gayathri experienced a few bumps in the road. She notes that it can be challenging to set a workshop pace when some of the girls have more experience with coding than others.

As a way to solve that dilemma, and make sure that everyone gets the most out of the workshop, she’d like to try having breakout activities, tailored to different levels, the next time she teaches.

“Preparation is the key” to success when teaching a workshop, Gayathri notes. She recommends doing a dry-run of the workshop before the actual one, to make sure the timing is right and everything gets covered.

Also, “doing activities in small breakout rooms will allow you to interact with the kids one on one and help them effectively,” she says.

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