Yesterday I had the pleasure of bringing Kayla to work, to observe "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day". She’d originally hoped to attend work with her mentor, who is an event planner, which is probably a lot more interesting to her than software engineering. That didn’t pan out though so poor Kayla had to come to work with me.
It was pretty fun. I was able to trim down the number of meetings I usually have, which meant she didn’t have to sit through too many catatonic displays of engineering goop.
We exchanged some stories about software. To her profound boredom, I drew a picture of how software and computers interact – layering Applications on top of Operating Systems on top of firmware on top of hardware. Then I told her where I thought the terms "Bug" and "Debugging" came from – it turns out I may have incorrectly attributed the terms directly to Admiral Hopper, but she certainly brought the term into popularity. In doing this bit of research I was reminded that Admiral Hopper invented the compiler – a tool without which my job would not be nearly as much fun.
And we got to play around with a bit of WPF code, which was fun. Here’s a snapshot of the program we wrote together. The program animated the radial color gradient on the button, and made the image fade in and out. Along the way, she got to see me accidentally write some bugs into the code, and even figured some of them out!
We wrapped the day up by visiting the pool table resident several floors down from me. Definitely a lot of fun for me (even though I stink at pool).