FROM ZERO TO HACKING HERO is a project initiated by two friends-programmers – Dominik Kościelak and Joao Matos. Thanks to the support of befriended organizations Creative Initiatives Foundation /Kalisz, Poland/ and the Associação de Desenvolvimento do Concelho de Espinho /Espinho, Portugal / the project got the funding from the ERASMUS + Strategic Partnership for Youth Programme.
FROM ZERO TO HACKING HERO is a project for middle and high school teenagers, teachers, and people working with young students. It includes programming workshops for youth ending with a 5-day long hackathon in Porto and teaching methodology workshops for teachers and people working with youth – both taking place simultaneously in Kalisz (Poland) and Espinho (Portugal).
A key part of the project is online platform hackingheroes.org, which, in addition to learning materials created during the project and available under open licence in three languages: Polish, Portuguese and English, will be prepared for remote teaching and learning with functions like sending tasks to a given group of students, monitoring their progress, commenting and assessing.
The platform hackingheroes.org and the community created around the platform should be a starting point for developing another open source of public educational materials to teach programming and share thoughts, created by programmers and teachers for programmers and teachers based on the idea of Open Educational Resources.
The idea of the project FROM ZERO TO HACKING HERO is not to teach the very basics of a few programming languages, but to convince the society that programming is for everyone and that it has already become, apart from one’s first language and foreign language, a third language that everyone should know the basics of to understand our constantly changing world better.
And although the word ‘hacker’ has a bad connotation because of the association with cyber-crime is worth remembering that “hackers built the internet. Hackers are the best administrators. They always work on their imagination, they possess the skill to improvise as well as flair and knowledge unattainable for ordinary people, the nature of hacker is not restrained by any work environment, it manifests itself in every aspect of human existence. It can be for example Art or Science. Hacking is a way of life.”[Piotr Suchodolski]
It is clearly not another project about basics of programming but a project that raises awareness of the world without barriers and borders and prepares the participants for being a part of the world in the digital era.
“I would urge you to become one of them! Programming skill will (very soon in my opinion) become an essential skill for interacting with the world- and it will separate the population very clearly between the literate and the illiterate” [ Program or be Programmed – Douglas Rushkoff]