As soon as I learned that Marissa Mayer was tapped to be Yahoo's new CEO, I, like many women I know, immediately started devouring everything I could find on the 37-year-old former Google employee.
I've interviewed many computer scientists over the past few months, but Mayer was the first one I had encountered who reportedly cares about clothes and entertaining, who was in Girl Scouts, and studied ballet, and who is pregnant with her first baby.
It was thrilling.
(Dorky guys, I love you, but I don't have much in common with you.)
And maybe that’s why in the midst of reading about Mayer’s $60,000 lunch with Oscar De La Renta, and noting that she seems to favor long sleeves (does she not like her arms?), I suddenly found myself wondering what it really means to program a computer.
Next thing I knew, I was on MIT’s Open Courseware website, reading through the syllabus of Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, and downloading the computer language system Python to my computer.
MIT claims that the free course is “aimed at students with little to no prior programming experience” and that “by definition, none of you are under-qualified for this course.”
That sounds good to me.
I don’t expect to have anything close to Mayer's affinity and love of computer programming, but I’d like to learn a bit more about what it is, exactly, that she says she is so passionate about.
And so we’ll see if someone like me, who walked out halfway through the AP calculus exam my senior year of high school and never looked back, can learn the basics of computational thinking.
I have a feeling I could use a few study partners. Also, I like to complain.
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