Laramie residents interested in testing their computer science mettle will have the opportunity tomorrow night at the Albany County Public Library.

TechTalk Laramie, a is a Laramie, WY-based nonprofit organization aimed at promoting technology understanding in the community, will be offering free coding classes at the library and all members of the public are welcome to join.

Lenore Kubie, a founding board member of TechTalk, said the event is taking place in honor of Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code, which Kubie said is a global event.

“The idea behind hour of code is that you can get people’s feet wet in just one hour,” Kubie said.  “We really want to break down those walls, people are so intimidated by getting into computer programming. People think, ‘this isn’t for me, this isn’t something I could pick up quickly.”

The introductory coding class will be split up into three age groups. The class for those 8-12 years old will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the class for 13 to 17 year olds will be from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and the class from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will be for those 18 and older. No prior experience is necessary to participate in the classes.

Kubie said coding is rapidly becoming a very important skill for many areas of life, even for some sectors where the applications for coding aren’t obvious.

“I am a chemist, I’m not a computer programmer, but I use coding all the time in my work. I can make new instruments to do new experiments, I can work up data,” Kubie said. “But a small business-owner could learn how to code and make a really cool interactive website for their customers and things like that.”

Kubie said she hopes Wyoming prioritizes technology and computer science in classrooms.

“I think that is one way we can really show the rest of the country that we aren’t just a coal state,” Kubie said.  “We can really push technology forward and make an impact and show that we are thinking about the future of this state. I think we can all agree that technology is the future. If we can get a kick start on it, I think it would be amazing for the economy and how people view Wyoming as a state.”

As of today, Kubie said the coding classes are nearly full. However, she said TechTalk Laramie is considering offering coding classes on a more regular basis depending on the feedback they get from the community.

“We are interested in hearing how the community feels about this and if there’s a lot of positive feedback and a lot of people interested, we’d be interested in making this a more regular event,” Kubie said. “Maybe doing some progressive classes where it’s multiple days maybe with some light homework or something if people are really interested.”

Kubie said she wanted to thank the Albany County Public Library for partnering with TechTalk on this project.

Those interested in the class can call the Albany County Library at 307-721-2580.

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