At the inception point of Patwic

It all started in rainy november in 2012 when Filip and I had the office to ourselves for a day or two. We had just come off an stretch of giving programming classes, System Administration Workshops and How to create automated builds and continuous deployment workflow using git, jenkins and the rest of it.

At some point Filip, or more likely I, throws out: If engineers can learn this stuff, how hard can it be for a fourteen year old? There are violinists out there who are world class in their teens and let’s face it. It is much harder to learn how to play an instrument than it is to learn how to program.

The other one, and this definitively was Filip, it was too insightful not to have him as its origin replies: “We need to start with young ones. We will need to catch their interest before they’ve formed the idea that math is hard and science is scary. Before they get too bogged down with grades and getting the optimal set of test scores. While they still are unafraid of learning and fear nothing”.

Filip added: We can teach them the difficult stuff, only we won’t tell them that it is supposed to be difficult.

– Let’s do it, I said. Only it has to be free for all kids participating. They must get to keep whatever code they write and we must at all times keep it real.

– Yup. Filip filled in the words for me. This will be about software. Real tools, real editors, languages and test cases. And it cannot be about abstract algebra. We need to create meaningful cases and exercises.

– Definitively. Software and the world it creates.

I believe that this was the point where we cleared our schedules and started hammering on white boards, updated wikis, created shared Bitbucket repos, wrote copy for pitches, presentations and sketched out a ‘screw it, just do it’ business strategy for a new company.

We later changed from Software to Programming, partly because programming is something you do while software is a noun, but mostly because S.A.T.W.I.C. sounded stupid and nobody could figure out how to pronounce it.

A rainy sunday in 2014,

Fredrick Rybarczyk

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