Hotel Montreal Espace Confort

mkdir -p Saturday/Code/Dance

Hi there,

Here is another opportunity to JOIN a code and dance session this month.

The goal of these get-togethers is to work on a project of your own along with fellow programmers for approximately two hours and then shake the week’s stress away on the dance floor.

Code sesh :

We will meet at the Tea Lounge of the Hotel Montreal Espace Confort.

Hotel Montreal Espace Confort (lobby)

Hotel Montreal Espace Confort (lobby) Photography by Maryia Georgieva

This is a cozy, delicious and laid-back place to code. There is Wi-Fi.

  • Date: May 26th, 2018
  • Time: from 2pm to 4pm
  • Venue: Hotel Montreal Espace Confort
    2050, rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2X 3K7

Dance sesh :

There are many places where you can dance on a Saturday in Montreal. However, just for the sake of dancing on the same dance floor here is my suggestion: Moka

  • Date: May 26th, 2018
  • Time: from 4pm to 8pm
  • Venue: Moka Social
    9, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, #101, Montréal

New coders

If you are new to coding, bring a book, a project and your questions. Then ask some more questions. Finally, start coding. There is no “perfect” way to start, so you might as well start.

When I started many people told me to find a project and then start to code from there. Frankly, I was skeptical. I thought a more structured (read academic) way would be more suitable. If you are curious to start, I would suggest to start with a project and then dive into a book. It will be much more fun.

Seize this very minute.
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

New dancers

If you are new to salsa or dance in general, this is a golden opportunity.

Carpe Potestatem

You may start with a beginners class before our get-together or just dive into on May 26th.

In case you want to learn the basics, here are some places to start for free.

    • Club 649: On Mondays there is a beginner salsa lesson at 9:30pm.
    • Salsa Etc: Free trial class (beginner level) on May 27th, 2018.

Also, bring a pair of comfortable shoes and let yourself enjoy the rhythm, the melody and the people.

Just so you know, this is no dancing contest. Believe me: everyone is busy spinning and enjoying themselves. So, relax and have fun!

“Let the greate world spin” written by Colum McCann

See you on Saturday.

EventBrite :: mkdir -p Saturday/Code/Dance


Scratching the Programming Surface

Hi there,

I just finished my first week (or week-0 as it was called) in computer science (a.k.a. CS). The language used was Scratch.

Scratch is a free visual programming language developed by the MIT Media Lab.  […]  It provides a stepping stone to the more advanced world of computer programming. It can also be used for a range of educational  […]  purposes from math and science projects, including simulations and visualizations of experiments, recording lectures with animated presentations, to social sciences animated stories, and interactive art and music.

Scratch allows users to use event-driven programming with multiple active objects called sprites. Sprites can be drawn, as vector or bitmap graphics, from scratch in a simple editor that is part of Scratch, or can be imported from external sources, including webcams.
Source: Wikipedia / Scratch (programming language)


When a random person (not a programmer –> ) thinks about programming, the first thing that comes to mind is a black (or white) background with unappelling characters making no sense … or at least that is what one thinks.

Noticing the differnce between Natural languages and Formal languages is useful to understant WHY one might have the impression mentioned above about programming.


Formal and natural languages

Natural languages are the languages people speak, such as English, Spanish, and French. They were not designed by people (although people try to impose some order on them); they evolved naturally.
Formal languages are languages that are designed by people for specific applications. For example, the notation that mathematicians use is a formal language that is particularly good at denoting relationships among numbers and symbols. Chemists use a formal lan- guage to represent the chemical structure of molecules. And most importantly:
Programming languages are formal languages that have been designed to express computations.
Source: Allen B. Downey (November 2012). Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. Retrieved Green Tea Press


Having been there myself, I concur that at first glance programming (a.k.a. coding) can look quite cryptic. Nevertheless, once one starts getting used to the programming language tools (characters, functions, etc) and using them, only then that one becomes fortunate enough to see beauty emerging from it.

Scratch takes away the cryptic part of programming and instead it incorporates the “Natural Language Flow” to programming. It is visually interesting and fun to use.

As you know, I started my programming journey with Python. It took several attemps to find beauty in it. However, in my humble opinion, Scratch is a really nice entry point to finally say:

Hello, world!

So starting next month, February 2017, a serie of three (3) sessions will be offered as an introduction to the programming world.

Here is the format:

  • Session 1) Computer set-up + Vocabulary + say: “Hello, world!” + Intro to Sprites’ costumes and sounds
  • Session 2) Animation1 + Animation2 + Animation3
  • Session 3) Game1 + Game2 + Game3
  • Showcasing and playing a few games from the participants


This serie is particularly tailored to adults humble enough to start from Scratch 😉

Two conditions to join:

  1. Respect
  2. Register at the EventBrite page Eventbrite - Scratching the Programming Surface : Session I


See ya soon!


NOTE: If you are a programmer and would like to volunteer, send an email, then an interview will follow prior to joining.