Tech Camps 4 Kids

Tech Camps 4 Kids

I started coding when I was 7 years old at a school-holidays computer camp in the UK. We used QBASIC to write a “guess my number game”. I remember writing that same program out on the school library computers to the amazement of my mates who insisted that I show them how to do it too.

I think that experience combined with early modding sessions of Quake and GTA is what led me down the path to become a professional computer games programmer.

So when 24 years later and half a world a way I as offered the chance to give back and help the next generation of computer games developer make their start I didnt hesitate to volunteer to help out.

TechCamps4Kids is run by an incredible South African lady called Brenda who, fedup with the way computer science was taught in school, decided to start her own after-school club to try to tech kids the actual skills they will need to become the next generation that shapes our technological future.


I was introduced to Brenda and TechCamps4Kids via a mutual friend that I know from one of the entrepreneur meetups I attend here in Perth. She told me she was looking for someone in the gaming industry who could be a judge for a game development competition she was holding for the kids. Knowing how I started out on my career I thought this would be a good opportunity to pay just a small part of my thanks back.

It was a great morning with about 15 kids in attendance ranging from ages 8-14. I spent some time going around looking at all their games, chatting to them, asking questions and trying to work out how to judge their creations.

The kids were being taught using Click Team Fusion and some Scratch. I really surprised at the results. I was expecting to see lots of very similar games that had just been taken from the “template games” but what I got instead was an incredible variety of different games and genres. Some kids had really gone to town and built story driven experiences and others had built simple but addictive avoidance games which wouldn’t look out of place in this “just one more level” style of endless runner mobile games out there right now.

In the end it was a very hard decision to pick just 3 kids as winners, I would have loved to pick all of them but I guess thats not how competitions work.

I hope that TechCamps4Kids continues to grow and develop so that next year I can be invited back to judge once more. I would be great to see the progress made by the kids over the intervening year.

If you live in Western Australia and are looking for somewhere to send your children to teach them some essential skills for this digital age I would strongly recommend TechCamps4Kids.

An Interview with Startup News

An Interview with Startup News

Just a short one today..

A few weeks ago I sat down with Mary Miller-Furesh (with whom I had met during Startup Weekend when I was working on Tuckr) and did an interview for West Australia’s Startup News.

It was a short interview in which I spoke about Mr Nibbles Forever and lamented about my Google Play Banning. I also spoke briefly about what im looking at next and the challenges that startups face in WA.

Anyways you can check it out in full here:

Post To Tumblr v6.26 – New Donation Options

Post To Tumblr v6.26 – New Donation Options

Its been a while since I have blogged about Post To Tumblr, my popular Chrome Extension for Tumblr. I have been quiet but certainly not inactive.

One thing that has always bothered me about the extension ever since version 1, when I started accepting donations, was that the only way to donate was via Paypal. Thus people in countries where Paypal isnt available have been unable to donate and thus unlock the advanced features. Up till now I simply gave those users that emailed me free access to the features, but obviously this isnt ideal.

I like to listen to podcasts, mostly technical related but some science, some business and some general interest. Most of the shows I listen to have ads and one ad that continually pops up is for Braintree. Braintree is a payments solution for online services so I decided to investigate if they would be a good solution for my Chrome extensions.

I discovered that they have the same fee but have have a generous $50k threshold before those charges kick in. They accept credit cards which means they can be used in any country and to top it off they have nice documentation and simple integration options which is more than I can say for Paypal.

So I decided to make the jump and switch PTT over to Braintree.


Donations are all handled on my HTTPS heroku page. Credit card info never touches my server and is all handled via the Braintree iFrame and thus I am never liable for any financial risk nor an I at any point breaking Googles Developer Policies.

Speaking of that. As soon as I published the update with the new Braintree payments integrated I received this lovely email from Google:


Obviously I am rather wary of these sorts of generic take-down emails from Google thanks to my Google Play ban. After emailing them back asking for clarification as to exactly which rule I was breaking I received an email 2 days later that stated that they had reviewed my extension and were going to reinstate it. No explanation as to why it was taken down in the first place…

Anyways. Its back, now integrated with Braintree, and it all works and everything is right with the world, so im not going to pursue it any further.

As usual you can grab Post To Tumblr over on the Chrome Store, if you have it installed it should auto-update for you 🙂

Until next time.