At Hack the Future, an event for school-aged kids in San Jose, hacking means creating code, sharing ideas, programming, and learning from each other. This is a great example of how “tinkering”, or experimenting with how something is built, can be a terrific way to get kids to think not just about consuming computing but creating it, too. Experienced hackers — like Al Alcorn, creator of the popular 1980s video game, Pong — attended the event and encouraged the kids to express their creativity through hacking.
You can call it hacking, or you can call it tinkering, but it’s the way most programmers learn to program. By modifying code others have written, you can learn an incredible amount. Programming, like life, is rarely done starting with a flowchart!