When we first wrote about Hello Ruby, the world took it by storm. The original story that we published got picked up by Hacker News and stayed at the top of the popular news syndicate for around ten hours. Four days later, the campaign reached over $185,000, which was huge considering the humble goal of $10,000.
Hello Ruby and Linda Liukas, are on an adventure to make a book for children that will introduce programming and technology to them. The book is going tell a story of a girl named Ruby that will be visiting mysterious castles, solving problems and collecting gems. In other words it will be a completely natural way to introduce high-level programming and technology concepts to kids.
When I first read about the project, I was super excited as a father and my heart rate increased because of a deep nostalgic feeling too.
Why? Because I was born in the USSR and there was a book named "The Encyclopedia of Dr.Fortran" which was a kids book that introduced them to computers, bar scanners, printers and more. Just like Hello Ruby, it was a narrative story and not a text book.
To this day, I feel like it is one of those books that has shaped me into who I am and introduced technology to me. It even had a "cut-out and glue together" computer.
So I know just how powerful, important and life shaping something like this can be and looking at what Hello Ruby is promising, it can be many times more influential.
With just fourteen hours to go, the kickstarter campaign has gathered an impressive $364,235. At this pace, there is still a chance that it might just reach the top stretch goal of $500,000 - turning the whole thing into a mobile app, in addition to the hardcover book.
Linda Liukas has been drawing illustrations with her main character, Ruby, for over three years. Mostly for the web, events and other fun projects. This inspired her to make something more consistent and as she has been teaching programming for three years, co-founded Ruby Girls and worked at Codeacademy - a childrens book made perfect sense.
So if you have got kids or are simply interested in what Liukas is doing here, check out the kickstarter campaign here.