Yeah, novices. And dang proud of it...a team of high school teachers and students learning about programming, computer science, web design, mathematics and technology.
We wanted to take all the apps we have developed over the years in various courses and reframe them for a responsive HTML5-based environment.
In some cases, apps developed with one particular language were recrafted in another language, just to become familiar with multiple production environments.
Once more, we are admittedly novices. (We make a lot of mistakes!) If you are looking for perfection, you won't find it here. We just wanted a 'sandbox' where we could see how (or if!) our designs would work 'in the real world.'
We also think of ourselves as digital detectives. When things don't work we look for clues as to how to fix a problem. Sometimes clues show us how we can take a marginal design and make it better.
Technology moves at a blistering pace and it's tough to keep up with it all. But we enjoy that kind of thing. Check out our various applications and see if you can learn something too.
Did you see our sandbox?
Some of our stuff might not quite be ready for 'prime time' but we have a sister site: TNT-Sandbox where we field test rough-drafts of preliminary designs. Often those designs make their way to TNT after a bit of polish and coaxing.
Did you ever see the movie 'Paycheck' (2003) with Ben Affleck? Here at the lab, we've watched it many times! (You know how much we like imaginative movies here!)
Why is it important to us? Because we have adopted the problem-solving strategy it portrays in our teaching of computer science. Want to know more? Look at our philosophy below. But be warned: spoiler alert!
TNT Educational Philosophy
In the movie, 'super-engineer' Michael Jennings used 'reverse engineering' to take apart others' designs to make newer, improved devices. He was so good at this that he was hired by a super-secret company to build a machine that would adversely change the course of history.
When he realized the dangerous nature of his creation, he 'reverse engineered' a way to save humanity by 'working backwards' using clues he'd left for himself - common household items.
Why did he need those harmless clues? Because his employee agreement with the rapacious company dictated that his memory about the project would be wiped once it was done. Therefore he had to use clues, context, logic and detective work to re-imagine what he couldn't readily remember.
What's this got to do with TNT?
We at the labs like to work backwards too. We take pre-existing app designs (from our own lab or elsewhere) and take them apart to understand how the basic components work. Using that understanding, we can 'borrow' (steal!) those components and ideas and use them elsewhere to create completely new app designs.
Sometimes we simply want to mimic a design from one language to another.
The ability to work backwards and ask the right questions, as a detective chasing down clues, actually expedites our production and (hopefully) enhances our understanding.
We actually used this technique when we create the news entry for this philosophy description!