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Computer programmers talk about communication

Friday, January 05, 2018

A software programmer and a former improvisational comedian-turned-programmer spent time stressing to students at Illinois School for the Deaf the importance of communication and understanding.

ISD periodically holds Literacy Lunches for students to help them understand how language and communication impact various aspects of life, whether in the workforce or personally.

Steve Waddell, the founder and lead developer of CTE Learning, said communication is one of the biggest aspects in any industry, even computer-based programming.

“Communication is truly the mother of everything,” Waddell said. “It’s how you herd 29 individuals toward the same goal.”

With large companies and the internet, employees can work from anywhere in the world on the same projects, making communication key to a smooth program development.

Understanding is a large part of communicating, which means people have to be clear about how they present themselves and others have to listen, Waddell said.

“Just saying something isn’t communicating,” he said. ” You need that feedback, that understanding.”

Waddell learned about communication while doing improvisational comedy, because communication is a necessity to making a scene funny, he said.

“In improv you have to make sure the message is clear, because you are hinting at where you are going and others have to be able to pick that up,” he said. “When you make something up in the moment, you have to listen to pick up clues, take the ideas and build off them.”

Mark DuBois, executive director of Web Professionals, showcased Adobe Spark, which he helped program. Spark is a program that helps people quickly design items such as posters, flyers, pictures and video.

“In the current environment, there is a lot of ‘I need this. I need this now’,” DuBois said.

DuBois said the program helps find good ways of communicating a message, whether through video or through an event poster, in a short amount of time.

“It’ll help us create things that share a message, whether through social media or in person,” he said.

Communication is something the students will use in any field, he said.

Eighth-grader Isaiah Redmond said he was excited to hear from the presenters because he is in a web design.

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