MacHack (PG-13): Bring on the Yoots
by Chuck Toporek
Robin Williams, the comedian, once said: "Reality. What a concept." After having attended many "adult" conferences (like the WWDC), it's refreshing to see "Yoots" at MacHack.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term "Yoots," I highly recommend that you go out and rent "My Cousin Vinny," starring Joe Pesci. It's not a great movie, but it goes something like this...
- Two young adults go on a road trip and get accused of a crime, thus finding themselves in a southern jail.
- They need a lawyer, and one of them calls upon his cousin, aptly named "Vinny," to help them out of their legal bind.
- During the trial, Joe Pesci refers to the two young adults as "yoots," obviously trying to say "youths," but that somehow got mangled with his New York accent (or is it Jersey?).
Yoots. What a concept.
Throughout yesterday afternoon, I saw many dads coming in to the conference with kids in tow. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but these "kids" -- or yoots -- weren't just tagging along with dad for a weekend conference. They're little hackers.
As I sat through Tim's keynote last night/this morning, a dad and what I think are his two boys sat in front of me and Jonathan Gennick (another O'Reilly editor who made a trek down from the U.P.). Regardless of the fact these yoots were up way past their bedtime, the thing that struck me was that one of the boys was hacking code, with a copy of Jython Essentials by his side.
I know Apple has an age restriction for ADC members, but I think they should seriously look at having another level of developer membership. Call it Yoots, or whatever you want, but if this kid can sit there and hack code at 2 a.m., and there are ~50 yoots here, Apple should sit down and take notice. These yoots aren't just using their PowerBook G4's to play games. They're the next breed of developers for the Mac.
It's time to come down to eye level with these folks.
At some point, I'm going to track down this little hacker and find out what he was working on.
Should Apple let "yoots" join the club?
Being one of these 'Yoots' who are getting into hacking I think it would be a great idea. OS X makes it easy and lots of young people are getting into it. I have also met lots of other young people like me accross the net who would think this is a good idea.