Our work space for the afternoon in ThoughtWorks office.

Our work space for the afternoon in ThoughtWorks office.

Earlier this month a group of 10 City-As School( CAS) students visited ThoughtWorks the partner for their design studio. ThoughtWorks is a global leader in Agile Software development with a strong commitment to social good projects.

The afternoon started with students, product managers, designers, and teachers introducing themselves to the group.  Next, students toured the office and learned about on-going software development projects. 

Students then met with ThoughtWorkers to get to know one another in small groups by chatting about shared interests around technology.  One project manager shared his story of leaving public policy behind to follow his passion of becoming a graphic design half way through college.  These are the kinds of stories that may resonate CAS students who have already made a choice to transfer from out of traditional high schools to gain more real world experience.   

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Another ThoughtWorker shared his story of struggling with school because of dyslexia and discovering he liked and understood computer programming.  A girl shared her own version of learning to learn with dyslexia.

Post-it notes and deep thoughts.

Post-it notes and deep thoughts.

The second half of the class was dedicated to students working in teams with ThoughtWorkers to on design exercises to: identify target populations, pressing problems, viable solutions, and how these solutions might come together.

Making full use of wall space!  Pitching with a smile.

Making full use of wall space!  Pitching with a smile.

The goal was for students to partner with professionals to learn design process while having questions answered by caring professionals from diverse backgrounds outside of the classroom. 

The day was a great introduction to design thinking and a modern collaborative workspace. Both professionals and students shared smiles, laughter, and the oh so satisfying “aha moments” that come when developing ideas in teams!

Teams sketched solutions to present and get feedback.

Teams sketched solutions to present and get feedback.

Many thanks to Jared and Andy and the many other ThoughtWorkers who worked side by side with the students!

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