September 22, 2016

10 Questions: Linda Liukas

Linda Liukas is the author of Hello Ruby, a children’s book on programming.

  1. What is your morning routine?

I’m an early bird, I like waking up and some of best working hours for me are before 10 am. I’m really bad with breakfast, but learning. Same with checking e-mail and other notifications first thing in the morning ­– I’m practising, but still have a long way to go.

  1. Which media and/or social media do you follow?

I’m oldschool: I still use RSS to follow my favorite blogs and Twitter to stay up-to-date. Some of my favorites include Spoon & Tamago for ideas and inspiration, Picturebook makers for work and Hacker News for idling.

  1. Who are your favourite authors?

I grew up with Tove Jansson, Astrid Lindgren and Roald Dahl and still enjoy their work. I read a lot, from fiction to non-fiction. My recent favorites have been Elena Ferrante, Tanizaki Junichiro and Hanya Yanagihara.

  1. Where is the best place and time of day to write?

In bursts! Writing and illustrating for me is a crunch: for a month I just hide from the world and work 12 hour days. Before that, ideas and illustrations float for at least half a year: I do talks around new concepts, research and read other books, fill endless notebooks with Muji pens…

  1. How do you feel when you think about coding?

Happy, frustrated, joyful. I love the notion of programming as world creation. Fred Brooks put it beautifully, when he said, “The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination.”

  1. Who or what inspires you?

I like sparkly things and software, Zelda Fitzgerald, Armi Ratia, Seymour Papert, Björk and explaining hard things first to myself, then to others.

  1. What is the best thing that has happened to you in 2016?

I married my best friend in August.

  1. How do you relax?

I run and make food. The repetitive yet creative seems to calm my brain.

  1. What is your favourite area in Finland?

I love Helsinki. It’s an absolute fairytale capital, where quality of life is unparallel to any other city I’ve lived in.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I want to start my own research lab/kindergarten around technology education, mostly without computers. Kind of reimagining Montessori and Reggio Emilia to the 21st century.

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