Mission Possible Volunteer Spotlight – Gergely David
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn
At LogMeIn, we are lucky enough to have so many incredible employees working with us to positively affect change in the world and improve people’s lives through many acts —large and small. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Gergely David, Software Engineer at LogMeIn, about his experience volunteering with Mission Possible, LogMeIn’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, specifically, leading our Budapest office’s CoderDojo program.
Amy Wendel: What is it about CSR that interests you and how important was it to you when applying and joining the LogMeIn team?
Gergely David: It was not so important to me when I first applied, although I knew that LogMeIn participated in and offered many different opportunities to give back. When I heard about LogMeIn’s CoderDojo program for children, however, I decided to give it a try. I’m pleased to say I have no regrets. I really enjoyed every second.
Amy: You led our Budapest office’s recent CoderDojo program. What was that like?
Gergely: With the help of the great CoderDojo Mentors, everything went perfectly. We used the codecombat.com website with Python as a programming language. Every kid participating received their own ‘hero’, and was able to control them by code to solve different challenges. For example, they are able to use their hero to collect diamonds, fight ogres, and even defend villagers. If the kids get stuck, and don’t know how to complete a challenge, we help them by decomposing the task to smaller pieces (so they can solve it), explaining the error, or just translating the problem.
As a leader I try to prepare for every occasion. I solve the puzzles ahead of time to catch bugs and to more easily understand the tasks. At the beginning, I also like preparing the kids by discussing what they’ll be learning and what kind of problems they’ll be faced with.
I’m pleased to say that according to the post-event surveys and from what I saw at each lesson, the kids had a good time. Here are some of their responses to the questions about what they liked about the program:
“The difficult tasks, because when I complete them, I learn something. And Everything! :)”
“The way they helped me.”
“It was super, thanks!”
“Thank you for the opportunity and I really enjoyed it! I hope there will be more events like this! Thank you very much! :)”
Amy: What, if anything, have you learned from your volunteer activities?
Gergely: How to share programming knowledge with children in a way that helps them enjoy it and learn something new at the same time.
Amy: Have you met new colleagues or LogMeIn leadership while volunteering?
Gergely: Yes, I have met several great colleagues whom I hadn’t worked with before. They are all very passionate about teaching children and helping them achieve success while coding.
Amy: Thanks for the chat, Gergely! To wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your experience with CoderDojo and Mission Possible?
Gergely: I would suggest that everyone find a volunteer activity that best suits them. You’ll come away feeling fulfilled, having had a good time, and having met wonderful people. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to volunteer with LogMeIn and CoderDojo!
LogMeIn employees are given two days a year to volunteer and participate in a wide range of activities including sorting food at local food banks, preparing meals for the homeless and under served, helping students with entrepreneurial skills as well as interview and resume writing, packing clothing and supplies for children, and even teaching youth programming skills.