The Paywall and Adding Voices

With this issue, you will find some articles require subscription. Here's an explanation and how you can help add writers and voices to future issues of this magazine.

In the December 2013 issue, I wrote an essay in response to an article written by Stephanie Oh, a student at the Flatiron School in New York City, about her experiences learning to become a web developer. She felt like an imposter, as if she didn’t qualify to learn to code because the course work was too hard. Her article let her work out her feelings and ideas. My Last Words essay, Imposters and Kids Who Can’t Code, builds on some of her ideas.

As the publisher (and editor, writer, designer, and web producer) of this magazine, my goal is to have Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine earn enough from subscriptions to pay people like Stephanie to write about their experiences with computer science and programming (her blog, for example, also includes a great article about the differences between Git and Github). Subscription revenue will add different voices to the magazine. It will give writers time to reflect and develop a deeper understanding of their experiences with coding and computer science. You the reader will benefit.

If you can help and want to evolve this magazine, please subscribe today.

A subscription based magazine also avoids what I hate most about online magazines: ads choking, blocking, and distracting readers from content.

Since the August 2013 launch, magazine content has been 100% free with readers encouraged to subscribe. And a number have, thank you! My goal has been to publish at least four full issues for free, sixty articles, then add a low paywall (some articles free every month) at the fifth or sixth issue. Well, this December 2013/January 2014 issue is the fifth issue. So I have installed a low paywall.

As the publisher and a reader, I’m still uncomfortable with hiding content. It kills me to hide the How to Do Online Research article (with 33 links to learn more) because it’s highly useful hard to find information.

However, until subscriptions generate enough income to pay for writers like Stephanie Oh, people learning to code, people deep into computer science or coding careers (or both), I believe there is no choice. The decision doesn’t sit well with me. But the magazine is launched, the shake down has been completed over the last four issues, and we’re now ready to add new writers and voices for the benefit of readers like you. Your support is needed and much appreciated.

If you can help out, please subscribe today. It’s only $15 a year.

Readers are the heart of any magazine. Let me know, as always, your thoughts and ideas. I appreciate all the feedback so far and have learned a lot. And thanks for reading!

Tim Slavin
Chief, Cook, and Bottle Washer
Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine


  • Tim Slavin

    Tim is an award-winning writer and technologist who enjoys teaching tech to non-technical people. He has many years experience with web sites and applications in business, technical, and creative roles. He and his wife have two kids, now teenagers, who are mad about video games.

Also In The December 2013 Issue

Siblings Pete and Alexa Ingram-Cauchi Talk iD Tech and Tech Summer Camps

They talk about how they started and run iDTech summer camps together and how parents can evaluate tech summer camps.

Where to Recycle Electronics

Here are a few places where you can recycle your old electronics safely.

What is a High Level Language?

What are the differences between high level languages and machine languages? And how do these differences impact coding?

An Interview with Boone Gorges

Learn how a humanities PhD became a software programmer who builds online communities for universities, as well as Lead Developer for BuddyPress and helping to create WordPress plugins like Anthologize and Participad.

How to Make (and Keep) New Years Resolutions

A few great ideas on how to make New Year's resolution you might actually keep, and have fun doing so. Whether you like structure or hate it, here are a few approaches and a number of resources to help.

News Wire Stories for December/January

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for the month of November 2013.

No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it’s doing; but most of the time, we aren’t either.

The Hungry Camel

How many measures of grain can one camel eat while delivering grain, before the camel runs out of grain to deliver? A fun math problem at least 1,000 years old.

How to Do Online Research

Online research skills are critical for software programmers. It's how you learn any language, by searching for error messages and looking up reference material.


Almost all programming languages include the ability to add comments and other notes in your code. Here's how several languages work with comments.

Take Out the Garbage

In the same way your bedroom may be impossible to enter if you let dirty clothes pile up, computers can crash and refuse to operate if their memory is stuffed with unused data.

bin, boot, opt, and Linux File System Hierarchy Mysteries

The Linux directory structure looks confusing compared to Windows. Here are the names and purpose of each directory.

What is Localhost?

Localhost is available on most computers, usually to display web pages. It's also useful to use to learn coding on your computer.

The Paywall and Adding Voices to Help Kids Code

With this issue, you will find some articles require subscription. Here's an explanation and how you can help add writers and voices to future issues of this magazine.

Learn More Links for December 2013/January 2014

Links from the bottom of all the December 2013/January 2014 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

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