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Things we love 10

At FutureLearn, we’re always looking for new sources of inspiration and share what we learn with the world every month in our “Things we love” series. Here, our team talk about some of their favourite things from around the web and a few things they’ve written themselves recently.

Ada's Poetry Generator
Ada’s Poetry Generator is one of the things that inspired us this month.

Our inspiration

The World’s Smallest Bionic Hand

I love what this company is doing: 3D printing bionic hands for young amputees, based on characters that they love. Working together with the Walt Disney Company, Open Bionics have announced three awesome looking bionic hands: the Iron Man hand, the Star Wars lightsaber hand and the Frozen hand.

– Melinda Seckington, Developer

The Big Draw

I love drawing. My eight-year-old son loves drawing. So last weekend we joined in with The Big Draw event held in London’s Granary Square. It’s a huge drawing festival that offers free drawing activities for all ages, run with the aim of encouraging everyone to draw and sketch.

We had a great day running around King’s Cross, drawing and making. What I found enlightening was my son’s sense of wonder. Not once did he say “I can’t draw that”. As adults we tend to fret about not doing things properly. With drawing, we tend to worry that our marks don’t accurately represent what we see.

I’d love to challenge our adult views, as I believe everyone can draw. We just need to think like children, draw without a care in the world and enjoy the magic that happens on the paper. Go explore with a pencil and some paper – I guarantee an adventure will unfold.

The Big Draw events continue throughout October and you can find out more at

– Dereck Johnson, UX Lead

Črtomir Just

Sometimes you see something that looks so delicious you just want to eat it. This new series “GoldRush” by Slovenia-based designer Črtomir Just is an interesting visual experiment around the theme of “luxury”, and is truly edible.

On a different theme, his neuro-art series “BrainDance” visualises the brain waves of people listening to a piece of music for the first time. The results are stunning  you can almost hear the music through the pictures.

– Lucy Blackwell, Creative Director

Ada’s Poetry Generator

Recently, it’s been both Ada Lovelace Day and National Poetry Day. This Code Club project perfectly marks both of these. In it you learn how to make a poetry generator using graphical programming language Scratch.

– Laura Kirsop, Product Manager

Us elsewhere

The one thing you need to start out at software development

Starting out as a software developer can be hard. In this post, Ricardo Lopes explains the best strategy to deal with the multiple challenges new programmers face, and some tips on how to make it the best experience possible.

Questions for developers to ask potential employers or clients

Nicky Thompson recently wrote about her top questions for developers to ask potential employers, to help them find a team that’s a good fit.

Seen something lately that you think we’ll love? Share it in the comments below. Want to know more about the way we work? Take a look at all of our “Making FutureLearn” posts.

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