David Arnow and Gerald Weiss founded Turing's Craft in 1999. Both Arnow and Weiss are professors of Computer and Information Science at the City University of New York. In that academic context, Arnow had developed the WebToTeach system to address the limited opportunities for computer science students to practice the concepts taught in the classroom.
Since 1990, thousands of students in several colleges and high schools have used the early academic versions of WebToTeach. The system was so successful and revolutionary that Arnow, joined by Weiss, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to further develop the technology and apply it to reducing the attrition rate of computer science beginners.
Responding to broad user interest and with the NSF's encouragement, the two started Turing's Craft in early 1999 to commercialize the WebToTeach technology and thereby make it broadly available. In June 2000, Turing's Craft received a technology commercialization grant from the Empire State Development fund in recognition of the outstanding potential of the technology. In the spring of 2002, Turing's Craft released the commercial version of WebToTeach, CodeLab.
David Arnow and Gerald Weiss, Founders.
The founders of the company are David Arnow and Gerald Weiss, both professors of computer science at the City University of New York (Brooklyn College). Together they bring extensive experience in software design and implementation and in the development and delivery of educational materials for both university and corporate settings.
Each founder has a PhD in computer science and has over 20 years of experience in programmer education in both the university and corporate education settings. They have designed and delivered more than a dozen courses, authored a successful textbook, and given a dozen seminars on computer science pedagogy around the country.
Arnow has extensive experience building distributed computing systems and has published academic papers about them in prominent computer science journals. In 1990, he co-founded New Core Press, a small publisher of academic texts in computer science.
Weiss, has over twenty years of in-depth experience as an expert in object-oriented software development,
business systems, and compiler design and implementation. He has, for example, written commercial Pascal compilers and VB-to-C++ translators.
And a little help from our friends ...
Along this journey, we have been fortunate to work with a good number of folks who've played a significant role in the development of Turing's Craft. Three people stand out whom I'd like to mention here.
- Matt Donahue who helped put the company on a sound path and who played a great role in initial sales, marketing and business development. Matt joined Turing's Craft in the Fall of 2000 and left to get an MBA from Yale. He currently is working hard for our neighbor, the State of New Jersey. UPDATE: Matt is off to the Pacific Northwest to work in the private sector.
- George Medvedkov who helped with the initial development of much of our content and who can be credited with the development of the Flash client that constitutes most of our "front end" interface. George is now a crackerjack Java developer in the fair city of Toronto, Canada.
- Phillip Dreizen our fast-learning, jack-of-all-trades software guy who (among other things) helped with our implementation of Python. Phil is now working for the (admittedly more profitable company) Goldman Sachs. UPDATE: Phil has caught the startup bug to and is now CTO for Tweeplayer.UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Phil is back! Hooray!