Christina Tynan-Wood

Christina Tynan-Wood

Member since: December 2013

Bio: I have been covering technology since before Bill met Melinda and you met Google. I currently write the Family Tech column in Family Circle magazine and Family Tech with Christina at But I also write about education, parenting, and many other topics for many other publications. Clients include Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, This Old House Magazine, USA Weekend, PC Magazine, PC World, Jaguar, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many others.

Areas of Interest:


  • A four year degree isn't the only path to a great development job -- if you have the coding chops

    15 weeks 2 hours ago

  • “How many hours of your life have you wasted playing video games?” This question, often issued from the mouths of frustrated (non-gaming) parents, teachers, and guidance counselors, this question was meant to make you feel as if the passion that’s coming between you and actual work or play leads nowhere except to the couch. But it’s more likely that gaming – at least within reason and with some games – teaches logic and programming skills that open doors in the mind to coding and game design.

    20 weeks 6 days ago

  • But I have heard the phrase, “If I’d stayed in school…” voiced so often in the last few days that I can no longer ignore it. It makes me want to and shout, “Stop making excuses! Regret is useless unless you learn from it!”

    21 weeks 5 days ago

  • Companies must get their smart people off the keyboard and focused on strategy. Those techies who can talk to the business will be in demand.

    22 weeks 2 days ago

  • A recent report reveals a promising tech bubble in Detroit and surrounding areas.

    23 weeks 22 min ago

  • Never underestimate the importance of getting along with people, plus other tips for getting and keeping a job you love.

    23 weeks 5 days ago

  • You can probably point to a person, event, class, or after-school program that helped you find your way into your work. How cool would it be to know that a bunch of successful scientists, engineers, or IT people will point to you as the person -- the spark -- that helped them see what they want to do?

    24 weeks 4 days ago

  • I am a fan of workplace jokes. Some of my fondest workplace memories are of teams pulling together to pull off an elaborate prank. I have forgotten many of the projects I've worked on and some of the people I've worked with. But I remember all of the pranks.

    24 weeks 5 days ago

  • The human brain is a complicated beast. And if you want it to think creatively, you have to get out of its way. There is a great scene in Mad Men when Roger Sterling walks into Don Draper’s office and finds him doing absolutely nothing. He’s been doing nothing for a long time. But they both understand that this is how he works.

    25 weeks 2 days ago

  • If you watch the We Day broadcast of its California event, you will see two young men who are an excellent example of how encouraging smart young geeks to take on social change has the potential to not only inspire them to do meaningful work in IT but also to change the world for everyone.

    25 weeks 5 days ago

  • When in a situation where you can't find the spark to work creatively, you need to ask yourself if it's your environment or your career choice. Rebecca Roth, app developer for OnStar, says the team you find yourself may be killing your creativity and motivation.

    26 weeks 4 days ago

  • Women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade, therefore getting them involved in the product creation process may make the difference between creating tech that survives the marketplace and tech that doesn't.

    26 weeks 5 days ago

  • You don’t have to go it old school when it comes to going back to school. A clever nerd, can find a way to fit learning a professional or technical skill into time that’s currently a bit of a waste. How about the hour you spend watching soaps and news on the treadmill? And that time you spend catching up on not-so-relevant emails during your train commute? Saturday morning lying in bed? Keep doing that. But take a class at the same time.

    27 weeks 3 days ago

  • Who do you want to work with? Is it someone who brings a sense of play, the ability to create, and a willingness to work collaboratively, or someone who can copy things over, and do as they are told? If it's the former, early (tech) education issues should be important to you.

    27 weeks 5 days ago

  • This entertainment is somewhere between a film, a game, and that door in the back of the wardrobe that leads to Narnia. “This technology is a bridge to a new territory,” an Pinkava, formerly of Pixar told me of the combination of hardware and software that went into creating it. “We are hacking back the jungle, exploring new territory for what can be done with the device in your pocket.”

    28 weeks 5 days ago

  • The point of this blog is to explore, in whatever form I find it, the inspiration -- the spark, if you will – that makes someone choose to start (or continue) a life in IT. But the problem with thinking about inspiration and life choices is that it also makes me consider the path not taken. Years ago, while researching a story on computer rehab programs in prisons, I met a young man who had been in prison – at that point – for about five years, since he was 18.

    29 weeks 3 days ago

  • Children learn by playing. Smart people have known this for eons. Plato suggested that in order to teach, we should “Not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” So if you want to teach a child to grow up and become a coder, the best way – according to some mighty philosophers – would be to play a game that teaches the concept. Later, when their minds are ready to sit down and work, they can learn the details. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light, motion, gravity, muscular force.” That is the sneaky plan behind a new game, Robot Turtles, from ThinkFun.

    29 weeks 5 days ago

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District is engaged in a massive effort to put an iPad into the hands of every student in its district. I am all for this. In fact, as the district has stated, this isn’t so much about education as it is a civil rights issue. But people are protesting against it and calling initiatives to get tables into schools, the iPocalypse. Why?

    30 weeks 3 days ago

  • This is the sort of story every developer dreams about. It’s what everyone who makes things of any kind dreams about. Have fun building. Upload it. Go back to your day job. And then, a few weeks later, be met suddenly with international fame and gobs of money. It’s the stuff of not-sober fantasies.

    30 weeks 5 days ago

  • In the years since Google set out to "Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," technology has changed the world by making unlimited amounts of information available in seconds from anywhere. This has transformed almost every industry from music to news to medicine to retail and everything in between. But somehow, education, the one endeavor that is almost entirely about conveying information –from the minds of adults to those of our children – is still debating technology’s value.

    31 weeks 2 days ago

  • In the course of researching this blog and other stories I write, I talk to a lot of people who work in high tech. I love to ask them how they found their way to this work and if they are glad they did. No one has ever told me they wish they had taken another path. But the first time I asked that question – eons ago – I was surprised by the answer: To change the world. After the 100,000th (slight exaggeration) time I got that same answer, it stopped surprising me.

    31 weeks 5 days ago

  • Wearable technology was all over CES. And it seems as if it is everywhere I turn since I got back. Watches that feed data from your pocketed phone to your eyes, fitness trackers that feed biometrics to your phone, glasses that feed information about the world to your eyes and the Web, baby clothes that track body temperature and feed it to your phone. A chip designed to make the creation of even smaller wearable devices easier for developers.

    32 weeks 3 days ago

  • Microsoft announced that it has finally sorted through a world of candidates and chosen one of its own to lead the company out of the woods and into the cloud. There is a lot of talk about what choosing from within will mean for Microsoft’s future – Satya Nadella has worked at the company for 22 years – and how the struggles of the Surface, the acquisition of Nokia, the rise of Android, and the dominance of the iPad mean that Nadella will have his work cut out for him. But I’m just going to go out on a limb and suggest that, today at least, Nadella, is feeling pretty good about his decision to study electrical engineering and computer science

    32 weeks 5 days ago

  • In my post “Where Women Learn to Code” I extolled the virtues of friends, boyfriends, and husbands who encourage the women in their lives to consider a future in IT and the code academy Hackbright, that specializes in teaching women to switch careers and make that happen. But a new(ish) law is threatening that option.

    33 weeks 3 days ago

  • At some point in every job, getting to the job – unless you are very lucky – becomes a part of the day you would rather do without. You start calculating what else you might have done with the time spent sitting on a train or watching the cars in front of you creep slowly toward your destination. You stay at work late to avoid the traffic. You dream about getting yourself a self-driving car so you can work on the way to work. But if you work in IT, you can probably ditch that commute and still go to work every day.

    33 weeks 5 days ago

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