Byron Loves the Creative Freedom of Coding!
Ten-year-old Byron lives and codes in Murray, Utah, and just started 5th grade! In his free time you’ll find him bouncing on his family’s new trampoline or coding. Inspired by his love of Minecraft, he wants to be a programmer, engineer, or architect when he grows up.
Byron’s favorite subject in school is math, but in his words, “I’m also really good at spelling! I won 2nd place in the school spelling bee and I was in the district spelling bee as well.” Byron has even won an art contest, too!
How did you get introduced to Tynker? One day I just randomly downloaded Tynker a few years ago.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I did try one of the Tynker courses, it was pretty easy but it was also kinda hard as well.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I would say I was good but I can’t say that for sure. I can’t really write my own coding. I used to not know how to do anything in coding. But there’s a help tool that helped me learn all the blocks I needed. The Tynker monster helps when I get stuck. A lot of times I looked at other people’s code and that’s how I learned how to use the pen blocks, like draw a square at this “x” position.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? Pretty happy, actually! I was super happy when I found it on the iPad.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? Probably the physics game that I just made! It’s still really broken because of glitches and bugs – I need to fix those! You can build with physics to make the marble go down or slide. I usually take a break and look at some other projects and do it later, and then I fix the bugs when I have them.
Where did you get the idea for that game? There’s this computer program called Algodu, or something and it has a bunch of marble runs. I want to recreate that on Tynker!
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I usually like recreating projects, like games.
Why do you like to code? I think it makes me de-stress. It helps calm me down, but when there’s a bug I get stressed. When I first found a bug I was like, “What’s wrong?!”
What is your favorite way to use code? Probably making weird ideas I had for coding projects! My favorite code block is probably the forever block or the if/then block.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I usually show it to someone and if they think it’s good, I’ll publish it.
What are you planning to make next? I’m actually not sure what I want to make next, yet. Maybe another game or something!
What’s the best thing about Tynker? What I really, really like about coding is that you can make whatever you want to. There’s no condition telling you what you have to do. I also think it might be because of the featured projects! I like them because they give me inspiration for my projects. I also like that it’s an app that you can download for free on the iPhone so I can hide from my baby brother!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? That’s a good question! Well, I think it’s made me more creative with my thinking, like creative thinking and writing and all that stuff. It helped me in school a bit. In art class it helped me be more creative with all my stuff I drew, so I got all A’s in art class.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Definitely. I really want every kid to try coding!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I want them to start at the beginning, I don’t want to force them to make a super hard project like physics! I’ll probably let them do what they want first, then explore the courses.
Byron’s mom, Becky, thinks it’s amazing that Byron is learning to code! “He’s grown so much focus-wise and he completes his projects. He’s so smart, and now he has this other way, outside of school, to teach himself. I love how we have that for him. It’s something that he wants to do for fun, so it makes it even better!”
She told us, “I don’t even know what he’s doing, and he’ll just say, ‘Look, I just made this calculator on this coding website,’ and I’m like, ‘How did you do that!?’ I’m just making dinner and he’s over there making amazing coding stuff! He keeps telling me that he’ll teach me how to do it! It’s become almost like a reward for him to be able to code!”
We were thrilled to hear that coding with Tynker has helped Byron in many ways. “It’s how he calms down and how he finds focus. He was in a magnet program for gifted kids, but he had a really hard time focusing and getting things done. Coding became a thing for him to balance his time and balance his work and learn to get things finished.” Becky continued, “He gets so narrowed-in on a project and he has to complete it. It’s helped him in school! It’s helped him a lot – not just as a treat but as a learning tool.” She told us that Byron loves “being creative and being able to do what he wants to instead of being told what to do.” For Byron, “It’s been really helpful to find a way to be more calm and centered and focused and that he can be proud of the things that he does.”
Byron is always looking at the world through a programmer’s lens! Becky told us, “It amazes me how smart he is with computers. We’ll watch shows and he’ll say, ‘I can figure out a way to do that, I can build that on Tynker,’ so he’s just really funny because he can almost fit everything on a program.” Becky thinks coding is a crucial 21st-century skill. “We always ask, ‘How can you use this when you grow up?’ because everything is code and computers now and that’s where we’re headed. He’s already ahead of it.” She told us animatedly, “He’s just so fast and amazing at it, and it amazes me how much he’s grown over the last year with Tynker!”
We’re so glad to hear that Byron loves to code, and that it’s having such a positive impact on him! Thanks for chatting with us, Byron and Becky. We can’t wait to see what you code next!