In Rhythm with Kamal’s Code!
Featured Maker Kamal is a passionate musician, aerial artist, and coder extraordinaire! This future video game programmer is fourteen years old and going into the 10th grade in Washington. When Kamal is not coding, you can hear him playing the piano, guitar, and percussion instruments, including the steel drum!
Kamal does a lot with his dad, Sadeeq, including hiking, backpacking, biking, and kayaking! We got the chance to speak with Kamal to find out more about his experience with coding and why he loves to do it.
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? I got introduced to Tynker at school. I’d seen it before and had seen YouTube videos of people doing it, so it was really cool when I first got to do it at school. I’ve been coding with Tynker ever since 4th grade.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I pretty much tried everything! The one with the alien spaceship fighter is my favorite.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? In every way! Sometimes I go back to my older games and try them out. It’s gotten a little more complicated; before there was no goal – it was just fun to make it – but now I make things with an actual purpose.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? Pretty awesome – I told everyone!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? My favorite project is probably my little YouTube simulator thing. I don’t know why, but it’s really simple.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Sometimes I’ll take games that are already made, and I’ll make some other game using those characters as a different type. Or sometimes an idea just pops into my mind and I’ll think, “This would be a funny idea, or interesting idea.”
“Food Battle: Natsuki (Singleplayer)”
Why do you like to code? You can do so many different things with just the materials that you have! If I get my phone out and turn it on computer mode, I can make a game in a fairly short amount of time. It’s fun!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Usually, I’ll have my brothers play it. They are pretty much polar opposites, so I figure if I get both of them to play it, then I can find most of the problems. I’ll publish it once all three of us have played it.
What are you planning to make next? I have this game called Holy Roads, and I considered making that a bigger thing since it’s one of my favorites!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I’m going for a job in the programming field. Also, it gives you a new way to think in all circumstances, so it’s a great puzzle solving tool.
Do you think other kids should try coding? I do! I think everyone should try it!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I would say start small. With the things you can’t do, just work on the things that you can almost do, and slowly you’ll start to get better.
We sat down with Kamal’s dad, Sadeeq, to find out what he thinks of his son learning to code. Sadeeq is in the IT field, and he likes to think that Kamal got his technical inclination from him! “Gaming is something we’ve done since he was very small,” Sadeeq explained when we asked how he feels about his son coding. “I’m proud of him for following his passion and developing all aspects of himself.”
Sadeeq does all he can to support Kamal, including buying his equipment and making sure there aren’t any roadblocks on his path. We asked Sadeeq about other skills that Kamal is building as he learns to code. “He actually learns a lot,” he replied. “He’ll want to do something that’s related to something he doesn’t fully know, and he’ll go out and learn about it. He’s teaching himself Japanese right now because he likes that culture. He just finds things he’s interested in and pursues these things and incorporates all of them into whatever project he’s working on at the time. You can just see that his coding evolves as he applies these things.”
Additionally, Sadeeq thinks it’s great for Kamal to have Tynker to have an avenue for his creativity. He told us, “You have something that anybody can just pick up and make something cool out of; it’s an amazing opportunity for anybody that is interested in it. There are a lot of talented kids out there that wouldn’t have the opportunity to express themselves this way if Tynker didn’t exist.”
We want to thank you, Sadeeq and Kamal, for being part of the Tynker community and taking the time to interview with us! We can’t wait to see what you will come up with next, Kamal–happy coding!