Juan Gets Inspiration From Toys!
8-year-old Juan lives in Australia and loves to code with Tynker! She has two animal toys, Brownie and Alfie, who inspire her coding projects and comic books—many of her coding projects feature either Brownie or Alfie! (And there may even be a project featuring both of them in the future…) When she grows up, Juan wants to be a painter, because she’s really good at drawing! Her favorite subject in school is art. We had the chance to talk with Juan and her dad, Kijo, to learn more about how Juan unleashes her imagination with code!
How did you get introduced to Tynker? I was browsing through the apps on my school iPad and I clicked on the Tynker app and just started doing it. I started thinking that coding was kind of fun! I spent a lot of time doing it, and it became one of my favorite apps.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I didn’t know much coding before.
Do you have any favorite courses or tutorials? Nowadays I use mostly the new projects. I don’t really use the tutorials.
Where do you get inspiration for your projects? I sometimes think that Alfie and Brownie actually have a life, so I sometimes take inspiration from other projects, like for example there was a nail-painting thing [on the community board]. I made it up with Brownie in it. Sometimes I remix some projects from the community and change some things about it. Sometimes I change it; like with the nail salon, I’d change the character to Brownie and make the nail colors brown and stuff.
“Brownie’s Hair Salon”
Why do you like to code? It feels like you’re making your own apps!
Do you have a favorite code block? I think I might have two: I like the “switch to costume” or “next costume block.” When you’re using the “next costume” you’re making your own animations! When you’re making the costumes you have to draw the costumes. And sometimes you have to erase parts when you’re doing animations. Sometimes I like use the broadcast block too. Maybe Brownie will say something like, “Clean up the floor.” Because if I didn’t use that block then Alfie would just stand there and do nothing. But if I do the broadcast, then Alfie will start cleaning the floor.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Sometimes I see if there’s glitches and then I test it with my parents to see if I want to add something that’s a bit cool.
What are you planning to make next? I think I’ll have to take a look through the community projects or take a look around the house to make another one of Brownie’s projects. I need to raise up Brownie’s rank to match Alfie’s. I might do a combined project about Alfie and Brownie. Maybe I will start a little episode about Brownie and Alfie because I do episodes about them in comics!
What is your favorite thing about Tynker? You can make your own ideas, and sometimes you can look in your community projects.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? If you’re somebody who wants to create apps when they grow up they might start with Tynker first!
What advice would you give to kids who are starting out with Tynker? First of all, you might make an account. Read all the instructions. They can start from beginner projects and use Codey. Sometimes you can just put the code blocks in a row and see what each code block actually does.
Do you think other kids should learn to code? Yes, it’s really easy and fun and when other kids try it, they’ll think it’s really fun.
Kijo, Juan’s dad, works in IT, which helped Juan get interested in coding: “Juan is very good [at] coding. I work as an IT consultant and brought my kids to an Hour of Code event at my company. She feels very comfortable with coding.”
When we asked Kijo about the benefits of learning to code, he talked about how coding helps build problem-solving skills: “Definitely it’s very good in terms of analyzing something, some kind of problem, the first thing is to analyze the problem and then to fix it. Coding has problems. When they start projects, people have to think about how to solve the problems. Juan tries to fix it by adding some code blocks. It’s a good chance for her to learn how to solve a problem in the right way.”
Thanks, Juan and Kijo, for sharing with us how Juan uses coding! We’ll look forward for your combined project featuring Alfie and Brownie, Juan!