Ahmad Codes to Make People Happy!
Seven-year-old Featured Maker Ahmad loves to learn – he is interested in every subject in school! When he grows up, he wants to become a professional coder!
Ahmad is self-taught, and he continues to learn more and grow every time he codes. His favorite thing about coding is making people happy! We were lucky enough to chat with Ahmad and his parents to learn more about why he loves to code.
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? I discovered it at school on my iPad! One day, I saw Tynker, and I thought, “What is it?” I went inside and started making games, and I really like Tynker now! I have been coding for two years.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I taught myself! I like the Code-A-Thon.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? A lot! Before, I didn’t know how to make things invisible like other people did. I didn’t know how to animate people in Tynker.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I look around the room I’m coding in, and if I can’t find anything that I’m interested in to put in my coding, then I just go around the house for some inspiration!
Why do you like to code? Because I make people happy!
Do you have a favorite code block? My favorite one is the disappearing one. I like to make things disappear in my projects!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I test it first, and if there are any bugs in the game, I fix them then finish it.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? My favorite project that I’ve made so far is the Zelda project, because I like to play it and because it got a lot of likes!
What are you planning to make next? A Zelda game!
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? My favorite thing is putting images and the drawings! I like to draw and find the artist as well.
Do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I think so, because coding is everywhere. It’s on mommy and daddy’s phone, it’s on TVs and traffic lights. But the main thing I want to code is games.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? The best thing that you can do is to see what the blocks do, make a testing project, and see how all the blocks work before you start coding games.
Ahmad’s parents, China and Travis, are thrilled to see how he expresses himself by coding. “It’s fun,” said China. “He is so excited about his projects. He’ll make a game and he’s like, ‘Here play this, play this!’ In one of the games – the last game he coded, I didn’t know he coded it, it’s one with a race car, and I said, ‘Ohh I thought this was someone’s game that you were playing online,’ he said, ‘No, I made it,’ and I said, ‘That’s awesome, dude!’”
China and Travis are able to balance out Ahmad’s love of coding and schoolwork by using coding as a reward for doing his work. “All coders need to be good mathematicians,” China says, “so it helps with us because we can use it as leverage to push him with his other subjects. We’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s do this, and for every hour that you spend learning your multiplication facts, we’ll give you two hours of time to code.’ So it helps us leverage his engagement in other subject areas.”
In addition to motivating Ahmad to develop his math skills, coding builds aptitudes across the board. “It helps develop critical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving,” Travis says. “Of course, we want him to eventually learn that there is more to coding than just games. And he knows that, but he’s just focused on games, and we want him to come to the realization that ‘games are cool, but I can use coding to help in other ways.’”
China added: “Computers are changing – the world is changing – but the way we teach kids hasn’t changed with the things that are happening. We need to keep up, and I think that we should really put machine learning in every curriculum. We feel like he’s better prepared because we are pushing the boundaries of critical thinking and problem solving with him and for him. Thanks to Tynker and other apps like that, that help him with machine learning. He’s self-taught – how awesome is it that the apps are so well built that a kid can figure this out!”
Ahmad’s parents are so proud of what he is able to accomplish and can’t wait to see what he has planned next – and neither can we! Thank you Ahmad, China, and Travis for chatting with us. We are eager to see what Ahmad will make next! Happy coding!