Tynker Summer Code Jam Winner: Coding Helps Soccer Player Enea Achieve his GOOOOOAAAALLLS!

Tynker Summer Code Jam Winner: Coding Helps Soccer Player Enea Achieve his GOOOOOAAAALLLS!

Our 2020 Summer Code Jam has come to an end. We’re so impressed with the tens of thousands of submissions from throughout the summer and excited to talk to some of our winners about their awesome projects and experiences with Tynker!

Next up is Enea, a Week 6 Code Jam winner! Enea is a 5th grader from Tennessee whose favorite hobbies include coding and playing soccer. In fact, he wants to be either a professional soccer player or a web designer when he grows up! If you ask us, we think Enea can tackle both!

How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? I’ve been coding for about 4 years now. I don’t know how or when I was introduced but it was fun when I started! 

How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? What are your favorite Tynker courses or tutorials? I watched the tutorials on YouTube and I also did Python and Glitch Manor. 

How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I’ve improved a lot! On Tynker it’s easy to learn so I got really good. I can make a website now, I can use JavaScript, it’s really fun. It feels good. 

What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? What do you like about it? I’d say it was my winning project because it was probably my best. It won, I did lots of stuff I didn’t do before, and that’s how it’s my best. 

How did you get inspiration for your project? In the project there’s lots of landscapes. So I was thinking, because other projects only had one landscape. So I thought I could put multiple that you could choose from. I wanted to make it like Spotify. Like you can choose a song. Choose your landscape.

Why do you like to code? Well, for many reasons! I make new stuff, I learn something new, the community on Tynker you learn something from them also, the courses are fun, you’re not sitting there bored. The courses are actually fun!

What is your favorite way to use code? Do you have a favorite code block? I am big on making websites so I usually would use my code to make a website. Second would probably be making a game. 

What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Do you debug it? Show it to someone? Publish it? First, I just check it if there’s any glitches or bugs or problems with it, then I show it to my parents, then I publish it to the community. I get a lot of inspiration from the community. Like on Week 7 I was thinking of making a pinball game so I looked at the community and there were so many and I got inspiration from them. I don’t look at the code, I just look at it and I want to think and try to build the pieces together. 

What are you planning to make next? The future knows! I don’t know, really. Anything that comes to mind!

What’s the best thing about Tynker? It’s fun! That’s the best thing. The courses are fun, the community has lots of great stuff, I could keep going! You can make fun games, you can learn something new, your friend could code and you two could code a project together, it could be really fun. 

How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? It has really prepared me, I think I might have gotten a career out of it, being a web designer, so it really prepared me for the future. 

Do you think other kids should try coding? Why’s that? Definitely, for many reasons, because first, it will be fun. Well, it would be fun if you use Tynker. Second, before I started coding, I did research on it. And it helps you with remembering, knowing typing very quickly. So it will help you in many ways. And number free, you get to make anything you could imagine you can make anything, really.

What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Never give up. Just keep trying.

How long did it take to complete the project? Around two days? Well not like straight two days. I did it every like two hours worked a bit on a bit on it. And it took about two days.

Did you have any interesting challenges\? Yeah, there were a couple challenges because the theme was design a soundscape. So I had some trouble doing the soundscape getting the sound correct. But I got through it.

How did they feel when their parents told them that they won? I watched it live and my reaction was (*gasps*) because there were so many good projects and I couldn’t believe they chose mine. I thought I had a 50/50 chance. 

What do they want to do with their prize money? Not yet! I don’t know if I should save it, I don’t know. Maybe use it on my birthday, Christmas, I don’t know. 

Bonus: What’s a fun fact about you? My hidden talent that I don’t use a lot is magic! I do card tricks, mostly. I remember I got a deck of cards and I watched a bunch of tutorials and since then, I’ve been doing so much magic. I remember once at school, once before we were supposed to leave someone asked me “Can you do a magic trick with these deck of cards?” And I did it and they were like, “Whoaa!”

We also spoke to Enea’s mom Esmerelda, to get her take on Enea’s coding journey. “It started with his school. I think they do like a week of coding. IIt was either first grade or kindergarten, he came home and he was talking all about it. So, I searched online and found Tynker. That’s how he started and he loves it.”

Esmerelda tells us she’s usually pretty strict about not allowing Enea too much screen time, but knows that Tynker is a good use of it. “I think it’ll be something that he might want to pursue later on in life or want to choose as a career. But for right now, I want to keep it just fun. He can create and work on it, but not too much. I guess, because of that limit, he keeps going back to it. And not getting bored at all! It’s been working so far. I can tell you it’s really helped us during the pandemic that we’re all going through.”

All of Enea’s hard work paid off when he found he was a Code Jam Winner! “We’ve been watching the winners and we watched it when they broadcasted on YouTube Live,” Esmerelda said. “And so he was screaming, he was so excited! It is amazing how wonderful the projects are in the music one. I loved the music one, I had some of my favorites there too.”

Our thanks to Esmerelda and Enea for sitting down and chatting with us, and congrats again to Enea. Happy coding!

Tynker enables children to learn computer programming in a fun and imaginative way. More than 60 million kids worldwide have started learning to code using Tynker.