Our 2020 Summer Code Jam is well under way, and we’re so excited to talk to some of our winners to learn more about them, their awesome projects, and their experiences with Tynker!
Sviatoslav is a winner of our Code Jam for Week 2! He is a 10-year-old from the Ukraine and, when he’s not Tynkering, loves to take lessons to master a 55-string instrument he’s been playing for two years called the Bandura! When he grows up, Sviatoslav aspires to become an architect, like his mom, who remodels and renovates apartments as a hobby when she’s not lecturing in Linguistics at her university.
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? I started around the age of five or six, my dad found this website, code.org and from there, I found you guys!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? First I started from the recommended stuff, then I just coded stuff and I guess my favorite one is Code Commander!
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? Yeah, I was not really familiar with change costumes, I had problems with it and it was a bit different, so, when I started doing more Tynker, I understood it!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was bouncing on the top of everybody’s head!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? What do you like about it? Well, I didn’t do many projects because this coding jam got me making projects and publishing them, because before I was not really publishing projects. I guess my favorite one is week two!
Where do you get the idea for your project and how long did it take you to make? I did it in like a couple hours! I had some ideas because I’m watching a lot of operas, so first I was thinking of something a bit different but then I thought of drama because a lot of operas are tragic so I decided to include some drama into this project!
Why do you like to code? Because you can do almost everything with coding and I have some ideas for the future!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? First, I make sure that everything is perfect, then, I show it to my family and then publish it!
What are you planning to make next? The project for next week’s Code Jam!
What’s the best thing about Tynker? it’s fun, it’s useful, and it’s stuff that you need if you want to be a coder!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I have learned a lot from Tynker, so if I want to become a programmer, it will help!
Do you think other kids should try coding? You can make something new, and then you can share it with the world!
How did you come up with your code jam idea? From the opera!
Have you done a Tynker Code Jam before? This is my first one!
How long did it take you to complete the project? A couple hours!
Did you have any interesting challenges that you had to figure out? First, I really didn’t know about this and normally I go through projects before I make my own, so I found this thing, how Codey is talking and I just thought, wow, what is this, and I just went into that project. I remixed it and just went through the code and I found that block, so I went to my project and used it!
Sviatoslav’s father, James, joined us to discuss how he feels about Sviatoslav coding and all the benefits he observes can help Sviatoslav in the future! “It’s important for me that he codes and that he starts his code early. My father was an electrical engineer and I’m a technical writer,” James said, “For Sviatoslav to have the opportunity to work at an early age on code, well, I’m certain it will help him in the future in ways that I myself didn’t have. When his grandfather heard that he had won the prize he was almost as happy as Sviatoslav was, since his grandson is following him. Tynker is actually a pretty big deal for us!”
James supports Sviatoslav in any way that he can, but says that Sviatoslav actually knows more about coding than he does, because he breathes it. He does help out where he can, though. “I work a little bit in HTML and, because I’m a technical writer, I have to get in and do things with text editors and things like that,” James said. “I can help him out with logical problems sometimes, and as an editor, I’m accustomed to seeing an extra space and fixing it, so he doesn’t know how useful it is to have an editor!”
James continues by saying that between this and chess, it helps Sviatoslav build confidence and that there’s a lot of communication between those two worlds for thinking things through. Also, besides the technical stuff, James observes Sviatoslav’s creativity in trying to figure out the issues, but there’s definitely more to it. “It’s not just creative in terms of getting the thinking of the design or the result and trying to get to it, but also bringing in new things and events,” James said, “So I’m sure he’ll be on GitHub constantly, eventually.”
In terms of the future, James sees a variety of aspects that coding can help Sviatoslav with, in order to be better prepared. “He says he wants to be an architect – architecture is not just hardcore engineering but also other professions where we’ve got the interface between technology and creativity in the artistic world. And in some ways, he’s going to be more reliant on not just the nuts and bolts of coding or knowing how to operate a specific piece of software,” James said, “but also on critical thinking skills and the ability to go through and logically assess things.”
We want to thank Sviatoslav and James for taking the time out of their day to speak with us about their experience with Tynker. Congratulations again to Sviatoslav and we are looking forward to more projects that you make! Happy coding!