Learning to Code William’s Way!
The future looks bright with Featured Makers like William learning how to code! The 14-year-old comes from California, where he likes to hang out and talk with his friends and to code, especially with his younger brother.
William, who is entering 10th grade, enjoys math and acting – he even works the lighting backstage at his school’s theater! When we sat down to talk with him about his hobbies and his experience coding with Tynker, William had a lot to say. Read on to learn about what motivates William to code!
How did you get introduced to Tynker? On my school iPad they have an app you can download called Tynker! I downloaded that one or two years ago and that’s pretty much how.
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I kind of just figured it out on my own by playing people’s projects mostly. My brother introduced me to some of the courses, but I only played most of one and just coded based off that.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? I used to only be able to change people’s code, and now I can do things like create my own games. It feels pretty cool – on one project I now have 99,000 views!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I didn’t know it was featured until I got the notification – it felt pretty cool that I got noticed!
What’s your favorite project that you’ve made so far? My favorite is probably when I fix someone else’s code! It was a Flappy Bird-based game, and every time you would lose the game would have to be completely restarted. I fixed it so the tubes or whatever now worked, and when you die you get to respawn.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Well, I’ve seen people do slot games and one game, you have to go around and do different jobs to get money or whatever. They have a slot game in that and based off that is how I created that one game.
Why do you like to code? It’s fun and you can do a lot of things with it!
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I publish it right away, and then later I’ll do fixes and edit it a bunch randomly. Also, while I’m making it, if I find bugs, I’ll re-edit a bunch of code and then I’ll try it again. For every little thing I do – when I add a new actor or I set a new code block – I’ll run it and then I’ll try to see if that worked. If it didn’t, I’ll completely rewrite it again and try it again!
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? Probably edit other people’s code and kind of fix it and play some of other people’s games. I’ll even change the code enough to win it automatically!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? It helps with problem-solving!
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes! My younger brother especially. He mostly just edits other people’s code just to win whatever game he’s playing. He was trying to complete a project recently that was similar to one of mine, and I was helping him out with the gravity setting stuff.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? You should probably try your project quite a few times before submitting it.
William’s mom, Bethann, loves that William and his younger brother are coding! “It’s a great opportunity,” she says. “Our local library had a coding class and they had different levels. He wanted to be in the advanced level before he knew how to do it, so Tynker was good for him to work up to where he wanted to be.”
Bethann supports her children and sees the many different ways that coding helps them. “I support them by letting them do it for as long as they’re allowed to,” she explained. “When they’re in projects, I ask them questions about how they did certain things, so it’s not like, ‘Here’s a game to play,’ but more like ‘What exactly is it that you’re doing?’”
Keeping in mind that the future will require a lot of technological knowledge, Bethann is confident that her kids will be able to adapt to the workforce when the time comes. “Especially with the world today, they’re going to need to learn how to use [coding] in real life. It’s better to learn it now than wait until you’re in the work world and say, ‘Yeah, I don’t know how to do any of that.’” We agree – there’s no better way to prepare our kids for future success than to ensure they’re familiar with computer science!
Thank you so much to William and Bethann for taking the time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what other projects William has up his sleeve. Happy coding!