Marshall Advises Other Coders to Persevere!
Meet eleven-year-old Marshall, an avid coder, video gamer, and athlete from Vancouver, Washington! In his free time you’ll find him reading or Tynkering in preparation for his future career as an author or game designer. He even fishes, and once caught a fish twelve inches long!
Marshall was introduced to coding last October by his brother, Featured Maker Ryan! In his words, “One day my brother showed me an app for our school iPads called Tynker. I checked it out, liked it, and I started coding on it. I have been coding ever since!” We had a great time chatting with Marshall. Read on to learn more about him and why he loves to code!
How did you learn how to use Tynker? I just kept figuring out what to do and how to put things together. I used some of the tutorials first and then I started using the blocks.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? They just keep getting better! Every time I run into something I think might be useful, I try it out, see how to use it, then I’ve got something new to work with.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was excited!
Where did you get the idea for your project? From the fruit ninja game. I saw lots of people were putting those games in the community and they were all working really well to get lots of likes so I thought, “Let’s try it out.” Took me about 30 minutes to an hour.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I just go about my day, and then I think about an idea and I try it out on Tynker.
Why do you like to code? Because you can make lots of things with it. It’s like putting ideas of stuff, that you’re just thinking about and you wish you could do it. With Tynker, you can actually put it into a game and actually play it.
What is your favorite way to use code? I like doing all sorts of things! I like to make games that have controls and you can move the guy around and do certain things. Lots of times there’s an enemy, and you have to shoot at him or defeat him. The code block that switches the costumes is useful.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I show it to my family, play it a couple times, then put it out to the community!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? I made this fruit ninja game that I like a lot!
“Protect the Pie”
What are you planning to make next? I’m trying out a game that uses a lot of physics. I just started on it a day or two ago. It’s going to be a fighting game. I’m not exactly sure what bad guys I’m going to put on there. But you have a character and you control him, and he goes around and defeats the bad guys.
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? Probably making the guy switch costumes so you can have two guys with coding strips. Then I can be like, “There’s 10 guys,” because they’re switching between different looks.
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? It really helps with logic and problem solving! For example, when you get stuck on a code block, you obviously want to figure out how to get around it.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, especially if they’re looking for a job related to computers.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Don’t get frustrated when you get stuck with code blocks! Community projects are always good for inspiration because they can show you how you make a certain guy do a certain thing, or just give you general ideas for games.
Eric is the proud father of not one, but two Featured Makers! When asked how he feels about his sons learning to code, he said, “It’s amazing! I think it’s causing them to be able to have a wider vision of what’s possible, in terms of coding and gaming. So, they’re just having more ideas all the time from having used Tynker.”
Marshall’s parents support him in his coding endeavors by giving him the time he needs to create! According to Eric, “They get a certain amount of screen time for entertainment, and when they started using Tynker we added additional screen time specifically for creating. We call it ‘Creative Time.’ If they want to use their entertainment screen time as creative time, then they can double up on their creative time.”
Eric has observed coding improve Marshall’s problem solving skills and creativity! He also told us how much his sons enjoy using the Tynker community board. In his words, “I’ll see them looking at other people’s projects, the coding they used, and then they’ll start incorporating stuff in their own projects.”
Thanks for chatting with us, Marshall and Eric! We can’t wait to see what you come up with next, Marshall. Happy coding!