Seasoned Coder Robert Shares His Wisdom!
Robert, a 6th grader from Indiana, is only eleven years old but already has aspirations to be a computer programmer in the future! “It’s not the money I’d work for,” he said, “it’s because it’s fun! I really like computer coding.”
His hobbies include playing piano and marimba (he told us he can play any song he hears!), programming video games, doing BMX, and playing with LEGOs. He told us “I like to play with LEGOs a LOT – you should see my room, there are LEGOs everywhere!”
Robert has been exploring the world of code for the past three years, so he had a lot of wise words about the importance of coding, his process, and why he loves to code!
What’s your favorite subject in school? Probably math! No, science – definitely science! I love experimenting with things, and science is really cool!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was like, “What! I didn’t know this was going to happen! I’m just throwing out a random project that I think is going to be cool. Woah!”
How did you get introduced to Tynker? It really just started at school because some people were playing with it. I love it, I love it, I love it! I’ve been coding since third grade.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? I mainly thought “I want to make this myself!” “I wonder how they made this, how long it took!” And I went, “You know what, I’m going to do just that! I’m going to make it myself!
How do creativity and coding fit together for you? I think about how something could be done differently – I recently learned about the forever-if block so I don’t keep having to put the “forever” and “if” blocks – there’s just the forever-if block! I try to think of how to use the least amount of code so it’s not too laggy.
Why do you like to code? Sure, video games are really fun to play, but I’ve been drawing plans for making my own video games since I was five because I really wanted to make something like that myself. I think that’s really all it’s about – making something myself that people will like and enjoy playing.
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? I think my favorite is a debate between “Snow Clicker” or my 4th backup of the Omega Flowy fight. I made the 4th backup before I did all the new textures, so I hand-drew everything, made the entire thing from scratch. I think that’s got to be my favorite out of all of them.
What are you planning to make next? I’m currently working on my Omega Flowy Fight and my Snow Clicker.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I usually publish them, or if it’s a Minecraft mod I set it up for me to go to test it out. Or, I’ll think, you know, “I’m not done!” and I’ll keep working.
What’s your favorite feature in Tynker? I like the physics blocks that allow you to have gravity. I like that it’s gotten easier for me because that shortens the time it takes to do things. Less code, less bugs!
Do you ever Tynker with your friends? I do have a friend that I made in my new school, and he’s good at coding with Tynker. We both kind of figured it out at the same time. He’s created some projects and published a few. I have a few people who could use Tynker accounts.
Do you look at the Tynker community projects? Yeah, sometimes, like maybe a few times a week I look there and think, “Oh, that looks neat!” Then I’ll play it for a while, wonder how they made it, look at the code and see what I could change to make things a little easier, or do something different so it worked a little differently. Sometimes I’ll make my own remix of it!
“Omega Flowey Fight WIP”
How do you think learning coding now might help you in the future? Well in the future there’s going to be things like flying cars – they’re already starting to make those – so there’s a lot of coding involved in the future. The future is definitely technology. You’re going to have to have coding in there somewhere, so having a job that’s a computer programmer in the future could get you paid more than lots of other jobs, but it’s not the money I’d work for – it’s because it’s fun! I really like computer coding.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, I think so! Our whole class did an Hour of Code thing recently.
What advice would you give for kids starting out with Tynker? Tynker doesn’t really have a lot of limitations! I’d say, start with the basics, start with the courses to learn it. There are some basic projects that I think they should start with, like maybe theme projects that would pop up. I think if you’re starting out with Tynker you should try these projects because they will help you learn how to code! Once you get the hang of it, you get the hang of it.
I’ve been told that I’m a fast learner, but…I don’t think it’s really too hard to learn. I learned it by doing Hour of Code, so I would suggest going through some of the Hour of Code tutorials, getting to know what some things do, getting a grasp of the ideas, and when you’re on Tynker, don’t let any limitations stop you! Find a way around it!
Robert’s dad Thomas thinks that coding is important for the future! In his words, “I can’t predict the future, but I think there’s going to be a day when everyone’s going to kind of be coding and be able to code for whatever reason. It’s going to help them deal with their devices, maybe understand how they work.”
Thomas believes coding is a great way to learn problem solving, saying, “If the code’s not working they have to figure out why, because it never works perfectly the first time. They get their basic languages down, and then they start expanding. They work on their problem-solving skills through coding.
He thinks coding is great for Thomas, telling us, “it teaches him good skills – I think it helps him with his organization skills! To be cliché, it’s where everything’s going so it’s the future for him. He’s interested in it, and I think a lot of the careers in the future are going to have to do with coding.”
Thank you for chatting with us, Robert and Thomas! We’re so glad that Robert loves coding with Tynker, and hope he continues to see coding in his future.