When William Codes, The Sky’s The Limit!
Meet William, a 12-year-old from Montreal, Canada. His hobbies range from sports (like swimming, skiing, and badminton) to indoor activities like watching movies, reading, and playing video games. He also enjoys several “making” hobbies – he’s great at building LEGOs and coding! Fun fact: William has been a lead actor in a movie!
William’s mother tongue is French, so his dad helped out by translating our conversation real-time. We learned a lot about him and his fantastic projects when we chatted with him and his dad!
What do you want to be when you grow up? He wants to be an engineer, either in IT or robotics.
What’s your favorite subject in school? Math!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? He was really happy and surprised because he wasn’t expecting this kind of feedback, so he was really excited and really happy!
How did you get introduced to Tynker? Tynker is used widely in his school, so that’s how he started using Tynker. In his class they have a coding course, and his first project was to create a video game in Tynker! We worked together because I am an IT engineer and I’ve done lots of coding in my life, so we had interesting discussions – he was really thinking about this project.
We had some nice discussions on the weekends and in the car on the way to school, and he built his project from there! We’d talk about what he wanted to do, the kind of issues he was facing, and how he could find some solutions. We were working together, and he worked with his teachers and classmates as well. It was really interactive between the both of us as well as the rest the school’s community.
How did you learn how to use Tynker? In school he had some small projects to start learning how it worked. Then, when he went for his big project, he started learning by himself and by discussing with me. We discussed a lot, but I don’t know the tools so he learned those on his own. He was doing all the work; we were just brainstorming. “Can I do this? Can I add that to the project?” He learned at school with smaller projects, and then by himself at home for the bigger project.
Have you played through any Tynker courses? Yes, the school is using those courses to teach him. The astronaut one was his favorite one.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Well, it was mainly with the discussions we had. We discussed and challenge ideas to narrow it down to one project because at first he had 2-3 different ideas. It was his idea, and we’d just brainstorm and improve on it.
How do creativity and coding fit together for you? It was an interactive process. First he put things together, then saw how they could change, then improved it before the due date. He tried to push the limit.
Why do you like to code? He likes it because the sky’s the limit – he can develop anything!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? This one!
My Comet Game. Check out more of William’s projects here.
What are you planning to make next? He has two other projects going on right now; the first one is a small ninja going around avoiding meteorites, and the other one is a game where a ball needs to destroy rectangles, but the ball needs to be prevented from falling.
What’s your favorite feature in Tynker? He finds the tool pretty cool! He likes that he can publish his projects and that others can look and provide likes and views.
Do you look at the Tynker community projects? He loves it! He looks at many projects. He likes seeing the creativity of others, seeing what they are doing and the kind of ideas they have. He also looks at the code when he thinks, “Oh they have done that, but how did they do it?”
How do you think learning coding now might help you in the future? Two reasons: first, most of all it’s a good perspective to know that he can develop a game and it’s not rocket science. Second one that if he does engineering, robotics, or IT, it can help him to program robots.
Do you think other kids should try coding? He thinks that yes, they should! It’s fun and it can help them in their future work.
When we asked what William’s dad Arnaud thinks of coding, he said, “It’s great, it’s great! It brings lots of value to him. He understands there is no limit to what he can do. He knows, ‘I can have an idea, and I can put it on screen, and it is working!’”
“He’s learned to look at bigger problems and understand that with smaller solutions (like 10 small solutions) can help him solve a big problem, so I see lots of value there for sure.”
Arnaud believes that coding helps William build resilience and long-term thinking, because “it wasn’t a one day project – he had three months to build the project, so he had to work on a weekly basis. Every weekend he was on his iPad, developing more and more. He didn’t quit.”
He continued, telling us, “It was a really great experience. Coding was a great support for his ideas and what he wants to do.”
William’s younger brother was inspired by his great Tynker games – Arnaud told us that he said “I want to do exactly like William and develop a game!” Sounds like we’ll be seeing some awesome projects from him soon!
Thanks for speaking with us, William and Arnaud! It was inspiring to hear about how hard William worked to complete his project, and how much he learned in the process. We look forward to seeing more projects from you, William!