Why does a future cop need to learn to code? Ask Benji!
Benji is an 11-year-old from McKinney, Texas who has published some really cool projects to the Tynker community. We asked him some questions about what he’s made using coding and how he thinks it will help him in the future.
What are your hobbies? Making games and drawing stuff.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A police officer and a computer coder at the same time.
How did you learn to code? In third grade, there was a computer club at my school. The teachers set up a class with a bunch of different lessons we completed. I went to computer camp too.
What’s your favorite thing about Tynker? You can make your own drawings for your projects.
What are you planning to make? I’m working on a cannon game right now. It’s like two-player, but single.
What would you most like to make? An online sci-fi shooter.
Why do you like coding? It’s fun. You can make cool games and animations and drawings using the pen tool.
Do you think other kids should learn to code? Yeah. I think coding is the future. The police need coding to track down criminals. And especially NASA. Without coding, they’d be stuck and not even able to send up rockets.
What advice would you give to kids who are new to coding? First think of what you’re doing before you do it, and then plan as you go on. Always plan the next step before you do it.
These are two of Benji’s incredible math art projects, called “Magic Light Oval” and “Spinny.” The lines of the rotating shapes are drawn using functions that change angles and color as they draw.
Benji’s father Thomas is thrilled that Benji is so engaged with learning to code and making games–and not just because Thomas used to make video games for a living. Thomas says coding with Tynker has been incredibly helpful for Benji well beyond coding: “One of the things [Benji] was having a problem with was math, so having to do the math involved in making a game and adding a score, multiplying for points, and different things like that, I think it’s helped him a lot.” In addition to improvements in Benji’s math skills, Thomas says he thinks coding helps you think in new ways and organize your thought process. Coding forces you to “pay attention to how things go step by step by step—saying, ‘I’m going to do this, then I’m going to go over here and do this,'” which Thomas thinks has really helped Benji with his organization skills.
Thanks for talking to us, Benji! We loved seeing your awesome math art projects. You’re absolutely right that learning to code will be helpful in your future. It’s not just programmers who need to be able to program. As a police officer, you could use programming to analyze crime data and identify crime trends so that you can keep people safer. And law enforcement officers who deal with cybersecurity need to know a ton of programming to do their job. We can’t wait to see what you’re going to do!