Meet our newest Featured Maker, 15-year-old Danielle from South Africa! Because she loves helping people so much, she’d like to code a program that can help a charity. Awesome! Danielle recently spoke with us about her experience coding with Tynker.
What do you like to do outside of school?
I love socializing with friends, and I love math, so the two opposites. I love English and I love math as well.
How did you get introduced to Tynker?
Actually, I have always loved technology and this coding course popped up, I think, in grade seven, and my friends said that I should go, so I did. And it was Tynker block code and I found I really did enjoy it. So I got one more and more into it, and then my friends bought me the whole subscription thing for Tynker. And then I saw the text with Python. I’ve just been loving it.
How did you learn to use Tynker?
I think I first started with Python, the text. I did do a bit of block, but I’ve always been more interested in the tech style of it.
Have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker?
When I first started I didn’t understand the difference between integers and strings and floats. And now I’ve practiced a lot more. My syntax has gotten a lot better, and I’ve recently done the Tynker course with Python, and I’ve started the second, Python 2. I’ve just done that to carry on with my syntax, and it’s so interesting with the recursion. So, I may go and practice all that and really get more into it.
Excellent. How did you feel when you found that your project had been featured?
I was really excited. I have long COVID, so I didn’t code for a while. And then I got better, and then I really wanted to get back into it, and I appreciated it so much more. It was like I wanted to understand it a lot more than I did before, and so I was working a lot harder at it.
I’m glad that you’re better. What’s the favorite project you’ve made so far?
My project is the Sunrise in Africa that I made last year for the competition. It was the first project that I ever published, but just something I always had loved. The sunrise always has such meaning to me. So to actually code it and then make it into this whole turtle diagram and then publish it was really something, and it always has stayed with me.
That’s fantastic. How do you get inspiration for your projects?
A lot of it’s just what I see. I talk to friends, and we have a completely random conversation about something. And then I’ll think, oh actually, could I code that? A lot is from mistakes actually. I’ll just be coding random things and I’ll make a complete mistake that will end up looking like a coconut. So then I’ll make a coconut.
What’s your favorite way to use code?
I love the treasure diagrams. I love the classes. I’m trying to understand a lot more. So I’m trying to use it. And that really interests me.
Sounds like you’re into those advanced concepts.
I love challenges. So when you don’t quite understand something, but you really want to understand something, I love it.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it?
I want to publish some more projects. Most of the time I sort of I’ll leave it, and I’ll actually learn something new and then go back and compare how my code was then to how it is now. And then I try and improve it. I made a Tic-Tac-Toe game and now with everything that I’ve learned in this new course, I want to go back and change it and make it easier to read and better. And then I’ll publish it after that.
That sounds great. Do you know what you’re planning to make next?
I’m not too sure. I’m playing two games at the moment. I want to create a hangman game or a word search sort of game.
What’s the best thing about Tynker?
A lot of opportunities, from block to Java and Python, everything. And there’s so many courses. And it’s not like it just briefly tells you. It actually goes in-depth about all of it and it’s really nice. And there’s so many, with the whole community. Anything you want to learn, you can learn it there.
I’m so glad you like Tynker. Is there anything that we should change?
No, I really love Tynker how it is. I love the competitions too.
Has learning to code has prepared you for the future?
I think it’s taught me a lot of patience, which has helped me in every aspect of life and problem solve. I find it’s helped me so much with that and just with friendships and talking to people. It really has. It makes you think in a different way. That’s so important for how our world is today.
Absolutely, I agree. Do you think that other kids should try coding?
I think everyone should try coding because it’s so diverse and it’s like this whole language, almost like a culture of its own. And there will be something that you like, whether it’s in Python or Block or Java or treasure diagrams or statistics. There will be some part of coding that everyone will love.
What advice would you give to kids just starting out with Tynker?
Don’t give up. Sometimes it can be really hard but just carry on and push through and try things. And then once you’re familiar with those, take the next step.
That’s great advice. What’s a fun fact about you?
I have a junior Black Belt in karate.
That’s amazing. I have a few questions for your dad.
Hi, Peter. How do you feel about Danielle learning to code with Tynker?
I think it’s fantastic. I think every kid should be doing it as education in the future, it’s going to be very difficult to find a job in the Fourth Industrial Revolution if you don’t understand or encode computers.
What benefits do you think coding has for her?
Well, it’s structure. It’s perseverance. It can be problem-solving because now you’re going to work out how you wanted it. And then you’re going to look and see why you didn’t do that, so it’s a problem-solving kind of skill, interfacing between drawing or elements of coding but also your structure, everything.
Do you feel like Danielle is better prepared for the future?
Absolutely. We’ve encouraged her all the way.
That’s great. Those are all the questions I have. You guys were fantastic.
We want to thank Danielle and her father for taking the time to speak with us about coding with Tynker. We can’t wait to see what she creates next – HAPPY CODING!