Meet our newest Featured Maker, sophomore Kendal from Maryland! She runs track at her high school and likes to crochet. Kendal spoke with us about her experience coding with Tynker:
How did you get introduced to Tynker?
I think in fourth grade I was at a summer camp, and they had Tynker. So, I think I’ve been coding for seven years.
How did you learn to use Tynker?
I started learning from the courses to understand the basic use of it. And then later, I looked on to other people’s games and saw how they coded, and I learned from that.
Have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker?
They’ve improved a lot. At first, I didn’t really know how to do it on my own without looking at the lessons, but now I can just do it on my own!
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured?
I was surprised because I hadn’t been on Tynker for a while, so when I went back on and I saw that I had a lot of views, and I saw the ribbon on it, I was very surprised.
What’s your favorite project you’ve made so far?
Probably the Flappy Bird one!
How long did it take you to make?
At least a month because I had to keep going back to see how other people use certain parts of the code to figure out how I would use it.
How do you get inspiration for your projects?
Looking at the Community Board, I guess seeing what other people create gives me an idea. And also, I think, just envisioning stories in my head. I guess when I create those stories, they turn into ideas that I can code.
Why do you like to code?
It’s a way to share your creativity with other people. I like to draw, but I’m not the best artist out there, so I guess coding is another way to share how I think and share my comedy and my fun with other people.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it?
I usually publish it immediately, and then I’ll play it and see if anything is wrong with it.
What’s the best thing about Tynker?
I think it’s definitely the community thing because you can see what other people create. It gives you more ideas. And, as I was saying earlier, I also like how easy it is because Tynker is a good way to start coding, especially using little block codes, and definitely you can catch on quickly.
Do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future?
Well, I think if I hadn’t started out with Tynker, I would have been very confused on how to code. But like I said earlier, block coding makes it simple for me to learn the different algorithms and different parts of the game.
Do you think other kids should try coding?
Yeah, definitely. Especially, if you’re not the best artist like I am. I think it’s another way to show your creativity.
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker?
I think I would say, don’t give up because sometimes it can be frustrating when things don’t work. But you have to keep going.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Yeah, I would definitely like to have coding in my future when I want to create games because I like playing games. I like video games a lot. So I would like to do that in my future.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
I like math because it’s pretty straightforward, there’s only one answer.
We spoke with Kendal’s mother, Shannon, about her daughter learning to code with Tynker:
I’m excited because she loves math, and this is an extension of her ability to use math in a creative way. Coding was something that was introduced to her at an early age, and it came natural to her.
She’s making a career path that is definitely not as fluid with women and African American women so it’s good that she happens to be in a possible career that can kind of change the trajectory of this. She does it on her own, on her own terms, and on her own time, and that’s how you know that she really enjoys it.
How do you support her coding endeavors?
It’s really opened up a lot of doors for her and you know is the area that she plans on studying when she goes to college. I think that’s what’s cool also about coding is that she’s able to create and make a career out of it while she’s in high school.
What benefits do you think coding has for her?
It has definitely helped with social skills because she’s found people that think like her. It definitely allows her to be a problem-solver and come up with concepts and storylines. It kind of forces her to tap into that other side of the brain in a creative way so that’s another avenue for her to create friendships, create these different social circles for her.
Do you feel that Kendal is better prepared for the future?
Oh yeah, absolutely. She now is in a position where her coding experience has evolved, where she now can do more challenging programs in order to do coding. And, you know she’s learning new, new systems. That is going to help her future.
Because of Tynker, she was able to grasp the concept and master it. It has prepared her to take on other projects, or other programs. That is fueling her energy to continue to move on with this so I think this has definitely prepared her for a future.
We want to thank Kendal and her mother for taking the time to speak with us about coding with Tynker. We can’t wait to see what Kendal creates next – HAPPY CODING!