Meet our newest Featured Maker, 5th grader Salahiddin from Florida! When he grows up, he wants to start a private space company like SpaceX. Awesome! Meanwhile, outside of school, he likes to go biking and have fun with his cousins. Salahiddin recently spoke with us about his experience coding with Tynker.
How did you get introduced to Tynker?
My parents recommended that I try to use Tynker to start coding when I was around eight.
How did you learn to use Tynker?
The Haunted Mansion. I then discovered Minecraft and began taking some tutorials for how to make Minecraft Mods.
Have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker?
Improved by a lot. I’ve been able to understand coding much more easily. And I’ve been able to do much more, much more quickly. And like I’m going on to like actual Java coding and HTML/CSS.
What’s the favorite project you’ve made so far?
My favorite project is a racing game I’m working on right now. I’m updating it. And I’m trying to add friction so when a car turns it doesn’t act like it’s on ice instead of pavement. I tried gravity but since it’s two-dimensional, it’s thinking of gravity going down and I want to be facing the Zed axis. I tried friction. I set it to a large amount. I tried different amounts, and it didn’t affect the car. But that’s what I’m trying to figure out right now.
How do you get inspiration for your projects?
Really, I was looking around seeing how other projects were running. And I wanted to look for one that was really popular or like something that interested me, and it was a racing game. But some other player projects I have are more quizzes and puzzles because I just like it when people have to think about it.
Why do you like to code?
I just love to code because of the amount I can do with it, and what am I able to create with it
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it?
So first, what I usually do, I just like to play around with it for a little bit, and then see what the final product is. And then when I’m done, I decide to publish it. And every now and then, I’d like to look back and see what the progress on it has been.
What are you planning to make next?
I’m really just working on the racing game until I get to the point where I feel like it’s good enough to stop the updating and then let it flow on its own.
Is there anything we should change about or add to Tynker?
I feel it’s perfect.
Has learning to code prepared you for the future?
Really probably helped me for when I’m dealing with situations, like it’s able to help me on how to debug it or like fix it.
What advice would you give to kids starting with Tynker?
Start with what you really like. But if you want to do Minecraft modding, I recommend first starting to understand how block coding is and then progress on to Minecraft Modding.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school is math because it’s the easiest for me to understand. It also is the one where I have to like put most of my mind into it.
Bonus: What’s a fun fact about you?
I like to study ahead of my grade. I’m in fifth grade right now, but I’m studying sixth grade. And I also found out that to actually start real programming like Java, HTML, or CSS, you have to be in middle school. And in the time they do it there is pretty simple, and I’m doing more complicated ones.
Salahiddin’s father, Alibek, spoke with us about his son learning to code with Tynker:
It just lets him be creative. He can do things he can’t do physically, but when he starts coding he starts building these things, and it’s amazing.
What benefits do you think coding has for him?
He understands the way the algorithm works, right? I’m a developer myself, so you need to understand how the flow works. Block coding really aims to teach that to a child. So they kind of visualize how it’s all set up and how the code flows and actions happen. So that helped him a lot to learn that.
How do you support his coding endeavors?
Him being a kid, they like to play around. So I have to be on top to make sure that he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. And there are some paid programs like Tynker and like pay for those and make sure that he gets what he needs.
What do you think of Tynker?
It’s amazing. I was like, how am I gonna teach this kid to understand the code? Then he gets introduced to block coding and especially in a way that he likes, including those games. Whenever he plays Minecraft and kind of combines those two really kind of catches his attention. And they put a lot of thought into this thing. It’s great.
We want to thank Salahiddin and his father for taking the time to speak with us about coding with Tynker. We can’t wait to see what he creates next – HAPPY CODING!