Featured Maker: Xavier Dives into Code!

Featured Maker: Xavier Dives into Code!
Last Updated: November 17, 2020 7:15 pm

Meet our newest Featured Maker, 12-year-old Xavier! More well-traveled than a lot of kids his age, Xavier is originally from across the pond in the United Kingdom, has spent time living in Brazil, and now calls Texas home! In addition to exercising his mind with coding, Xavier likes to exercise his body as well! He likes to ride his bike and go climbing. But, above all, he loves to dive and even has aspirations of becoming a Marine Biologist when he grows up!

Let’s get to know Xavier a little bit better and find out how his journey with Tynker began and where it’s taking him now!

How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? So, I’ve been coding for around two years. I started in my old school in Brazil. We had computer science and in that we had to do coding for homework, and we did Tynker!

How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? The first one we used, we used the Space Cadet one, then we went on!

How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? Since I started using Tynker, I basically knew the basic pixels and then also on/start, and now I’m using variables and like animations!

How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I felt really amazed and proud because my project is going to get really popular!

What is your favorite project you’ve made so far? I think my favorite project is the one that got featured because it took me a very long time and from the original game I added more than you usually would to copy the game!

Where did you get the idea for your favorite project and how long did it take you to make? I got the idea from the game that it was based off of! It’s a clicking game where you click it and you get like a certain amount when you click it and then you can buy upgrades. And so I got the idea from that! I think it took me around a week and a half, maybe.

How do you get inspiration for your projects? Usually I’ll get inspired by something that happened to me or maybe from the other games I see!

Why do you like to code? I like coding, because the games that, let’s say don’t exist, I can create them myself and then I can play them and then I can improve it!

Do you have a favorite code block? I don’t really have a favorite code block but if I would choose a section, I choose the variables because they can be really useful at times!

What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? Usually I’ll show my friends and then I’ll check if there’s any problems with it and then I’ll publish it! 

What are you planning to make next? I’m not sure what I’m gonna do next, but it might be based on a story!

What’s the best thing about Tynker? I like creating games! I don’t like as much like the sections they have on the homepage as much as I like creating them. I also like playing the community games!

Is there anything we should change or add to Tynker? I think it’s already pretty good. I don’t think we should change anything!

How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I think that maybe if I change my mind about being a marine biologist and I decide to become like a computer scientist, maybe that could help me in ways!

Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, I think they should!

What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I’d say, look at other community games, and remix them to see how all the things work and maybe try creating your own really good project!

Samantha, Xavier’s mom, hopped in on the conversation to speak about Tynker and how it has benefitted Xavier. When asked how she felt about him learning to code she said, “I think it’s great! He obviously enjoys it. We have to balance our time between screens and other activities as well because he does really get into his projects, he really enjoys it!”

Samantha observes that Tynker and coding helps Xavier with his creativity. “I think when he was talking earlier and said he might base his next one on a story, he does have a really creative mind so he’s very good at art,” she said. “He’s very good at stories and I think that’s quite nice where he can kind of develop a game or do his coding where it’s actually quite creative for him as well.” Samantha loves that it also helps Xavier build confidence and knows that it will be important for the future.

Developing creative skills isn’t the only benefit that Samantha believes Xavier’s gotten from his work with Tynker, citing patience and organization too. She also believes that Xavier is now better prepared for his future. “I think the way that he can navigate technology obviously helps,” she said. “I think, at his age, it’s keeping a kind of ‘same pace’ with everyone else, and also keeping a little bit ahead of the game as much as possible.” We want to thank Xavier and Samantha for taking the time to speak with us about their experience with Tynker. We look forward to more projects from Xavier. Happy coding!

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