Arun, age 12
When did you start coding? What inspired you?
I started coding when I was about 8 years old. I was always passionate about technology from a young age, and I was keen to know how it worked, and that got me into coding. I started off by learning HTML and CSS on Codecademy. Since then, I have progressed and I can code in many languages.
What was the name of the event you have attended?
#AcornHack2016 & #ARHack
Why did you choose to come to an Acorn Aspirations hackathon?
I came because the hackathon was not only about coding & technology, but also about entrepreneurship and how to develop an idea into a product.
Have you done coding or any form of technology prior to coming to the hack?
Before the hackathon, I had been coding in several languages including Java, HTML, CSS, JS, which I had taught myself.
What were the top three skills (not necessarily coding) that you learnt as a result of the hackathon?
Prototyping, Product Development & Pitching.
How have you used the skills since your participation?
I have used these skills to help me develop a project started at AcornHack2016, Revi-C. I have also used them to build my own website, and work through online coding challenges.
What would you say were the highlights or funniest moments with Acorn Aspirations?
I enjoyed getting to work with so many other teens and adults in my desired field.
What kind of projects have you been developing and what was your inspiration behind them?
I have also been working on Revi-C, a revision app, helping GCSE and A-Level students revise easily. It uses a back-end developed by futureCoders, which uses Java classes and controllers & a PostgresQL database. I have been developing the front end, which uses JS, AngularJS, Bootstrap, HTML & CSS.
I have been inspired to create the educational apps, as I know how difficult revising and studying is for all teens, so I created these apps.
How do you hope to use the tech and entrepreneurship skills you have learnt at Acorn Aspirations in the future?
I aim to be a developer in the future and create my own products. I will also carry on developing projects for good.
What would your advice be to those embarking on the coding journey, those who have never coded before, but would like to start.
Coding can be very frustrating at times, literally making you want to throw your computer out the window, but even though it can be difficult, have patience and continue, because encountering errors and then solving them makes you a better coder.
For those who are not sure about coding at all: why is this important at all?
You may not realise this, but your life revolves around coding. Coding is how we tell machines what they should do. Coding powers essentially every piece of technology, including cars, computers, TV’s, phones and the device that you are reading this on. Coding is so important, because without it none of our technology would work. We need it if we want to use any of our devices.
Could you share the online resources you have used so far and found extremely useful?
Here are some resources that you can use to learn code:
For Beginners: Start off with a simple drag and drop editor such as Scratch (www.scratch.mit.edu). This will help you to understand more about problem solving.
After you have got the basics of programming, begin to learn a simple language such as HTML. I would recommend using Codecademy (www.codecademy.com) for this. After HTML, you can learn a language that will add features to it such as CSS (also available on Codecademy).
Once you have conquered those basics, you can move on to a more difficult language, which involves problem solving. I would recommend Python. You could use Codecademy, SoloLearn (www.sololearn.com), or even start to use the documentation (https://www.python.org/doc/). From there, you will be a pretty well equipped coder.
If you want to learn even more, you can use FreeCodeCamp (www.freecodecamp.com). FreeCodeCamp is quite a bit more advanced, so make sure you are ready before starting.
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