Meet Christian. At only 12 years old, he has already breezed through our roadmap and attended our Python Perfect classes (which we recommend to 13-year-olds and above), where he coded an impressive Pokémon game on his own.

His story has been featured on the Tiny Thinkers blog before, which covered how the special needs child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and gradually found his passion for programming. We talk to the young boy, who is part of Eunos Primary School’s Robotics Club and aspires to be a professional coder, as he continues his coding journey with us.

Christian's parents kick-started his interest in programming when they bought him a book titled "Adventures in Minecraft".
Christian’s parents kick-started his interest in programming when they bought him a book titled “Adventures in Minecraft”.

Hi Christian! Could you tell us about your program? 

Christian: I started it in class after I finished my Python assignment from the teacher. I would continue to work on it as a reward whenever I finished my in-class assignments early! The program is like playing the Pokémon game without the graphics, so it’s all text-based in Python.

What gave you the idea for the program?

Christian: Everyone else seemed to be coding something practical, I suppose maybe because they were older. I didn’t really know what practical stuff I could code, so I decided to do a simple Pokémon program because I was playing it quite a bit on my Nintendo Switch.

Christian-Codes-finally

What were some difficulties you faced when developing this program? 

Christian: I ran into a lot, of course. There was one when I asked to view the Pokémon in my party, and all the letters would split up. It took me a while to realise that I was missing a function. Generally, attending classes helped me to solve what I needed to know but the Coding Lab teachers also taught me what I didn’t know codes could do. They also gave me hints on what could have gone wrong with my codes, suggested more efficient ones, and even gave me ideas on how to improve my program.

Start small, start with something you like. Keep going and don’t give up!

Do you have any future plans for your program?

Christian: Currently, I am preparing for the dreaded PSLE. But I’m looking to add more features to my game, and to modify it to a more MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) style that I enjoy playing. It’s still not completed yet, so I just want to finish it and run it. Hopefully, after I finish my program, I can get some beta testers who can give me suggestions on how to improve.

Christian, 12, spends most of his free time on the computer or reading on Kindle.
Christian, 12, spends most of his free time on the computer or reading on Kindle.

What advice would you give to young coders who are new to coding?

Christian: Start small, start with something you like. Keep going and don’t give up!

Christian, 12, is a student at Eunos Primary School taking his PSLE this year. He started off with our Scratch holiday workshop course in 2018 and has since completed our ScratchMIT App Inventor and Python classes.

He aspires to be a professional coder in the gaming industry and to work at Google someday. It is evident that Christian loves coding, and it is one of his many strengths. We’re sure that he will do great, and we look forward to seeing his future programs! 

As an international coding school with a global presence, Coding Lab strongly believes in and actively sources for opportunities and exposure for our students both locally and internationally. 

We would like to congratulate to our award winners — Adam, Anthony, Joshua and Aaron — for their outstanding global performance at the MIT App Inventor Summit 2019!

– Best Poster Award, 2nd Prize (Adam, 12, Anthony, 12, Joshua, 10)
– Hackathon, Beginner Category, 2nd Prize (Adam, 12)
– Hackathon, Beginner Category, 3rd Prize (Anthony, 12, Aaron, 13)
– Hackathon, Advanced Category, 2nd Prize (Joshua, 10)

It all started with their poster being selected for presentation, out of a global pool of applicants. Looking at the high volume of ride-hailing trips globally, the boys thought of an app that would allow ride-hailing companies to objectively measure their drivers’ performance and safety profile. “Roadsafe – A Better Driving Initiative” was a novel idea conceived out of the need for improving passenger safety. Under the guidance of their tutors, the team set about working judiciously on their app and poster for the conference, which utilised Data Analytics to build a mathematical model to rate drivers’ performance using data collected from mobile phone sensors.

Adam, Joshua and Aaron at Coding Lab's App Inventor class in Singapore
Adam, Joshua and Aaron at Coding Lab’s App Inventor class in Singapore
Anthony attending a lesson at Coding Lab Singapore
Anthony attending a lesson at Coding Lab Singapore

Our tutors then flew together with them all the way to the MIT campus in USA where they clinched Top 3 awards in BOTH Beginner and Advanced Categories, a FIRST for Singapore! To top it off, these boys were also one of the youngest participants at the events — talk about talent. They have truly flown the Singapore flag high and have done us SO proud!

Anthony, Adam, and Joshua presenting their poster which won the 2nd prize at the competition
Anthony, Adam, and Joshua presenting their poster which won the 2nd prize at the competition – a FIRST for Singapore
Poster Set-up at MIT Media Lab, overlooking the Charles River
Poster Set-up at the MIT Media Lab, overlooking the Charles River

With Nature, Environmental Issues and Human Ecology as the hackathon theme, clinching 2nd place for the Advanced category was Joshua’s recycling app which informs what’s recyclable and what’s not. 

Joshua presenting his app onstage
Joshua presenting his app on stage
Joshua collecting his certificate for 2nd prize, Advanced Category
Joshua collecting his certificate for 2nd prize, Advanced Category

Coming in 2nd and 3rd place for the Beginner category was Adam’s utility app which calculates shower water usage based on water pressure, and Anthony and Aaron’s informative app which educates users on landfills and composting. 

Anthony and Adam sharing their projects excitedly with other participants at the MIT App Inventor Summit, USA
Anthony and Adam sharing their projects excitedly with other participants at the MIT App Inventor Summit, USA
Aaron and Anthony on stage to collect their certificates
Aaron and Anthony on stage to collect their certificates

As outstanding graduates of our App Inventor and Advanced Computer Scientists courses, It’s that spirit of innovation that makes them second to none. 

Adam, Anthony and Joshua receiving their award certificates from Mark Friedman, one of the original developers of MIT App Inventor
Receiving their award certificates from Mark Friedman, one of the original developers of MIT App Inventor
Tutor Mona with her protégés
Tutor Mona with her protégés
The ecstatic boys having won the 2nd prize for Best Poster Award
The ecstatic boys having won the 2nd prize for Best Poster Award – doing Singapore proud!

Time and again, our students have shown their mettle and these students have indeed allowed their passion for programming to shine through on the global stage, doing Singapore proud. Keep up the impressive work, boys!