Meet 12-year-old Kyran Tan who won 1st Place (Python for Ages 10-12) at the International Coding Showcase 2020 (JP-SG) and also clinched Distinction (Electives for Ages 13 to 18) at the International Coding Showcase 2021 (JP-SG). We interviewed this precocious primary schooler about his programming journey at Coding Lab. Read on to find out more about Kyran!

… Or watch this video interview to hear from Kyran himself!

Hello, Kyran! How did your adventure with coding begin? What do you like most about it?

I first started coding when my mother introduced me to Scratch Jr. I found it interesting as I could create simple games and animations. I started to code more frequently, learning more and more things along the way. The part I liked most about coding was that I could use my own imagination and creativity to create the things I wanted.

Screenshot of Kyran (bottom right) with his Coding Lab classmates
Kyran (bottom right) having fun with his Coding Lab classmates in an online class!

How did you get started with Coding Lab?

I wanted to learn more about coding but did not know where to start. After some research, my mother enrolled me for Coding Lab lessons. I have just completed my S100 series (Python Foundation) and I can’t wait to start on the S200 series (Advanced Electives)!

“The part I liked most about coding was that I could use my own imagination and creativity to create the things I wanted.”

We’re excited to have you at Coding Lab too! Could you share how coding has made a difference in your life?

Coding allows me to understand what goes behind animations, games and applications. I learnt to appreciate the hard work that developers put into their creation, however simple it may seem.

Photo of Kyran Tan at the park

I have also learnt to be more organised. As the code gets longer, it is important for me to be organised so that it is easier to debug the code.

“Kyran is an exceptional student who is enthusiastic in his learning. He is organised and attentive to details, and does not shy away from asking questions in class. When encountering something unfamiliar, he is able to solve problems quickly and with minimal hints.

I am very impressed by Kyran’s determination and perseverance. Kyran always gives his very best to tackle class challenges on his own. With his knowledge and passion for coding, he has repeatedly shown great improvement in his classes and it is a joy to have him as our Coding Lab student.”

Educator Edmund

Why do you think learning to code is so important?

Many things rely on coding to work. This includes phone apps, websites or desktop applications. For example, coding can be used to create applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Discord to connect with our friends online. It also makes life easier for us. Instead of spending time doing repetitive routines, coding can help us to create automations on our computer.

“I learnt not to give up as there will definitely be a solution out there.”

What difficulties did you face while learning to code – and how did you overcome them?

When learning to code, sometimes my code does not work. To overcome this, I will search for solutions and ask if needed. I learnt not to give up as there will definitely be a solution out there.

Photo of Kyran using his laptop
The confident and passionate coder has built lots of complex programs at a young age.

Apart from coding, what do you do in your spare time?

I like to play Roblox and read books related to it. I also enjoy reading non-fiction books!

Tell us, what is your future dream school?

I hope to go to a school that focuses on Science and Technology subjects as these are where my interest lie. It would be great if the school offers the opportunity for me to learn more programming languages too!

Kyran dreams of becoming a software application developer in the future.

Do share with us what your dream job is!

My dream job is to become a software application developer, where I can create, test and upgrade apps for others to use. I plan to learn programming languages such as Python and C# and be proficient enough to get the job.

I’m interested in learning C# as I can use this language to create Universal Windows Platform (UWP)* apps that can be published to the Microsoft Store. (I am a huge fan of Microsoft!)

*UWP is a common programming platform for all Microsoft products, including Windows, Xbox, Surface Hub and HoloLens.

That’s so cool! We wish you all the best. Do you have any advice for young people like you to begin their journey with coding?

I would tell them that coding may seem intimidating at first. However, with more practice, coding can be so much fun. So take that first step to learn coding and don’t give up even when you are faced with challenges!

Last but not least, what is your favourite project – and why?

My favourite project is the Clockc programme which I created for my own use. This programme includes functions like Timer, Alarm, StopWatch and Countdown. There is also a unique “Work ‘n Rest” function which reminds me when to work and rest my eyes. I find this project useful as it is an all-in-one program that contains many functions related to time.

Click here to watch a lively video explanation of Kyran’s award-winning Clockc programme – expertly edited by our champion himself!

Thank you for sharing your coding journey with us, Kyran! He started learning at Coding Lab with App Inventor in 2020, and has quickly progressed on to our S200 Advanced Electives (for ages 13-18). His passion for programming shines with lots of potential, and we’re so excited to see what the future has in store for him! 

Kyran also emerged as the winner in the Ages 10 to 12 (Python) category in our International Coding Showcase 2020. He also clinched Distinction in the Ages 13 to 18 (Electives) category in our International Coding Showcase 2021

Watch the video to learn how Wallety, Kyran’s submission for the International Coding Showcase 2021, helps to manage your expenses. Truly an amazing project indeed!

Young programmers like Kyran demonstrate that it’s never too early to embark on your own coding journey! We hope that you’ll be an inspiration to others for them to pick up coding, no matter the age.

Coding Lab is committed to bringing coding literacy to children ages 4-18. Find out more here.

(Written by Zulaikha and Lixin)

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