Tell us about yourself.
My Name is Jack, I’m 12 years old and I’m in year 8 at New-Bridge Integrated College in Loughbrickland, County Down. I’ve one brother called Patrick, he’s 3 and I’ve been showing him how to use the computer in my spare time. Apart from coding my other main hobby is Pigeon Racing, and I’m currently the UK Young “Fancier” of the Year!
What do you love about coding?
I love coding because it’s so easy, with just a few of lines of code you can make something work. I think learning code is easier than learning English (but incase my English teacher reads this I like English too!!), and the fact that you can join all different coding languages together makes sense. You can make systems work and continually develop and improve.
What got you interested in coding / CoderDojo?
I have been going to Armagh CoderDojo at the AmmA Centre for over 2 years, but I’ve been interested in coding since I got my own computer when I was 8. I started making games and quizzes with scratch and scratch 2, and then moved on to HTML and CSS. Its great fun and I really like going, the mentors are very good. We do all kinds of things at the AmmA Centre apart from coding, from soldering circuits to doing teardowns of Macs, and we’ve even used AR Drones and done 3D printing. This summer I’m hoping to showcase my website to others at CoderDojo and show people how easy it is to learn to make websites.
What’s your favourite coding language?
What advice would you give to young people about learning to code?
Coding is great. You can do so much with code, its in everything we use everyday from a kettle to a smartphone and makes the world work. I think coding experience will be needed more in the future for jobs, so its something everyone should be learning now. The Education Authority need to make sure coding is on the curriculum so everyone has a chance to learn about it.
Tell us a little about your experience creating projects with code.
I’ve made a few websites and I’m currently working on making a CCTV system for inside my pigeon loft with my Raspberry Pi. I also attend the NI Raspberry Jam where I learn how to use the Raspberry Pi and make projects. It’s also a great place to learn how to code with actual projects, but I’ve a lot more to learn about Raspberry Pi.
Tell us about your entry this year.
This is my first entry for Coolest Projects and I’m really looking forward to the event to be able to show people my work. I was always interested in going to technology and science events but found I had to look at loads of different websites to find out about new events so I decided to make one website which would list events and take users directly to their booking or info pages. I made Youthtechni.com and it is a one stop shop for Science & Technology event listing and it’s aimed at young people.
It means people only need to look at my site to see if there’s anything on instead of trawling through various web pages.
I called my website youthtechni.com and set up a twitter feed @youthtechni on the site I also have coding resources and details of how to list an event, complete with a custom Google map iframe to look up events close to you. I'm hoping over the next year I will be able to improve this website and develop a bigger twitter following.
Jack is the second participant from CoderDojo Armagh to enter the Coolest Projects Award with Rob Ellis winning his category for his very own game engine in 2013.
CoderDojo is a global movement offering free technology workshops to young people aged 8 to 18.
If you want to know more about CoderDojo, contact the AmmA Centre on 028 37512920 or www.ammacentre.org.