My Coding Journey


I have always been an avid reader, and I’ve easily read more than a hundred books in almost 13 years! One of my favourite books to date is the award-winning book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. I remember receiving this book as a gift when I was just nine years old and being fascinated by the stories of women who changed the world. One story, in particular, stood out to me.


It was the story of Ada Lovelace, a British Mathematician who wrote the first-ever computer programme.


Do you know what I found most fascinating? Ada and I share the same birthday! I always think that perhaps I got my love for coding from her.


Starting from “Scratch”


It all started with Scratch when I was in primary school.


Scratch is a simple programming language that uses blocks and an excellent way for young kids to understand coding concepts. I attended a few camps to learn how to do Scratch coding. My friends and I loved to spend hours playing around with the blocks to make our characters move and talk to each other. My interest was sparked, and I found Scratch exciting and fun.

So, I asked my parents to send me to many camps to learn more.


image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ada_Lovelace_color.svg


I Kept Wanting to Learn More


The more I learnt, the more I enjoyed it, and I just wanted to keep learning more.


Even while I was preparing for my PSLE exams in 2020, I couldn’t stop thinking about coding. I felt like I wanted to explore another form of coding. I had been interested in Python for a long time. I read about it and found that Python was easy to understand and very engaging.


So as soon as I finished my exams, my parents helped me get started on a Python course with the Lavender Spaceship Project.


As I moved through the first course, I found it very interesting learning different Python modules such as Turtle, Random, Time, and more! I eagerly looked forward to my coding class every week. I looked forward to creating new projects and continuing to find out more in Python. I am proud to have finished both Python courses at the Lavender Spaceship Project. I am now waiting to start my third course.


Coding Empowers me to Challenge Myself!


In Python, I can do what I want - I don’t always have to follow the rules (except in class!). I get to make quizzes, games, animations, calculators, and more, and when I learn a new module, I can create many other projects based on that skill.


For example, when I learn how to draw shapes in Turtle, I can draw pictures using simple shapes, and it makes me feel happy and strong as I can control everything I do in Python.


I am a Proud STEM Girl!


There is another reason I love coding. I do feel very proud of myself as not a lot of girls do coding. Women in STEM inspire me to reach my goals, and I strive to be like them someday. Learning fascinating stories of these powerful women inspires me to keep learning more!


Through coding, I want to make a change in the world, and I wish to learn many coding languages and teach other girls like me who also want to make a difference.


When you feel as though you can change the world, you will keep trying till you reach your goal!


In Python, I can do what I want - I don’t always have to follow the rules (except in class!). I get to make quizzes, games, animations, calculators, and more, and when I learn a new module, I can create many other projects based on that skill.


There’s Never Enough Time


I love coding so much that I never have enough time to balance everything else I do and find time to code. I guess this is a challenge any kid my age faces when it’s something they enjoy doing. Also, like many kids out there, I, too, have a screen time limit, so I don’t get to spend a lot of time on devices.


My parents support me a lot, and they help me in any way they can. However, even though they let me have more than enough time to do my coding, ideas would spring into my mind throughout the day, and I feel frustrated that I can’t jot them down.


I try to do some coding in the evenings, but since I’m in Secondary One (7th grade) now, I do have a few other classes and homework that takes my time. Still, I am determined to keep coding while maintaining good grades in school.


So I find creative ways to write down my codes. But I get completely engrossed in it and lose track of time.


The other day in school, I was using a piece of paper to write a code for a Truth or Dare generator and didn’t notice when my classmate asked me for help on a question! I was jolted out of my concentration and, of course, managed to help him.


Then, another time my mother asked me to come to eat dinner when I was in the middle of writing a code. I was so engrossed in my coding, and I actually forgot that she asked me! I am happy my parents understand my love for coding.


I am also happy that I can bounce my ideas off my father, as he studied coding in university.


I love coding so much that I never have enough time to balance everything else I do and find time to code. I guess this is a challenge any kid my age faces when it’s something they enjoy doing. Also, like many kids out there, I, too, have a screen time limit, so I don’t get to spend a lot of time on devices.

Finding the Right Support in My Journey


I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey at The Lavender Spaceship Project. They have helped me in so many ways.


First of all, they introduced me to Python, which I enjoy so much. My teacher, Ms Marie, is so kind and helpful and assists me when I have any doubts about my codes. Even if I ask a question not related to the topic we were doing, she still helps me finish it. If I encounter any hurdles when doing a project between classes, she helps me solve the problem.


What’s more, I always have a lot of fun during the class. I enjoy my coding sessions very much, and I hope to use these skills I am learning in the future.


I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me in my coding journey thus far, and I can't wait to keep learning!


Shaaya Almeida, Age 12

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