Friday, October 19, 2018

12-year-old coders visiting Umbraco HQ

What is the coolest thing about Umbraco?

If you ask the kids from class 6.A from Vestre Skole in Odense, they would tell you it is all the plushies and fun toys hanging on the walls and laying on peoples desks... 🦄

We recently had a visit from 16 12-year-olds who had been taking part in the initiative “Coding Class”. This meant that they had spent an entire week at school learning how to create computer games using the program Scratch. They then visited us here at Umbraco HQ to get feedback on their games and to see what a career in coding may look like.

Together with Kristian from the D-team, I had the pleasure to welcome the kids and show them around the office.

A tour that ended with an Umbraco-styled bang - literally!


Confetti bangA special visit calls for confetti!


After the kids had calmed down from the surprise confetti explosion, they showed off the games they had made along with a presentation of their process and the decisions they’d had to make along the way. 

Each team showed off their company name and logo and explained their reasons behind the design. They also told us how they would make sure their games would become popular by expanding the game and doing marketing - for example by having famous YouTubers show off their games. Very well-thought-out business plans for 12-year-olds if you ask me!

Coding ClassCoding class presenting their games

They finished their well-prepared presentations off by explaining the controls and the purpose of the game, and then me and Kristian got to test them! There were a lot of great ideas - for example, the game Alka where you had to avoid moving flesh-eating plants while you ran to the goal!

AlkaThe company Alka, talking about their game and showing off their company logo. 

We were very impressed with the complexity and variety in the games we saw, they were all at a much higher level than we anticipated - and the kids were really happy with the feedback they got from us.


Any aspiring coders?

While none of the kids ended the day by saying they definitely wanted a career in coding, they all thought it was fun to make the games, which is a great start for a 12-year-old to just have the interest and to find it fun.

Several of them said they wanted to do something with computers when they grew up - although it was mostly the boys who wanted to be professional gamers or Youtubers 😉

BoysFuture Umbracians? Who knows? 

It was also a lot of fun for Kristian and me to talk to them about coding and our jobs. We were very impressed by their enthusiasm and the questions they asked us which ranged from; why does Umbraco have so many toys? To what programme do we use to code?

Overall, it was a fun day and the kids clearly thought so as well. And who knows, perhaps we’ll see some future coders among this class in a few years? There’s definitely potential!


Let's hear from the kids!

Niels Coding classNiels found it both fun and easy to code.

What have you learned during this week?

Niels: “I’ve learned how to cooperate in a team and learned how to code different things. It was actually easier than I thought. We had to do some simple scripts, and that was very easy.

Alma: “I’ve learned how to code, which I thought was quite difficult. Then I also learned how to work together with others and I’ve learned new programs. I was surprised by how fun it was to make our own games; to think of an idea and then to get it to move


AlmaAlma enjoyed thinking of something - and then making it happen!


What was the best thing about this week?

Alma:All of it has been really great! To learn how to code and how to make things move. We now understand it much better than before. Before it was just a lot of random things, now we have learned how to put them together so they can actually do something”

Niels:  To stand in front of some very professional people and show them what we have made and get feedback. That was extremely cool!”


… and the teachers?

Teachers coding classMarie-Louise Gedde Jakobsen & Dorthe Kildegaard Frederiksen, teachers at Vestre skole, Odense C.

How has this week been for the kids?

Exciting, and it has been super nice with a company visit. It just makes it all more real for them. They get to see that there are actually people sat working with this, maybe not games here at Umbraco, but with code.

“Of course there’s always a bit of trouble with some of the kids in the beginning, but in the end, all the kids took ownership of their own projects. And especially today they’ve been like “wow, this is cool!”. The thing about having to go out and present their project has really meant a lot to them. They didn’t want to look stupid, so today was clearly very serious and important for them”

“Coding doesn’t really relate to any of the subjects we teach at the school. It is something that is being used in the real world, but what subject can we match it with? By having a week like this, the kids really get to know about this field in a different way.”


H5YR and thank you to 6.A from Vestre Skole for coming by and showing us your impressive games. And thank you to Coding Class for this great initiative and inviting us to take part!

Coding classA great day for us and the kids. Thank you for the visit!


Related Story

A visit from 17 talented future coders

Tacokats, Game4u, Crazy Bananas. Heard of these companies? Probably not (yet), as they’re made up company names thought of by 17 future coders. Well, possible future coders. Right now they are all between the age of 12 and 13 and have all for the very first time been given a hands-on insight into the mysterious world of coding. A world they all mastered quite impressively by creating 6 different, very creative games - in just one week! And then they came by Umbraco HQ to let us try them and told us all about their experience. It’s such a good story that we just have to share it with you as well:

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