October 22, 2020

How to achieve Programming Literacy: Tips from a Hatch Coding Top Student

Our Top Coder of the Month, Matthew S. shares his coding journey with Hatch to how he become programming literate.

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Our Top Coder of the Month, Matthew S. shares his coding journey with Hatch to how he became programming literate.

Programming is a new literacy. The ability to read, write and modify computer code to create what you want with it is becoming a necessary skill to keep up with the competition in today’s job market. 

We sat down with Hatch student, Matthew S. to learn about how Hatch Coding helped him to become programming literate in both JavaScript and Python.


Matthew is 16 years old and in less than a year with Hatch Coding has coded 378 projects, 13 original projects and completed 1061 challenges.

He’s published some of his original projects to Github and he’s completed Hatch Certification Level 2!

When not coding and doing schoolwork, he can be found playing basketball or reading.


How did you first get introduced to programming?

I didn’t have any prior experience with programming before joining Hatch. I remember my first meeting with my coach and he asked me what programming language I wanted to learn and I was like, “There are languages?” - I didn’t know what he meant. I knew nothing about coding but was open to learning about it so I just went for it and now I’m fluent in JavaScript and Python.


How did you get hooked on Coding with Hatch?

It was one project - Flappy Birds - that I really wanted to do, and it sparked my interest to do more. I used to do only one project a week, but then I got really motivated to learn more when I was introduced to the project leaderboard and wanted to get this project enough points to make the leaderboard.


When you code a new project, what is your process?

I break down each project into components. And then I break those components into smaller pieces to do them, and then I group them all together. If I get stuck on a problem and I can’t figure it out, then I step away from it and come back to it the next day. I usually solve problems in my sleep so the time away helps me to come back to it and figure it out.


What's your feedback on your Hatch Coach?

My coaches are really informative and I think I’m lucky that I was able to have both of them as instructors because they really helped me - always answered my questions perfectly - and make it easy for me to understand the different concepts.


What Hatch projects are you most proud of?

Flappy Birds_Matthew S.

Flappy Bird - I had a lot of fun creating this one as I love the app for the real Flappy Birds and there was lots of fun challenges making this project.

How to Play: Select your gravity, speed and character and then use the space key to move your character up to get through the path openings.

Play the Game!


Hangman_Matthew S.

Hangman - I love this project because  instead of the stick figure, I put Minecraft Steve. Every time you get the letter wrong, you get a different colour change to the diamond sword. 

How to Play: Type a letter to guess the word and try to win the game!

Play the Game!


Ski Free_Matthew S.

Ski Free - This was the most challenging because I did it early on in my programming skills, and there were lots of new coding concepts that I had to learn to complete it.

How to Play: Select your character and then use the mouse to avoid the trees as you ski down the hill.

Play the Game!


What career do you want to pursue in your future?

A career related to coding, like a computer engineer. Hatch has definitely influenced me to realize what career I want to pursue when I’m older.


What advice do you have for kids interested in learning to code?

To be patient because there’s a learning curve when you first start coding. Once you code a couple of projects, you start to get the hang of it. And try to do more than one project a week. 


Programming Literacy: Teaching More Than Coding Skills

Matthew, like many Hatch students, has worked hard to achieve programming literacy - the ability to read, write and modify computer code to create. Our goal at Hatch Coding is to teach the structure of coding languages. Using JavaScript and Python, students at Hatch learn to understand the functionality of all languages and acquire the soft-skills that will help them to code results and shape their futures.

Give your child a chance to achieve programming literacy.


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