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Teach kids Python with real programming and fun games at Code Combat

Episode #278, published Fri, Aug 21, 2020, recorded Mon, Jul 20, 2020.

This episode is carbon neutral.
If there is one message I've been pushing across all of the Talk Python episodes, it's that programming is a superpower. Rather than all of us abandoning what we're interested in and becoming CS majors, we can take our passion or expertise and 10x it with a little programming skill.

In that case, we should be teaching kids fluency in programming at a younger age. And yet, almost every platform or example meant to do so pulls its punches. We'll teach kids programming concepts but not code itself. That's a bridge too far.

But it's not! That's why I'm excited about Code Combat. It's an online coding platform that uses real Python syntax to guide your hero, visually, through a dungeon full of challenges. Yet the editor and customized error messages mean this is approachable for kids before they can even type reliably.

On this episode, we'll meet Nick Winter, one of the cofounders of Code Combat. There's a lot of philosophy behind the tool and technology to make it kid-friend and real Python at the same time.

Oh, and it's running Python in the browser.

Links from the show

CodeCombat: codecombat.com

On Twitter
Code Combat: @CodeCombat
Nick Winter: @nwinter

Nick's website: nickwinter.net
Code Combat on GitHub: github.com/codecombat
Brett's learnable programming talk: worrydream.com

Ozaria: ozaria.com

Nick Winter
Nick Winter
Nick is the CEO and cofounder of CodeCombat, a game for teaching kids to code in Python and JavaScript played by more than 20 million learners. He previously was CTO and cofounder of Skritter, the #1 app for foreigners learning to write Chinese characters; he now sits on Skritter's board. A graduate of Oberlin College with highest honors and a triple major in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, and East Asian Studies, Nick brings together his passions for technology, optimization, and language learning to teach the next generation how to be native speakers of code. Nick is also the author of The Motivation Hacker, a book about achieving extreme productivity.
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