learning to code for beginners

Code Car & Code Piano – A User Review

Warning! Code Car & Code Piano kits are NOT TOYS! Each kit is a gateway to a different world using a totally different language that the majority of us don’t know, disguised as an uncomplicated car or piano configuration!

Yes, you heard me right.

What are Code Car & Code Piano kits?

Code Car & Code Piano Kits are Coding kits created by Let’sStartCoding to help beginners to explore the magical world of coding through hands-on and uncomplicated experience and a fun way, too! There are other cool varieties of kits available to choose from: code speaker, code rocket, base kit, and ultimate kit.

They are about learning to code for beginners and how to learn code for kids.

These mini-kits enable you to enter the CODING WORLD using the C++ Computer Language! It is the REAL THING; the real coding program that works in the corporate world to control their heavy equipment robots and factory lines.

 

Code Car

 

It’s the same coding program I use at work to extract thousands of data from the corporate database that enables me to do commonality analysis on key input variables of the steel foundry process to figure out what is causing the anomalous defect on our steel product.

I can go on and on as to where this coding program is being used but to simply put it:

This coding program is the basic language of a computer!


How would you like to have the ability to talk to computers and command them what to do?

The good news is that is NOT a SUPERPOWER! Talking and commanding computers what to do is a SKILL that anyone can learn and develop through these simple kits designed for learning to code for beginners and teach how to learn code for kids.

Wouldn’t it be cool to equip your kids with that required skill that is inevitable in this high-technology world we are living in?


As for me, I just wished I had these kits when I was taking a C+ computer programming subject back in the University while I was taking up a degree in Engineering. I was terrible in that elective Computer Science subject! The subject was designed as if I already know the basics, where in fact I did not have a single clue of it. Well, at least I passed! 😉

 

 

What we like about Code Car & Code Piano

Great Way to Learn Coding for Kids & Beginners

9yr old view: It’s a fun way of learning how to code for kids. It feels like I’m super smart when I’m doing it because I’m doing something my mom does!

37-year-old adult view: Code car & code piano coding kits are perfect ways to introduce C++ computer language to kids & adults in a way that is uncomplicated & not overwhelming. It explains the very basics about void setup, the {}, (), which is crucial in understanding how the coding program works to somebody who has no clue in this language. And we are talking a good 98% of the people in the world who don’t have a clue about how coding program works, needless to say how to create one.

I let my son figure out everything from unboxing the kits to downloading the Let’s Start Coding App. He was just on fire trying something new for the very first time! 🙂

Lets Start Coding

Instructions are laid out in an easy to follow format.

Let’s Start Coding app consists of an actual Coding Program window on every project with video, challenge, concept explanation, flashcard guides & a quick quiz to test the knowledge you gained on each project.

Challenges’ difficulty progresses as you go through deeper into the projects.

Code Piano starts with a modification of a single input of a speaker beep to tinkering a program of a list of songs, like Happy Birthday, Mary Had a little Lamb, etc, that you can modify and make your own.

The Coding App offers a great feedback mechanism on every modification of the program.

During his first encounter with the let’s start coding program, while trying the code piano, my 9yr old was amazed how he could type in his name and a bunch of stuff into the matrix-looking screen in front of him without any error. And he felt like he was doing great!

Well, he did, because he was writing on the comment part of the code! So then I explained that in the comments part delineated by “//” you can write whatever you want without modifying the actual code. I then typed in a random couple of words inside the {} string of words. Instantly, a red “x” warning and explanation of error popped up after hitting the “Upload your Code” button! That means I inputted words in the program that it cannot understand that requires me to modify it using the right string of words placed on the proper place in the code program.

 

Awesome Customer Service.

On our first attempt on making the Let’s Start Coding program work on my laptop, we encountered hiccups. The “Upload your Code” button is disabled, which means the code car device is not being read by the program. Frustrated, I emailed the customer service tab, which is conveniently located on the lower right side of the program. After just a few minutes, an agent started to troubleshoot the problem with me in real-time. Having a customer service to talk to right there during troubleshooting made a huge difference. It gave me more ideas on how to troubleshoot further on my own, which led to an overall good first user experience with the coding kits. It ended up that the problem was about the code connector not being fully pushed into the cable port. So, for any issues about connectivity, simply push the code connector into the cable provided to ensure proper metal-to-metal connection.

How to learn to code for kids

A good way to spark interest in kids.

Code Piano & Code Car are relatively cheap for what skills they can develop. There is no real way to know what sparks kids’ interest until they try it. So giving it a try to know if coding is something your kids can be interested in would worth a couple of tens of dollars.

Now is the best chance to do it as Let’s start coding offers a deep discount when you sign up on their newsletter. Take advantage of this early Black Friday Sale! CLICK HERE to signup for the newsletter!

What we don’t like about Code Car & Code Piano

Coding is not for everybody.

Every person, kids & adults alike, is different, having different interests and passions. Not everyone finds coding interesting; most just have “the need” to learn it, just like myself. The kits are very interesting & a valuable training program for those who are “into” coding but not for somebody who is not “geek enough” to have the drive to appreciate coding.

Needs help from an adult.

Depending on the child’s interest and ability, setting up the kit and going through the projects may require help from an adult. I had to jump in to help my 9-yo son in setting up the code car when we had some technical difficulties in making the program work and found myself explaining it to him as I saw how quickly he is losing interest. But when we got through the first project, he had gone through the next with ease.

Great for a classroom setting.

As much I wanted to go through each project with my 9-year old, it just won’t work. I understand how a tween listens more to his teacher in learning academics stuff compared to their moms, I totally got that.

The kits are wonderful tools to be used in computer labs at school rather than at home. Teachers can use one project at a time to keep their interest instead of going through all the projects all at once. We all know how short is the kid’s attention span, even adults too!

The kits look & feel fragile and unappealing to kids.

Handling the bare PCB with exposed delicately soldered capacitors, integrated circuits (IC), light-emitting diode (LED), buttons and all other components in the printed circuit board (PCB) was a bit scary for the first time. I’m scared I will damage the components and just ruin the whole kit.

PCB Learning how to Code

 

However, after looking at each soldered components, there is no way they can be accidentally knocked them off. They are soldered solidly, not even a single minute movement, even on the smallest component. I was surprised both kits are working properly after my 3year old son dropped them multiple times and enthusiastically shaking them in the box.

They might feel & look fragile but the reality is they are built solidly for their application. True that they are unappealing to kids’ eyes but as an adult, exposing the kids with the real-life PCB component is a good learning experience.

 

Overall, our experience with code car and code piano on how to learn code for kids has been pleasant. It’s worthwhile to mention that they are not just for kids. The Code kits from Let’s Start Coding are designed for anybody, regardless of age, to learn to code for beginners. They are not your typical toys made just for fun; they are the next step to the colorful drag & drop type of coding just like Meccano Max.

The kits offer a realistic way of learning the actual coding program in a way that is interactive and easy to understand both for adults and kids. It’s a fantastic way to dive deeper into the coding programming for those who have “the need” to learn the skills or just out of the fascination of creating the desired output by controlling the program’s input.

What’s more fascinating is that these small kits’ coding principles use exactly are the same principles as the programs controlling the computers or the huge robots in a factory line. I really think giving the kids of today a head-start to learn the coding skills early on is crucial in developing their skills in the future.

It’s an awesome way to get kids to get ahead in life, by having access to this information and hands-on training experience thru play. Those same information & trainings that we, older folks, only had access to during college, only on specialized degrees such as software engineering or computer programming.

In this modern era, it’s almost inevitable to be tech-savvy, do you agree? Please let me know in the comments below!

 

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