Break Into Program

One of the new things I’m doing in my corner at Cheadle CoderDojo is games programming in Python, to stretch some of our young programmers who are looking for something a little more challenging than Scratch. I’m going to be blogging about this on the Cheadle CoderDojo blog in the category “Break Into Program”.

We’re still going to be supporting Scratch, as it’s widely used in schools, and will be the first programming environment kids will be exposed to, and where possible, I’ll be getting the beginners to write the game in Scratch, and the intermediate / experts to write in Python.

Why Break Into Program?

I decided to call this part of the Cheadle CoderDojo blog “Break Into Program” for a couple of reasons.

The Sinclair Spectrum, an 8-bit computer I used to develop games on “back in the day” came shipped with BASIC. If you stopped a BASIC program during execution, the computer used to display the error message “L. Break Into Program”.

It’s also the name of a blog about the Sinclair Spectrum I write.

Finally, theĀ name is catchy, and seems apt, as kids that come to CoderDojos are literally “breaking into the programming world”.

Cheadle CoderDojo

My mentoring at Cheadle CoderDojo tends to be focused onĀ games development, as it’s something I’m passionate about. Games engage the kids, and it’s something visual that you can do easily within the time constraints of a CoderDojo.

If you want to get ahead of the game (literally), you can follow these instructions to download Python, the Pygame library, and start looking at some sample games we’ve written in Python:

Of course you’ll also want to read the documentation!

My code from each Dojo will be published shortly afterwards, with some ideas on how you could improve on it. In some instances, I may post code before the Dojo for you to bring along, depending upon how organised I am.