Train – Code Visually  – All Ages | Coding Apps

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Meet The Developer!

What was the initial inspiration for  your app?
Train was inspired while I was playing with my then two year old son Noah who naturally loved to build using his wooden train sets and wooden blocks with letters and animals. I was inspired by his natural curiosity and tenacity in building and by the non-trivial logic that the resulting tracks could provide using simple primitives (such as lazy wyes). Coding was an important part of my childhood. I discovered many concepts in mathematics, logic, and even art by coding for fun. Coding helped drive my interest in science and lead me to eventually become a professor at Harvard.

What is your favorite aspect of your app?
My goal is to teach as many kids to code as possible. I see coding as a basic skill that everyone can benefit from and perhaps the best way to engage kids from all backgrounds to pursue STEM career paths. Tablets, phones, and computers are much more ubiquitous, safe, and cheaper than a chemistry set for example. But through coding, kids can learn to explore their curiosity, to build, create, learn logic, and experiment.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I am excited to see what people of all ages can do with Train. My kids are 3, 5, and 7 and all of them can make Train Tracks (what programs in Train are called). Of course the oldest one can make Tracks with more complex logic. Train is a “Turing complete” programming language meaning that you can theoretically compute anything computable with it despite Train being completely visual. The “Levels” in the Train app get increasingly difficult and should be challenging and fun for adults also. If you work your way through all the levels you will see that the very last Track shows a program for graphing an algebraic function, so I’m hopeful that Train can really be enjoyed from ages 2 to 102.

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