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Kano's Pixel Kit is a charming introduction to coding

Kano's Pixel Kit is a charming introduction to coding
From Engadget - July 14, 2017

You are never writing actual code, however. For some, who dream of getting lost in a Matrix-like stream of letters and numbers, this will be a disappointment. But there are good reasons behind the approach. Visual representations are more approachable for beginners and help to illustrate the larger, more fundamental principles that underpin modern programming. All "event" pieces, for instance, are light blue and usually signal the start of a chain reaction. So if you want something to happen as soon as the app launches, or when you press down on the joypad, you need to start with one of these pieces. It's a bold, intuitive piece of signposting that slips into your subconscious with greater ease than garbled words, slashes and dashes.

The challenges slowly increase in difficulty, introducing new ideas only when the previous one has been firmly established and repeated. A text box in the upper left-hand corner explains the logic behind each step, while a yellow dot points to the puzzle piece you need to grab next. If you are impatient, it's possible to ignore the explanations completely and just grab the blocks you need to proceed. At this point, though, Kano's teachings devolve into a game of paint-by-numbers, with little educational value but nonetheless impressive results.

Taking the time to read and digest each step is advantageous. Only by understanding a block's function, and its relationship with everything else it's connected to, can you later manipulate it for yourself. Even if you do not, there's an immense satisfaction that comes from building something and truly understanding its inner workings. It's like an old grandfather clocksimple and mundane at first glance, perhaps, but magical if you have been inside and figured out how all of the cogs fit together.

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