Programming from Scratch

I remember the first program I wrote. It was with my brother, Mike, on his Sinclair ZX81. We made a simple game in which a parachutist dropped from the sky and had to land on a platform. The platform appeared in a random position and the player could move the parachutist left and right as he dropped from the sky.

Sinclair ZX81

We had fun and learnt a lot about programming. I went on to be a professional programmer and my brother went on to be a professional parachutist. Actually that last part is a lie. I'm not really sure what my brother does.

I was reminded of these first attempts at coding when my daughter started school recently. At school they use a program called Scratch to teach programming to kids. Scratch is a free programming language that you can download from the web site. Co-incidentally PACKT (the publishing house of my book) has just published a book entitled Scratch 1.4: Beginner's Guide. I figured it would be fun to download the Scratch program from the MIT web site and work through the two-part article/book extract on the PACKT article network.

I was right, it was fun. I followed the examples and I had fun doing it. It took me back to the simpler times when I was a kid and there were no users, no business problems, and no deadlines.

I’ve ordered my copy of the book and will be writing a review once I’ve read it. Now I think I’ll go back to Scratch and start work on my parachute game.