Digital Data Strategist students Rosalyn Knapp, Lovisa Levin and Sanna Nilsson just launched the e-book “My First Website - Cody Coder’s guide to HTML”. By using the allegory of building a house, Cody Coder can easily get young children to understand the basics of HTML brick by brick - just how a website is built.
How did you come up with the idea to write a children’s book about coding?
Our last module was about creating an online shop. From the very start we had something completely different in mind, but when we sat down to brainstorm we suddenly had an epiphany; there’s such a gap in the market for learning to code. Especially for children, and isn’t it the children of today that will rule tomorrow?
This is where Cody Coder was born, right in school at our desks. We all were so excited about the idea that we knew that we had to do it, even though we only had a couple of weeks to actually produce it. And we made it!
So... you wrote this book in a very short time, how was that?
Frustrating at times, but mostly just fun. To be honest we did have times when we had been sitting for 15 hours straight looking into a computer and everything felt like it was falling apart. At those time you can’t do anything but laugh, especially after massive amounts of diet coke and candy. For instance, we thought that we could publish on iBookstore and when we were about to do it (everything was set up) we found out that you need an US tax ID and we need to send papers to the embassy. Sorry, Apple - no can do!
Oh, and did we mention that we changed illustrations and illustrator one week before launch? Marcus Lindström, our current illustrator, illustrated the whole book in a week!
What was your inspiration to the character Cody Coder?
We wanted to poke holes on the common stereotype of developers. We agree with Will.I.Am’s “coders are rockstars” saying that he says in the video produced by code.org. Cody Coder is a cool kid in our mind. We wanted him to have a little “swag” and confidence so that the kids can feel like they relate and look up to him.
What do you think is the biggest impact that this book will have on the people who read it?
Hopefully, kids will learn how to write HTML and build a first website! We really want to spark a conversation about this very important and relevant subject and hope that many people join in the debate about this. We truly believe that coding should be a part of the primary curriculum of schools all over the world. Not only is it important because we need tech-savvy people that can code for the future, but also because coding is a really good way to learn to problem solve. Today we are walking around surrounded by code EVERYWHERE (yeah, code is in your fridge, car, stop lights, you name it!) and not knowing how it works. Especially in relation to the recent news about the NSA scandal it’s important to teach children how to protect themselves online.
What would be the ideal scenario happening with this book?
World domination? We are really humbled with the exposure we have got so far, and so happy that people seem to really like the book idea! Of course, we would want to discuss this further! Here in Sweden but also abroad. We already have ideas for other Cody Coder books and how we can take this idea forward.
Follow them on Twitter: @KalleKodare and @CodyCoder
Recent media coverage for the book includes CNN iReport, Feber, Cap & Design, Venture Beat and Business Insider.