Programming an Elevator
Programming an Elevator

I am convinced coding is and will be an essential skill for our children and for ourselves. Looking around for ways of teaching my own children to code, I realized that there is no real easy way to start learning code, especially for kids that don’t have parents that well versed in IT. The barrier to entry is just too high. There are some great attempts out there, but invariably they feel like the second step. What we offer an easy first step. /Paula

Kids can learn coding by playing a game

So I convinced my husband (Mattias) to create a game that teaches coding – that kids can use on their own or together with a parent to get an introduction to coding. A solid first step to understanding how the digital world works. From there, you’ll feel right at home in coding environments like Scratch and be well prepared to move on and move up. The game is Machinist-Fabrique. Buy now Download Trial

function main() {
  for(;;) {

Oh, and the program that’s being built in the animation on the left? Doesn’t look like code? It’s actually equivalent to this code, but much easier to grasp for beginners. To solve this, the player uses several universal programming concepts;

  • structured problem solving
  • events (things that happen)
  • operations (things you do)
  • loops (repeat doing things)

Our Mission

We want to help as many people as we can learn to code and significantly lower the barrier to entry for kids, parents and educators to accomplish this. We believe that programming is a key knowledge today and going forward. The world is becoming increasingly digital and understanding what code is, even on the most superficial level, means better understanding the world.

“For most people on Earth, the digital revolution hasn’t even started yet. Within the next 10 years, all that will change. Let’s get the whole world coding!“
Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman, Google

Games are a great format for learning that can manage the learning curve – introducing and repeating concepts at an stimulating pace.

“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.“
Chairman, Microsoft
Bill Gates

Free in Education

In line with our mission, we’re offering free licenses to group-training events, to allow more children the chance to learn how to code. Eligible events are organized teaching events with more than 5 participants at one or several specified instances. No strings attached. Really. We want to spread the knowledge, and if you’re making the effort to teach, then we want to help! Contact us to request a teaching event license – it’s a time limited download version of Machinist-Fabrique that will function under a limited period of time. But if you want to organize another event, you can always request a new license!

Reach Out Program

Also a part of our mission we also want to reach out to those who can’t afford licenses to Machinist-Fabrique but wish to explore it at home. When you buy a license to Machinist-Fabrique, you can choose one of our “Get One Give One” deals where you receive multiple licenses for the game. You can then donate one or more of those licenses to our Reach-Out program where they will be given to someone who needs it. If you’d like to apply for a donated license, contact us!

A simple loop
A simple loop

Why learn through a game?

So why learn through a game instead of one of the many other methods? Research has shown that things we learn by doing – where we create our own internal mental models of how things work – tend to stick longer and deeper than things we’re taught. Lectures have a place, but playing around with stuff and figuring how it works is fun and rewarding and leads to learning on a more profound level. Advantages to games;

  • Games are fun (though teaching games historically aren’t)
  • When learning to code, many find it difficult to come up with something to create that’s within their grasp but still challenging. In a game, there’s always a distinct goal, so you always know what to do – you just need to figure out how.
  • The game designer can manage the learning curve and introduce concepts in a manageable pace
  • Repetition is built into the level-progression, using new twists and puzzles that keeps you on your toes. There’s never rote repetition, just new and different puzzles.

Even those easily bored enjoy games

Games are also good for those who find it hard to pay attention to “boring” stuff for long periods of time – like young kids. Game contains it’s own intrinsic rewards, learning how to use the game mechanics to your advantage is actually the main reward of a game. And in Machinist-Fabrique the game mechanics are programming concepts like loops, variables, boolean logic and so on. So our game aims to have the player learn through doing, trial and error, figure out how stuff works. We feel that this is the best way of making the first steps of learning coding available to the largest number of people!