JavaScript

Godel JavaScript Engineers Build Open Source Coding Game

Godel’s software engineering divisions has been running technology education meetups for a long time, sharing experiences and lessons that everyone can learn from. One of these events in particular led to an impressive result, delivered by Godel software engineers Angelina Panteley and Lada Hardziyenkava.

Angelina and Lada, both from Godel’s JavaScript division, lead meetups that are focused on educating people on different levels of front-end knowledge in an accessible and interactive way. One of their events was to help participants learn the fundamental concepts of front-end development. The duo thought about the best way to share knowledge in a memorable way and decided to go outside the box by developing a game.

The initial meetups went excellently – using a game format to deliver foundational lessons was perfect for explaining key concepts to people newer to front-end development. However once the meetup series concluded, Angelina decided that the game had potential, so she decided to continue building it in her own time as a project.

The game, hosted on open-source platform Codesandbox, is now accessible to anybody – and it is user-friendly enough to be played by people without any front-end skills, without the guidance of a meetup host.

Angelina said, “I recently wrote a Twitter post about this game while tagging the official Codesandbox account. And we were noticed! We were retweeted by the official Codesandbox account. The creator and several developers also retweeted and wrote very warm reviews about our game. And most importantly, we are now on the list of the best sandboxes on the Featured Sandboxes page. We are incredibly happy and very much hope that the game will live on for some time and bring joy or benefit to someone.”.

The game has four levels: creating blocks using HTML tags, creating CSS styles, adding logic using React, and creating a repository on GitHub and deploy to the hosting. There are clear instructions in each level which explain everything, delivered by a friendly sprite. Once the player follows the instructions, writes the code and does everything correctly, they can progress to the next level.

“We were thinking about the best approach to learning – in 90 minutes it is nearly impossible to just explain what a function or a variable is to somebody without any experience. The question was: how do you make this process interesting and understandable for people who have never written any code? The idea to make a game arose from this. Breaking people in the meetup into teams helped a lot too, so that they could think about the levels together.”

Angelina went beyond developing the functionalities of the game – she took time to design all the sprites, created the animations and wrote detailed guidance messages into it. Her attention to detail elevated the game beyond a basic point-and-click – it’s filled with extra touches which make it a fun experience. Angelina explained, “It’s a real start-up – when the idea was growing, I was so excited! I got really into the details – spending time in Photoshop, coming up with instructions and writing out concepts. I really wanted it to be perfect!”.

Choosing Codesandbox for the game’s platform was a great decision – as of now, the game has been played by nearly 1,000 people across the world. Feedback has been excellent from people with all levels of front-end experience. The game has been received so well that it is featured on Codesandbox’s “Explore Page” which highlights interesting and cool projects on the platform.

If you’d like to try the game or share it with others, you can find it here! https://codesandbox.io/s/programming-quiz-gz1cw