Since beginning to learn Visual Basic at the start of last year, I have worked on many projects in my free time. While the vast majority of them remain unfinished, I feel that I have gained a lot from them in both knowledge and entertainment. Here is a small sample of my favourite projects although be warned, some of the code is from my first month of learning so it may hurt to read.
'Flappy Dave' is the unofficial name of my most popular creation. The beginning of my coding career happened to coincide with the small craze surrounding Dong Nguyen's 'Flappy Bird' app for android and iOS. Within the Computer Science class, there was fierce competition for the highest score and I hypothesised that if I understood the mechanics of the game well enough to make it myself, I would surely emerge victorious in the 'Flappy League'. This proved to be very true as I was the first to reach the prestigious 100 point milestone; a fact that impresses small children to this day. While the code itself was not the prettiest or most elegant, I was immensely proud of my first functioning program with any decent level of complexity.
The game has also been increasingly effective at getting pupils from the lower years interested in programming. On the open evenings that I frequently attend, this is the killer app that students will fight to have their turn at. While I would hate to perpetuate the stereotype of computer science being a subject where you sit around and make games, there is no better way to get a child enthused about programming than telling him that he could do this within a few months of learning to code.
A more recent project of mine that I particularly enjoyed is the website that you are currently reading. I have always wanted to have my own presence on the internet but I could never think of anything to put on it. When I started looking at universities, I realized that I could essentially bypass the tyranny of the personal statement upper word limit by directing people to a website instead.
I have also written a dissertation on the topic of online piracy as part of my extended project qualification. Piracy is a very polarising subject for many people. While the reasons for it being illegal are obvious and agreeable, some of the methods used to prevent piracy are more damaging to content owners than the downloads themselves. I also touch on the topic of surveillance and censorship under the guise of protecting intellectual property. I believe that the internet must be as free and unregulated as possible, illegal activities included, lest we sacrifice the powerful tool of universal information exchange.