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Serial Communication
Assorted Coding Projects

Ever since I discovered that useful coding could be performed by an average person and not just by professionals for official purposes, I have been interested in finding ways to put it to use and learning useful coding languages and techniques. The first language that I encountered was Visual Basic, through which I attempted mainly to write code for games. One of my first successful programs, though not written by me alone - I had help from the person who was teaching me the language - was a simulated bowling alley. The user of the program could bowl down a lane, choosing when to launch the ball, and if the ball was aligned with the center, they would get a strike. It was a simple program, but any programming experience helps with building the mindset needed for coding and provides tools that will be valuable in future projects.

I tried to make an online video game but was in way over my head and had no idea of the real limitations of Visual Basic in the ways that I intended to use it, so I failed to complete that project, despite learning much from it about basic, core coding functions. Redeeming my ties with Visual Basic, during the car ride back from my First Robotics Tech Challenge competition that I had participated in with my team, I coded the game Pong in a few hours. I recently dug up my code for pong and found an old executable file as well that I had exported. As far as I can tell looking back, the code considers the angle that the ball impacts surfaces at, as well as whether it bounces off of one of the sliders’ corners or a flat surface when determining the reflection angle.

Two players could control the sliders using arrow and WSAD keys on the keyboard, and the game would display a “You Lose” banner on the side that had failed to deflect the ball every time. For added difficulty, I included code that would slowly move the sliders closer to each other, reducing the gap and thus the time between impacts. I know that if I had an internet connection during that car ride, I would have found some generic Pong impact noises and coded them into my program form to play during each ball impact, just for fun and more authenticity.

Since then I have branched out through C and C++ to windows batch and script files and math-oriented coding like Excel data processing and Matlab coding, while also trying my hand at mechatronics-geared languages like Robot C for FTC and Arduino for other microcontroller projects. I aim to continue improving my coding skills through research online as I have been doing, while always working on new projects to test and improve my skills.