When someone mentions the term “coding”, more often than not, computer screens and lots of typing comes to mind. But what if coding could be taken offline and be made fun, such as through a card game? Introducing Potato Pirates, the fun-filled coding card game by Aditya Batura and his team at Codomo.
Aditya Batura, co-founder and CEO of codomo
Being the co-founder and CEO of a coding and design thinking school, Aditya Batura was not exposed to computer science until he enrolled in Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) I did not know what I wanted to venture into after my Junior College days. I thought that SUTD had something very noble, progressive and futuristic going on, so I just took the leap of faith, he said.

It was a steep learning curve for Aditya who had no prior experience in computer science. Along the way, Aditya saw many of his course mates give up and drop out. Despite all the difficulties, Aditya started to grow fond of programming as he saw it as a different way of approaching problems.

Codomo is the brainchild of the Information Systems Technology and Design graduate. Developing from a final year project, he and his teammates saw a gap in the local education system, which did not cater to coding and design thinking for kids. He recounted, “We wanted to be a changemaker, breaking away from the local education system, so we thought, why not teach children? Soon after, Codomo was born.” 

To many, Codomo is a coding school, but Aditya sees it more than that. “Codomo is an innovation hub. We have people from different fields here, be it engineering, information technology, product design, or architecture, Codomo serves as a platform for ideas to bounce off each other and grow,” he said. 

Other than coding, Codomo’s other key focus is design thinking. The team realised that the idea of design thinking is commonly misunderstood and misrepresented, and the methodology adopted is too rigid and procedural. He shared his views, “Empathy is one of the core aspects when it comes to design thinking, where one understands the problems from the user’s perspective – an inside-out point of view rather than outside-in. There is no framework or end to design thinking; it is cyclical and you will never reach perfection, and that is the beauty of it.” 

Indeed, not only does Codomo conducts such workshops for the young, but the team practices design thinking in their business too. Wanting to make coding accessible to everyone, Codomo recently found success in their newly-launched product ‘Potato Pirates’, an offline card game that introduces coding concepts, on Kickstarter. 
Potato Pirates
Potato Pirates is Codomo’s way of hacking teaching methods for coding. We wanted to eliminate the idea of coding being daunting to people, and we wanted to make it accessible and fun. Through gamification, we combined the concept of coding with party games. By getting everyone involved, people will find more motivation to learn,” said the 26-year-old. Aditya also added that by taking learning offline, coding is made more accessible especially for kids without computers. 

But why potatoes? “We just wanted to take something boring and make it fun and animated. And who doesn’t like potatoes?” he laughed. 

This article is brought to you by the Lab on Wheels team