Working from home has forced us all to be get more creative, especially for those balancing calls with finding fun diversions to occupy the kids. Unexpectedly for the Perla family, one of these entertaining activities for their daughter, Anshi, who just turned four, turned into a huge hit on social media.
As Anshi watched her parents Akhilesh, a MuleSoft certified architect at our partner, Appirio, and Sri, a MuleSoft certified developer, at work with Anypoint Platform, Anshi started wanting to learn more about coding. She went on to build an API, putting her in contention to become the world’s youngest developer!
I spoke to Akhilesh to learn more about Anshi’s achievement, and his advice for other parents whose children are interested in coding. Below are some highlights from our conversation.
It’s fantastic to see Anshi so interested in coding. What sparked her interested to begin with?
As are so many parents, Sri and I are both working from home during the pandemic. We’re both MuleSoft certified professionals, so it was common for our daughter Anshi to see us working in Anypoint Studio. She’d see us dragging different components to create programs, and was fascinated with the visual elements. She wanted to get involved too, and asked us to teach her how to play!
We thought the best place to start would be teaching her how to drag some components into Anypoint Studio. As Anypoint Studio offers a visual interface with minimal configurations, she was able to pull the components and configure them, which she really enjoyed. Given the success of this first ‘playtime’ and Anshi’s continued interest — Sri and I thought it would be a great achievement for her to learn how to create a simple API. We recorded her coding as a fun memory, and then thought about sharing the video on our social media as a way to encourage other parents whose children were interested in coding.
Tell us a bit more about the API Anshi made, what did she code?
She has written a simple API endpoint which calls a REST API to retrieve the image stored on a cloud-hosted image server and give a picture as a response. This Mule program is executed locally from Anypoint Studio and tested using POSTMAN to see the response. For the visual experience perspective, she had fired the same request on Google Chrome to see the complete picture, which she is always excited to see as a result! In short, we will receive her image as a response if we call the API endpoint created by her.
She took approximately five minutes to build this API endpoint, which we never thought that a three-year-old kid could do it in that short period!
What advice do you have for parents whose children are interested in coding?
We believe that kids at an early age have lots a of interest in exploring many different activities and can quickly learn anything if they are taught in a fun way. Sri and I both work with Anypoint Platform and thought that was the best program to start with because Anypoint Studio has an excellent visual experience and minimal configuration. Other options for parents who want to teach their kids in no-code/low-code technologies would include Scratch 3.0 and Blockly.
After building this API, what’s the next challenge for Anshi?
Anshi is really enjoying coding and that’s the key thing for us. As she is showing more interest in programming, we are teaching her more about MuleSoft, making sure to keep it as fun as possible. The next idea we had was to teach her how to create a MuleSoft app to integrate Salesforce and WhatsApp.
If Anshi’s story has inspired you, check out our Training and Certification site to learn more about how to skill up on MuleSoft.