Earlier this year, Google joined forces with supporters like Seventeen, TechCrunch, Chelsea Clinton, Girl Scouts of the USA, and actress Mindy Kaling to launch an initiative called Made with Code. The program was created with the intention of making coding approachable and appealing to youth, particularly young girls. It was all about creating a strong foundation for girls to learn about the possibilities of coding, particularly the exploration all of the ways that learning to code could prove instrumental in pursuing some incredible careers. Now with their latest project, Made with Code has given girls the opportunity to use coding to really light up the holiday season.


The “Holiday Lights” project allows girls — and anybody, really — to go online and program the lights on a tree in America’s capital. It couldn’t be simpler: all a user has to do is visit the project site and follow the easy instructions about using the programming language called Blockly to set up a light design for their own personal tree.


Made with Code's "Holiday Lights" project introduces users to the Blockly programming language which allows them to create and preview their White House tree light design (coolmomtech.com)

Made with Code’s “Holiday Lights” project introduces users to the Blockly programming language which allows them to create and preview their White House tree light design (coolmomtech.com)

Users determine the colors of the lights on their tree, the quantity of lights, and the pattern and motions of the lights. Then, when they submit their finished project, they are asked to specify which state they represent. Upon selection, the user will then receive a confirmation of the date and time when their unique design will appear on their state’s designated Christmas tree in President’s Park at the White House.


The project truly presents coding in such a simple way, making it extremely user-friendly and not nearly as intimidating as many people may imagine when they think about coding. The projects created by Made with Code have a sense of accessibility and ease-of-use, which make it far more likely that girls and other web users will take the time to explore these projects and discover the different possibilities that coding has to offer.


Beyond the fact that Made with Code’s projects make coding a far more approachable feat than many may think it to be, these projects have the major benefit of applying coding to projects that make it especially fun. By allowing girls and other users to use coding to light up their own Christmas tree at the White House from virtually any location, Made with Code creates an experience around coding which is especially exciting.


Furthermore, this project, along with others started by Made with Code, such as their snowflake design project, really allows youngsters to embrace their creativity through coding and to really get a feel for the kind of power that can come with all of the versatile uses for coding. In this sense, coding becomes such a useful and attractive tool, and one which only becomes more and more appealing with each project that one tries.


Programming is all about creating, and creating is at the center of change and progress. By giving girls the power to code, Made with Code is giving girls the power to change the world. Now, that’s what we call the perfect holiday gift!


Have you tried any of Made with Code’s great coding projects? If so, have they inspired you to learn more about coding? Share with us below or tweet me @tamarahoumi