Wear the Pants / Andy and Sophie / Tampon Run
Posted on 12 March 2015
ANDY: I’m a 16 year old high school junior. I’ve been coding for three years. Additionally I love robotics, playing piano, and volleyball.
SOPHIE: I’m a 17 year old high school senior. I discovered the joys of coding last summer. Other passions include photography, reading, and eating.
TELL US ABOUT "TAMPON RUN"
SOPHIE: Tampon Run is an 8-bit side scrolling game to combat the menstrual taboo by spurring thought and discussion. It features a girl who throws tampons at oncoming enemies. Andy and I created the game as our final project for a Girls Who Code summer program where we met last summer. We posted the game online at the beginning of September to share with our friends and family. By the next afternoon we had been written up in four outlets in the UK, and from there it snowballed. We were written up all over the world, and started getting emails and tweets of support from around the world. In the winter Pivotal Labs, a major agile development firm, worked with us pro bono to make Tampon Run into a mobile app. The game not only stands for the fight against the menstrual taboo, but also shows that girls can and should code.
WHAT'S THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
ANDY: "If I have a daughter, I want her to be like you.”
TEACH US HOW TO DO SOMETHING?
ANDY: How to start programming: don’t be scared! It's very easy to get started and if you go step by step it’s not so overwhelming.
Google "how to learn computer programming"
Begin the wonderful adventure that is computer science
WHAT ARE THE THOUGHTS THAT WENT THROUGH YOUR HEAD DURING THE DAYS YOU WERE CREATING TAMPON RUN?
SOPHIE: We created Tampon Run as our final project for the Girls Who Code summer immersion program. I loved making the game come to life little by little everyday. I also liked that I knew how everything in the game was actually working down to the code, and that it was something I had directly made happen. But I never once thought that we were making something that would resonate with so many people around the world or that one day it would become a mobile app.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
SOPHIE: I’m proud of how I’ve grown through this 6 month Tampon Run journey. I used to be terrified of public speaking even when I just had to give a class presentation. I would shake and almost throw up. More than public speaking, I was generally afraid to speak up and speak out. Through this experience I’ve had to do a lot public speaking that I’ve learned to overcome my fear. I’ve also learned the value of speaking my mind and now have the confidence to do so.
WHAT ARE TWO ITEMS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Develop a game for Oculus Rift/Google Cardboard (virtual reality devices!)
TELL US SOMETHING THAT'S TMI.
SOPHIE: The second day of my first period I went over to a friend’s house to bake cookies. It was the first time we had ever hung out outside of school, so I was a bit nervous. As we put the cookies into the oven, I started to feel like it was time to change my pad. I had never had to change my pad outside of my house and I had no idea what the etiquette was. Did I throw it out in her garbage? What if there wasn’t one in the bathroom? What if she saw it there after I left? I decided the best course of action was to do nothing. An hour later I sat uncomfortable and cross legged eating the cookies in her kitchen, hoping that I didn’t bleed through the pad. By the time I left her house the situation was beyond dire. I frantically walked towards the train unsure of how to fix my problem. And then I saw the light—a bathroom in the nearby public park. I entered the dimly lit, paint cracked, strange smelling park bathroom and with a huge smile on my face I changed my pad. By far the grossest and most joyful pad change I’ve ever done.