the Coder School Boots Up

Print "Hello World"!  Can you think of a dorkier way to start our blog?  I can't.  I guess you'll have to live with the dork factor because I'm not really a writer, I'm just a coder with some musical background who decided to start a business that teaches kids to code!  Three years ago, my best buddy Wayne and I started on this awesomely fun journey to not only build a company together, but have an amazingly fun experience while we're at it.  We've never been hardcore entrepreneurs looking to build a unicorn, raising VC money and spending it on private jets.  Instead we've always wanted to build a lifestyle business while having the best time doing it, and being super-proud of the stuff we build.  This blog's all about our experiences along the way.  Man, I wish I would have started documenting this sooner, but hey I'm not going to go back in time and re-doc, am I?  No way.  When there's too much to explain, I like to go summary-mode, so here goes!

Three years ago, I had just weaned myself off of running my own School of Rock franchise that I bought (and learned a tooooon from!), and was looking for my next thing.  This was back in the day when coding for kids wasn't a big thing yet, and when code.org was really just getting started.  I'm a coder, so I knew my then-11 yo daughter should learn to code, so did what any normal dad would do - threw her online to kahnacademy and went off to watch TV!  She got through it surprisingly fast - so clearly she's getting her awesome coder powers from her dad, right?  I told her I was impressed she got through the Javascript module so fast, she must be a prodigy kid coder, right?  So I asked her "hey, so what's this variable here do", and her life-changing answer?  "What's a variable?".

And thus Coder School was born.  I realized that while there were resources online for teaching kids to code, they often really weren't effective without a live person sitting there to actually INTERACT with the kid.  Kids just want to get to the end, right?  Beat the level, get the certificate?  But do they want to learn?  Are they really learning or just getting to the end?  My idea was that coding ain't no easy subject, and kids can most effectively learn only when they have a mentor/instructor guiding them.  And hey, waitaminute, didn't I also just say I learned a lot from my School of Rock?!  Yep, I learned how to deal with parents, how to operate an educational business, blah blah blah - but you know what I really learned?  That kids are all different, and the best way to teach them is to CUSTOMIZE what you teach, to their skills and their desires, so you can hook em.  Kids won't learn to code unless they WANT to learn to code, right?

That basic philosophy is still the core of what the Coder School is about, and drives how we teach our kids in every way.  With this first post about how my own coding school got started out of the way, I'm outta here.  Gonna go teach some kids to code - H out!