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McLean, VA

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Welcome to theCoderSchool
1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd #170,
Near Lidl on Chain Bridge Rd

(703)712-7182mclean@thecoderschool.com

***theCoderSchool is closed Monday 5/27 for Memorial Day

Hey super-parent! We're happy you're looking for options to get your kids learning to code. It's SUCH an amazing skill to learn and will help your kids in more ways than you can imagine! We're super excited to be bringing Silicon Valley's #1 kids coding program to the area to help your kids get going, so read on and let's get our kids coding!

At theCoderSchool, we want to do more than just teach coding. We want aspiring coders to use their new found passion as a stepping stone to thinking outside the box, as a way to channel their ideas in a creative way and most importantly, to have fun. Interested? Fill out the form and we'll be in touch shortly to tell you more!

Contact us for a free trial lesson!
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We'll use your info to contact you about us, but no way we'll give it to anyone else! Check out our privacy policies.



Our Philosophy

Looking for coding lessons for kids in McLean, VA? We're here to help. We believe every kid is different, so we teach them accordingly. Our expert coders teach our students in a super-small two to one ratio, allowing our Code Coaches to personalize projects built to suit each student. Kids are able to move at their own pace and engage in things that interest them most.

Our Programs

Our coding school's flagship after-school program, Code Coaching, combines a super-small 2:1 teaching ratio with individualized curriculum. Although Code Coaching works from novice to advanced coders, we also offer entry-level classes for those looking for a more traditional class in a larger ratio, as well as @school classes and our ever popular coding camps.

Our System

We're part of a nationwide system of over 65 locations around the country, teaching over 7,000 students every week with the brainpower of 1000+ expert Code Coaches®. Headquartered and founded in Silicon Valley since 2014, we're proud of the impact theCoderSchool has had on communities everywhere. Find out more about Who We Are in our brand video .

How Students Progress

OUR CODER TREE

See our visualization of what kids are learning and a sampling of possibilities.

Learn About
Our Coder Tree

OUR CODER STORY

Find our coding roadmap that goes beyond coding custom apps to building a story for college

Our Coding Camps

From AI to bots, web development to games, we got it all. Our camps stick to a low ratio of around 6:1 and are taught by our expert Code Coaches.

Our Upcoming Events

Lego Robotics - 8 weeks - $279

Join us for an 8-week introductory robotics course in McLean this spring! The LEGO robotics course introduces students to the design, build and programming of small robots. Students will learn fundamental programming and engineering concepts and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Sessions run Saturday 4/6 - Saturday 5/25, with makeup date on Saturday 6/1. Ages 7-10
Sat 4/6 - Sat 5/25

Our Testimonials

  • "My son loves to go here. He looks forward to it all week. They have great communication and make sure the kids are really engaged ."
    Kaylon P.
  • "Staff is great. They have managed to turn my son's technology obsession into a creative (instead of just observing you tube videos) outlet. Now instead of just watching videos or playing games...he is creating his games."
    Russell H.
  • "My daughter has been going to The Coder School for over five years and absolutely loves it!"
    Nathan W.
  • "I was unsure at first but every time my daughter finishes a class she is excited and happy and looks forward to it every week! Nothing better than incorporating fun with education!"
    Sabari P.
  • "What you have brought [here] is simply amazing! Your coaches are fantastic and I couldn't ask for a better learning environment for my son to do his thing and expand his knowledge!"
    Bonnie D.
  • "My son absolutely loves this coding school! The coaches are fabulous!"
    Lisa A.
  • "Excellent staff, reasonable prices, and most important they make it fun for kids to learn coding. My son is always excited to go back and work on his game."
    Mathew J.
  • "We love theCoderSchool! My 9 year old son started 1:1 lessons there 6 months ago (he is shy, so I thought 1:1 would be good for him to start with that). He LOVES it!"
    Allison D.

Hey parents, love our school? Give us a review!
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Apps We Build

Each year, theCoderSchool partners with the Congressional App Challenge, a nationwide coding contest run by districts of the U.S. Congress. Some of our students have won this prestigious prize, met their U.S. Congressperson, and even flown to DC for the winners event. Take a look at some recent CAC winners from theCoderSchool, or browse through our Live App Gallery to see custom apps our students are building!

School Info

theCoderSchool Logo
1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd #170
Near Lidl on Chain Bridge Rd
(703)712-7182
mclean@thecoderschool.com
Monday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Thursday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

PROUD PARTNERS OF THECongressional App Challenge
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Proud Partners

NoVA Best Summer Camp 2023 Logo
Langley Band on the Run 5k Logo
McLean Soccer Logo
McLean Little League Logo
The Arc of Loudoun Logo
Ashburn Ice House Logo

Meet our Owners

Chad and Ellen Hamel, owners of theCoderSchool McLean

Hi everyone! We are Chad and Ellen Hamel, owners of theCoderSchool in McLean and Ashburn, Virginia. We are so excited to bring theCoderSchool to the DC metro area! A little about us - we live on a small farm in northern Virginia with our two boys and lots of farm animals. Chad is a veterinarian and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Ellen went to Langley HS in McLean (Go Saxons!), and is a nurse with a bachelor's from the University of Virginia and a master of public health from George Washington University. We have each worked in the healthcare field for nearly 20 years. Throughout our careers we’ve experienced more and more the importance of technology and its reach into a variety of different industries, including healthcare. We recognize that coding is not only an essential skill set for the future, but helps kids to develop their creative, cognitive and analytic abilities, setting them up for success in their careers and in life! We chose theCoderSchool because we believe in its philosophy of teaching to code through a personalized coaching approach, in a fun and supportive environment, fostered by a family-oriented team. As former college athletes, we also feel strongly about developing both mind and body so we partner with a variety of local youth sports organizations to provide your kids with a rich after school experience. We hope you’ll join our community and look forward to working with you and your child to create a custom learning experience. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at chamel@thecoderschool.com or ehamel@thecoderschool.com.

We're always looking for great Code Coaches. Shoot us an email with resumé to see if we're a fit!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can coding help kids?

Many folks might think learning to code is so kids can actually code an app. Honestly, that's not usually the case! Coding real-life apps is tough. Despite what the media says, your kid is not writing some million dollar app by themselves in a month. Instead, coding helps kid *solve problems*. Coding is all about debugging and logically thinking through the fix. Breaking a large problem into smaller parts, logical sequencing, these are all important problem solving skills for any kid (or adult!). A second benefit is confidence and passion in technology. There's plenty of time for kids to learn the latest real tech (which changes all the time), but the time to build passion for technology (and a foundational knowledge base) is when they're young!

What is the best coding language to learn as a beginner?

The truth is, Scratch is amazing for a beginner at ANY AGE. If someone is truly a beginner, a platform like Scratch can allow them to create and engage much more quickly. Older kids (say 11 and up) can soon move to a language like Python or Javascript. Just remember that it takes a LOT MORE work to get Python/Javascript to do the same thing as Scratch - so the kids will need some patience. No matter what anyone tells you please DO NOT start learning with Java or C++! Those languages are too advanced to start with, and we've seen it too often - kids will give up because it's so hard! Definition of backfiring!

What is the best age to start coding?

It depends - we think the best age is the age they want to do it! Listen, there's plenty of time to *really* learn to code - there's a reason Comp Sci is a really tough college degree. The important thing in the younger years is to bring out the desire and passion to learn more - that's why at theCoderSchool we customize our projects based on the student's interests and really focus on engagement before learning.

How do I get accepted into a college computer science program?

These days, top colleges are incredibly selective. Learning to code by itself probably won't help you stand out enough. Instead, consider building a unique Coder Story. Can we help? Sure can!

What are the benefits of kids learning to code?

Children of all ages can benefit from learning coding skills, and students who get hands-on experience with computer programming go on to excel in other subjects Coding helps students gain computer proficiency and build real-world problem-solving skills. Exploring technology is essential for computer literacy. Building fundamental coding skills encourages creativity, promotes teamwork, and enhances spatial intelligence and logical thinking skills. Kids of all ages can learn computer science. For teenagers, learning how to code leads to the development of transferable skills that can be applied in future careers or workplaces. If your student is interested in data science or machine learning, a self-paced course in computer programming can help pave their path.

As you and your family consider coding programs, it helps to keep in mind:

  • The age of the student (we can teach kids as young as six)
  • Their individual interests (such as Lego, Roblox, robotics, video game design, or artificial intelligence)
  • Any previous hands-on experience with coding (even exposure to mobile apps or playing with Minecraft counts)
  • Preferred learning style (we offer both flexible and structured curricula and support self-paced learning)
  • Social skills (some students learn best in one-on-one lessons, while others favor teamwork)

    Whether the student wants to explore Minecraft modding in Minecraft camp, is interested in HTML, or wants to learn block-based coding like CSS, our interactive classes provide a great coding experience.

    Can a 6 year old do coding?

    Sure! Kids this young are just developing their sense of logic. While some advanced 6 year olds are ready to dive into learning Scratch, many are better off with fun learning apps like Kodable or Scratch Jr..

    How do kids learn to code?

    Same way adults do! The best way to learn something is to just DO it. It's not about all the theory and fancy words, it's about just doing it over and over again. If you're a parent with a college degree, think back. How much of that theoretical curriculum did you really use in your job? Or did you really learn your job by DOING your job? It's the same with kids, we'll mentor and guide them, but most importantly, we'll get them to code something custom that they want to code!

    Where is the best place to learn coding for kids?

    We're a little bit biased, but we think it's theCoderSchool! There's no better way to learn anything, including coding, than just doing it with a mentor to guide you. Online or in person, our Code Coaches will give you that low-ratio full attention that every kid deserves!

    What coding programs are available at theCoderSchool in McLean, VA?

    Our programs are designed to engage and excite learners of all ages. The programs offered by theCoderSchool in McLean include after-school classes and traditional coding classes for students. Programs range from Minecraft modding in Minecraft camp to writing code in HTML. We offer programs in ScratchJr for those just starting out, as well as block-based coding camps for programming languages such as CSS and Python coding. Just ask our alums: Our interactive classes provide a great coding experience. We work hard to provide learning environments for all types of students. Programs are available as online coding classes or in-person. Students can choose to work one-on-one with an instructor or in a group of their peers. Every student has different needs and interests, and theCoderSchool is committed to helping them all succeed. Our individualized curriculum is tailored to a wide variety of student interests and can be as flexible as the student needs it to be. We have a 2:1 teaching ratio in our after-school programs and provide focused assistance so kids can self-pace their learning.

    Does theCoderSchool offer coding classes and Camps in McLean, VA?

    In addition to our after-school courses, our coaches also provide traditional coding classes. Online classes and in-person programs are available. There are also camps for kids to enroll in over school breaks or summer vacations. We offer a year-round curriculum that includes coding classes, after-school courses, and coding camps. Coursework supports individualized attention including one-to-one lessons and small 2:1 ratios in after-school programs. Our students are given the option to work solo or partner in groups to solve challenges. The goal of any intro coding class or summer camp is to make sure coding is attainable and fun. Computer programming can quickly become discouraging if a student doesn’t have the support they need to learn coding languages. We believe that every student learns in his or her own way, so our mentors teach coding as an enjoyable activity where kids can learn and progress at their own pace. Our teaching teams will help young programmers gain knowledge in syntax, conditionals, algorithms, and even help them develop their own games. theCoderSchool offers camps and classes for all interests:
  • ScratchJr and Scratch
  • CSS
  • Python programming
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Minecraft
  • Animations
  • Video game development
  • Read about Private+Semi-Private Coaching, Virtual Learning, Coding Classes, Robotics, Python, Scratch, or Video Game Coding
    or check out our general blog or our student blogs

    What is theCoderSchool? We are an after-school drop-off (and virtual) program for kids learning to code - a coding school! There's after-school kung fu. There's after-school music lessons, sports, art, tutoring, Chinese, you name it, it's out there. But coding classes for kids? Founded in 2013, we're the first of many, and the largest in Silicon Valley with more locations on the way around the country. The future will be ever more dependent on technology so let's get our young generation ready. Learn to Code, Change the World®.

    Got a question? Email us at mclean@thecoderschool.com!

    copyright 2014-2022, the Coder School San Francisco, LLC. All Rights, Alright? Don't forget our privacy policy. Find out who we are or like us on facebook.