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San Francisco - West Portal, CA

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Welcome to theCoderSchool
231 W Portal Ave,
Next to Kumon

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 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 will 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 San Francisco - West Portal, CA? 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


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

Learn About
Our Coder Tree


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

AP Computer Science Mini Camp

We are now able to offer a one-week AP Computer Science mini camp: Monday-Friday, 4pm-6pm. This five day, two hour per day camp is for:
1. Students who are interested in preparing for a AP Computer Science class
2. Brushing up concepts before taking the AP Computer Science exam
3. Looking to review and be comfortable in Java before attending college

Students will learn and practice key Java concepts and tools with a focus on designing problem solving programs. Recommended for ages 14-18. Seats are limited to 8 students per mini-camp.

Use the links below to reserve your spot in this highly requested mini-camp!


Do you enjoy teaching and watching kids' eyes light up? Are you a decent competent coder? Our social and immersive method is a great way to get our next generation ready while being able to have fun with technology yourself. Apply today!

Please send an email with your resume to Allen

Congratulation Shreya!

We are delighted to share that Nancy Pelosi named one of our students, Shreya Aghi, winner of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in our district, California’s 11th District!

Shreya is an 8th grader in San Francisco and has been with the Coder School for __ years. Her winning app, Teen Tobacco Termination, was mission driven: to inform teenagers and their loved ones about the dangers of smoking and vaping, and how to get the help they need. To teachers who are reading this, this app is just what you need to do a lesson for your teen students on the health risks from tobacco use!

Shreya describes: “I was inspired to create Teen Tobacco Termination through my work with BACR (Bay Area Community Resources), focusing on tobacco cessation among teenagers. As I have witnessed peers in middle school being drawn into their first cigarette or vape, I recognized the significance of the issue. Vaping and smoking are increasingly concerning among adolescents, and it’s crucial to inform them about the risks before they get involved.”

Teen Tobacco Termination includes an info page with visual data and expert statistics, interactive images, quizzes to test the user on the info page content, and resources for getting help or getting involved. Shreya created her app in Visual Studio Code and Repl using Python, a language she was already familiar with. She employed the PySimple GUI library to add elements such as buttons, text, images, and graphs to create a structured layout for the user. She also utilized the Pillow library so she could change properties of images, and the web browser library to add links to external resources.

Congratulation Shreya! 2

Coach Edward, who guided Shreya through her journey to victory, applauded her maturity and focus. “Because her background was pretty strong, doing something of this magnitude was easier. I think because frankly she’s very mature already, it meant I could easily give her parts of the project to work on, on her own, without needing to worry about checking up on her every week.” At the outset, Coach Edward encouraged her to write out the entire idea of what she’d like to do, without worrying about what’s possible, so they could decide on the core features she wanted then weed out the less feasible things. Because Shreya already had a strong foundation in Python, much of Coach Edward’s instruction was helping her deploy her knowledge in new ways. How do we make the graphic interactive? How do we get the carousel up and running? How do we get the GUI up and going? How do we get the screens set up? In addition, they worked on writing efficient and clean code with better algorithms that wouldn’t slow the system. “It was fantastic working with her and it’s still fantastic working with her, especially seeing how much she’s grown over the past couple of years.”

For Coach Edward, that’s one of his favorite parts of teaching – witnessing his students’ development. He reflects with amusement on other students of his who are moving a lot faster now. “I saw you when you were here three years ago when you were a lot younger and you didn’t even know how to type on a computer, and now, here we are!”

Congrats to Shreya and Coach Edward. We of course can’t wait to see what they do next!

Coder Game Winner Serena

1st in SF and 4th Nationally.

Serena, 7th grader at Proof School. Serena has been with us since January 2021.

- I first got interested in coding when I was introduced to programming robots to follow an obstacle course in school.
- I enjoy using processing and Python turtle to create different drawings.
- I like to play tennis and listen to music in my free time.
- If I could code AI to do anything, I would code it to create a system for driverless cars.

Coder Game Winner Jax

1st in SF and 4th Nationally.

Jax C, 7th grader at San Francisco Day School. Jax has been with us since August 2022.

- I first got interested in coding when I went to a coder school camp.
- I really love the feeling when I accomplish a task that I had previously struggled with, whether it is creating a game or making a school project. I really enjoy making a working system in code and doing things I couldn't otherwise.
- I like playing basketball, and playing tennis with my sister.
- I would code it to read and translate my handwriting into text. My handwriting is terrible.

Coder Game Winner Adrian

2nd in SF, 11th Nationally

Adrian, 9th grader at San Francisco University High School. Adrian has been with us since November 2021.

- I first got interested in coding in 3rd grade when we had a teacher introduce Python turtle to us. I spent hours playing around with it!
- I enjoy the problem solving aspect of coding. There are always many ways to solve a coding challenge, and each way has a different logical answer.
- I like watching and playing sports—I play baseball for my high school’s team—and I love to take my dog out to the park or for nice walks.
- I would code AI to create recipes and help cook in order to make it more fun and to allow you to try new things.

Coder Game Winner Caitlin

3rd in SF, 12th Nationally

Caitlin, 11th grader at Raoul Wallenberg High School. Caitlin has been with us since June 2019.

- After attending one of the Coder School summer camps, I was amazed at all the possibilities that coding opened up and I wanted to learn more.
- I enjoy solving problems and creating useful applications. I also like how there are many ways you can approach a problem, which allows for a lot of unique solutions.
- When I’m not coding, I like playing badminton and hanging out with friends :)
- I would code an AI to help study for tests and exams that would be tailored to each user’s learning styles.

Meet Coach Nic!

Coach Nic fondly remembers his dad bringing home a “Frankenstein PC” with Windows 97 and then playing a Toy Story 3D game on his dad’s lap. Not only was this fun for Nic, it got him interested in technology and learning about the integration of art and music into video games. And so began his technology journey into coding.

Coach Nic particularly enjoyed his computer science classes at SF State that emphasized building from the ground up. Nic’s Java classes where they built the compiler first, then the games from scratch were some of his favorites. One of Coach Nic’s favorite things about his coding journey is the empowerment of solo creation and community he found with like-minded developers and creative artists. He recalls learning about independent developers like Lucas Pope who made Papers, Please all by himself. Another favorite, Stardew Valley, was also created by a solo developer who did all the art, programming, and music. They inspired him in how they created so many interesting experiences, all on their own. In Coach Nic’s words, "Something else I really like about programming is it’s an avenue to create this nexus for all of my interests to meet and mingle - cool thing about games that they’re multifaceted. For someone like me who’s tangentially interested in different things, it’s a nice way to bring everything together in one package."

Meet Coach Nic! 2

Music is a passion for Coach Nic. He laughs about how he has a “bunch of pianos” in his room and speaks glowingly about the fellow musicians he enjoys playing with. “I really like jazz and I play a lot of music and make games, too. And play them too.” Coach Nic has especially enjoyed the community he’s found through coding, gaming, and music. He's been working on a rhythm game for a couple of months with a team of 4 friends who have particular skills and interests – 3D modeling, design, concept art. Stay tuned for what emerges. Think of how fun it could be to play a hip hop rhythm game kind of like Guitar Hero!

Exemplifying the best of us, Coach Nic has further found joy in sharing his knowledge and creating community for the next generation. He talks enthusiastically about how teaching keeps him learning, and how learning makes it even more fun to teach. “I realized the value of having a community of people around you if you’re interested in something, and how important and impactful that can be. So I’ve always really loved sharing things I know with other people and learning from them as well.” For Coach Nic, it’s fun to be able to tap into that beginner’s mindset where everything is new and fun. "The excitement rubs off on you -- fun to share my enthusiasm and have some of those older fires reignited."

Creative coding is at the heart of our teaching approach at The Coder School San Francisco, and Coach Nic is the epitome of what we’re all about. We are so fortunate to have Coach Nic as part of our team. He is one of our Coaching rockstars responsible for guiding and mentoring the next generation of creative coders. We look forward to many more years of working with Coach Nic!

Meet Coach Ivy!

At the Coder School San Francisco, we love teaching coding. We also love celebrating our students, coaches, and staff who are such an important part of our community.

Coach Ivy is both a student and Code Coach. Ivy joined us for our first summer camp in 2017 after finishing 6th grade at Denman. She took all of Allen’s whiteboards to organize and plan her text based adventure game. (Allen laughs when remembering how he looked everywhere for the missing whiteboards.)

“That game was one of the first projects that really stuck with me – didn’t feel like an assignment, more like a piece of art.”  -- Coach Ivy

After summer camp, Ivy joined our Code Coaching program as a student. Her first teacher was Coach Natalie, who taught her the importance of collaboration. While Ivy was at first a bit nervous about our pairs approach, where we have two students with one Code Coach, she became good friends with her pairs partner Ethan. Ivy and Ethan are still friends, which is part of what makes us happy about our community – having more students get to know others with similar interests and stay in touch. She also credits Natalie and Ethan for teaching her about the joys of teamwork, mentorship, and of course, readable code. 

Ivy joined us as a summer camp counselor for 2017 and part of 2018. With all her experience as a student and enthusiasm and leadership as a counselor, we were thrilled that Ivy joined us as a teacher last fall after shadowing Coach Jason over the summer.

Coach Ivy enjoys teaching Scratch in particular and has observed that among the benefits of learning coding as a kid, beyond active coding itself, is that you learn to do math and you learn to spell. Fundamentals in a fun way.

Coach Ivy is now a junior in high school who leads her robotics club. She still enjoys learning advanced coding while teaching the next generation how to code text adventures.

Meet Coach Ivy! (continue)

What’s next for Coach Ivy?
“I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that making video games is a viable career. In my heart, it seems like too much of a pipe dream.

I definitely think I’m going to keep coding forever. It’s one of the best outlets for me to be creative. Even if I’m not in a field using it professionally, I will still make stuff for me for fun regardless of whether there are financial benefits.”

Our hunch is that Coach Ivy will realize her dream and do many great things in addition to her teaching and creating. We’ll be behind her all the way!

“I think people should see code as more of an art than they do.” -- Coach Ivy

Congrats to our amazing coaches

for winning several awards in the inaugural Game Jam Game Design Contest.

Best Individual Game: CryptoStory: Isekai, Action Adventure game using Phaser CE by Coach Jason Huang

Best Team Game: Zanderian Prince Simulator 2020 by Coaches Jacky Chen, Dakota Madden-Fong, Nicolas Graves, Michael Tran

Be sure to read’s Developer Spotlight interview with Nico, Dakota, Michael, and Jackie! "We're a small group of co-workers at the Coder School San Francisco, we're instructors and teach programming to kids and use all the time for lessons and instruction with students.”

Learn more about games that our coaches built below:

Our Testimonials

  • "The Coder school is a great place to learn to code. Kids learn at their own pace but are always encouraged to push their boundaries and learn more. The 2 kids to 1 instructor sessions means that kids really get time to explore with a lot of hands on guidance. Coding is my son's favorite after school activity!"
    Helene K, San Francisco
  • "Owners, manager Allen, and instructors (Max) in SF West Portal are involved and very encouraging to our two boys. Both loved summer camps and weekly group instruction tailored to their interests and abilities."
    Jeff L, San Francisco
  • "My 8-year-old son just finished a week of camp there, and I think he'd move in if he could! He had a great experience there, and seems to have a learned a lot. The staff was excellent - they really seemed to connect with kids, and were enthusiastic about introducing coding concepts to them. They were always available to answer questions and talk a bit about what my son had worked on during the day. We'll definitely be back next summer, or may check out their after school programs this fall."
    Michelle S, San Francisco
  • "The coaches at The Coder School have captured the attention and focus of each of my 3 kids, even though none of my kids are naturally drawn to coding. Doesn't matter what day, or what coach, or what kid - The Coder School hires great coaches and does an excellent job matching students to teachers, so that every child loves their time there. The flexible curriculum has really allowed our kids to explore what interests them, and cover more languages than they would be exposed to if bound my a more prescribed curriculum. The manager, Allen, is always super responsive and easy to communicate with for any scheduling needs. Top notch customer service."
    Laura S, San Francisco
  • "Since my son plays so many games and uses so many apps, I figured it makes sense for him to learn the building blocks of how those digital products are made. While, at times, he has felt overwhelmed, I think he has finally found his comfort zone. In a nutshell, The Coder School ensures that your child will learn as much as they want, but more importantly provides a sense of community for kids of all ages, interest levels and skillsets."
    Art D, San Francisco
  • "Our 10-year-old son Kyle has been attending coaching sessions at The Coder School for over two years. He has really loved working with Allen and the team in West Portal, and he has learned so much. We also appreciate how accommodating and flexible Allen and the rest of the crew is. Thanks so much for supporting and coaching Kyle. This kiddo loves coding!"
    Amy S, San Francisco
  • "You've taught me logic as way of thinking and being patient. You're complicated and intricate especially Python 3. However I love making you work and I love all the challenges that you throw at me. If you think about where everything is going, coding is the future in terms of AI and everyday technology."
    Bradley C, San Francisco
  • "My 5th and 7th graders having been coming to the Coder School for over a year. Both of them like their teachers, Jacky and Caroline, so much that I'm making the trip here twice a week so that they can each stay with their respective teacher. The low student teacher ratio allows the teacher to really understand their level and teach at their pace. They've learned Python, HTML, amongst other languages, to create games and websites that they're proud to show me after class. Bonus, the manager, Allen, is awesome and super easy to communicate with. Highly recommend!"
    Jen J, San Francisco
  • "Kids (and adults!) play way too many video games nowadays. We were happy when we saw that The Coder School had opened up in West Portal. We were thinking about attending another program on the other side of the City. We wanted our kid to spend some time on the other side building these things, and he was definitely interested in trying. We've been happy with the place. Allen is always welcoming, and makes you and your kid feel at home. My kid has been working with Carolyn, who knows her stuff and gets along well with my kid. As a self-confessed (sometimes!) helicopter parent, I am usually there when my kid has class trying to get some work done. I can hear other lessons going on, and can tell that the coaches are knowledgeable, and able to work well with the kids. We have never taken group lessons, so my experience is with the private / semi-private lessons. We recommend them."
    Jamie F, San Francisco
  • "My son has been taking lessons at the coder school for several years. He's become proficient in a variety of coding languages and concepts, and is now creating full image games in Unity and system tools in Python. The coaches he has had over several years have all been incredibly supportive, but also challenging in a good way. And of course its all about that he has fun and is getting challenged appropriately. But there's also the parent side of things too. Allen and his team are incredibly patient with adjusting to the ever changing after school schedule and ensuring that my son has the right coach for the right time in his learning. When he was younger, getting coaches who were energetic and supportive in lighter languages was the most important thing. As a high schooler now, its more important that the coaches become more heavyweight both in terms of the concepts being taught, but also in expectations. The team at coder school have been excellent in putting in the right resources at the right time, and working right with our schedule. Couldn't recommend the coder school more!"
    Jay M, San Francisco
  • "My son loves the coder school - their camps and their after school classes - the teachers and the owners are awesome. We will be long time clients."
    Kate L, San Francisco

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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
231 W Portal Ave
Next to Kumon
Monday: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 1:00 – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Friday: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

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Meet Our Owner and GM

Allen Kwan

Hi there! My name is Allen and I’m the Owner and General Manager of the Coder School San Francisco. I am excited to bring the Coder School to the San Francisco bay area when I was born and raised. My Bachelor’s degree is in Finance and I am a proud alum of San Francisco State University. I remember my first experience with a computer: arguing with my older brother over who could play the original Starcraft game first. It took a week to finally get a chance to play, but I was instantly obsessed with gaming, computers, and technology. Making technology more accessible to children is the biggest reason why we’re opening the Coder School San Francisco. I can’t wait to meet all of you and to help shape the future of your little technologist.

And the Other Owner!

Lee Hsu

Hi all! My name is Lee Hsu. I’m a co-owner at the Coder School San Francisco. As an EdTech consultant and teacher, I’ve designed technology curricula and taught computer skills, digital citizenship, and coding to over 1,000 students in San Francisco schools. I've seen firsthand through my work and teaching that high-quality coding instruction is critical for jobs of the future. And, I know from my time studying at the University of Texas and at Stanford University that education must keep pace with modern trends to prepare kids to be future technologists, creative professionals, and leaders in every industry. We have a wonderful team here at the Coder School San Francisco. I look forward to being part of your child's learning and coding journey.

Meet Our Code Coaches® Too!

We've got plenty of Coaches, and tons of Comp Sci experience tucked inside! Who's the best Coach for you? I guess you'll have to come on in for a free trial to find out!
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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!
  • 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!

    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.