This is the beginning of the 3rd year of my journey working with young people and adults to teach them computer science concepts and coding. It has been exciting to learn with them since I didn’t learn computer science and coding back in the day. My earliest experience with coding was in 1997 playing around with HTML and CSS just to have greater control over websites I was charged with managing.
During the Great Recession, many were left scrambling to find a away to replace livelihoods lost. Computer programming was a black art to many, best left to the stereotypical computer geeks in basements and large bland office spaces. As the curtain was pulled back, those spaces were revealed to be full of life, playful, and engaging. Those spaces stimulate innovation and thinking that demanded our attention. Was computer programming something we all can learn to do? Could we learn programming concepts, even before college? Yes and Yes!
In 2013, I was reintroduced to coding when several adult friends were shifting careers to get into this “coding thing”. These men and women impressed me with their ability to learn an entire different way of thinking from their traditional careers. We take for granted our innate knowledge of how to do things. Computer programming is the opposite. Computers run based on an explicit series of instructions that tell it what, when, and how to do a task, for every task that it is designed to complete.
This year will bring some exciting alliances, challenges, changes, and growth. That includes greater feedback on youth performance to our clients while exploring fresh ways to reach more young people. The goal is 10,000 by 2021 and we (collectively) have already touched at least 1,800. I look forward to having you all join me on this journey. If you have an after school, weekend, or summer program that serves youth, please contact me below to explore how we can work together to get your youth started in computer science and coding. If you have a program that you are implementing, please share information with us so they can be a part of the 10,000.
William Teasley, Nerd NInja Sensei
Twitter: @WilliamHGEI, Instagram: @nerdninjasensei
A blog for those working to refine the college access pipeline, create more opportunities to nurture future change agents, and mitigate the gaps.