Citizen Tribeca | New kid on the block: The CoderSchool

Like all good kids in Northern California, Tammy Nguyen wanted to make sure her kids were exposed to coding. She and her young family moved from the Bay Area to Fidi 12 years ago, and when her two daughters were in elementary school, she found them a coding tutor on Craigslist — a computer science major from Barnard. The girls loved it.

So when this student graduated, they found another tutor. Then Tammy started a Girls Who Code club at PS 276. And then, when her daughters left elementary school, she started planning her next tech education move. (His eldest daughter also went to Kode with Klossy — model Karlie Kloss’ coding camp for girls.)

That’s when she discovered The CoderSchool franchise – launched in Silicon Valley in 2014 – and she’s spent the past three years building it here. The school is now accepting students and will open its first class on October 8.

The program revolves more around the creative side of coding than grinding.

“We’re not here to give your child a certificate,” says Tammy. “We find ways to make coding fun, positive and creative.”

The program uses a 2:1 ratio for teaching (the program is intended for children aged 7 to 18) and generally starts with the Scratch coding language, as it is graphical and easy to learn logic without the need for type. Middle schoolers and older kids tend to learn in Python or JavaScript, or they might try other languages ​​like Java, C++, Scheme, or Go. But the language is almost irrelevant.

“For us, it’s about teaching them a foundation where they can start to think critically and be rewarded by creating fun games right from the start,” says Tammy. “If your child likes the play aspect, there’s so much they can do with it.”

It begins with after-school classes only, from 3 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. (For now, she’s keeping her day job at the Small Business Administration, checking loans, but that shouldn’t last long.) She currently has nine coaches on staff and will spend the next few weeks training them. She appealed to local students and even high school students, as long as they got a 5 on the CompSci AP exam, because she knows from watching her own kids learn to code that students respond better to energy of a younger person. (She has a few older Stuy people on staff.)

And she will see how things evolve. She could offer programs at local schools, coach high school students preparing for the CS AP exam, find other programs in the neighborhood where things might overlap. It is the city’s first franchise; there are five on Long Island and a couple on Jersey.

Tammy was also able to design the space herself, using their guidelines and colors, and she went for a cool industrial vibe, so it feels more like Google offices than a gaming space.

“I didn’t want a space that felt like another classroom,” she said. “I wanted it to be more fun, like a start-up feel. It’s what they love to do, it’s their hobby — it’s where they create.

coder’s school
23 Warren | store 4 | Church and Broadway
[email protected]

About Elizabeth Fisk

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