In Depth: Code-it Hacks

Everyone agrees that the next generation needs to learn how to code. But the question is how do you do it in a way that engages them and keeps them interested? That was the question that Shirin Merchant was confronted with when she quit her job for personal reasons. Her daughter loved to code, but Ms. Merchant noted that most of the coding classes that are out there start off with a large number of kids. But as the class goes on the numbers dwindle. This to her was a sign that what the kids were being taught wasn’t engaging enough. Thus she decided to create her own coding class to address that deficiency. Thus Code-it Hacks was born.

What Makes Code-it Hacks different than other coding classes is that it doesn’t teach coding in a “do as I say manner” which is how I learned how to code back in the age of the dinosaurs which is also known as the age of the Commodore Pet. It instead teaches kids how to code in ways that encourage imagination, critical thinking and leadership. I encourage you to look at this link for more details.

This past weekend Code-it Hacks held an event at the Runnymede Public Library, and the organization provided me with some pictures from the event:

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One thing that you’ll notice is that some of kids in these pictures have t-shirts from the organization. They act as mentors and this is what encourages the leadership part of learning how to code. The fact is that Code-it Hacks goes beyond learning a programming language. They are teaching skills that will prove invaluable later in life.

Code-it Hacks has programs for grade 7+ as well as grade 3-6 with three locations in Toronto to attend classes. I should also note that Milton will be added as a location in January. But I should also mention is that Ms. Merchant is  working with local schools and the Ontario Ministry of Education to bring this style of coding class to as many kids as possible. If that’s not enough, she’s also planning on bringing coding classes to her home country of Pakistan via an NGO called Developments in Literacy. From speaking with Ms. Merchant earlier today, I can tell she’s on a mission and I for one hope she succeeds.

If you have children who are interested in coding and you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, I’d recommend checking out Code-it Hacks. The approach to coding that they offer  is one that I can get behind as if coding was taught that way when I was in school, I’d likely be less computer consulting and more coding in my life today.

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