I was interested in coding long before I knew how to actually code anything. When I was in 4th grade, I started making my own StarCraft maps with custom triggers and events. When I was in 7th grade, I learned to make my own video games on the computer using a program called Multimedia Fusion.
Through high school, I created my own independent study computer class in all 12 trimesters over the four years, so I could learn what I wanted. I learned a little bit of a lot of things, but I was never able to get anywhere far on my own.
I learned a little bit of Maya for 3D Animation, the most basic Flash Actionscript, how to use Dreamweaver (worthless), Photoshop, Illustrator, and got through about 1-2 chapters of a C++ book before getting stuck and stopping.
I used tools like the Unreal Engine and Hammer Editor to make 3D games and messed around making little programs on my calculator during math class, but I never really learned to code until I went to college.
This is why I’m so excited to be working on CodeHS. I had essentially been trying to learn to code since I was in 4th grade, but I never really learned until my freshman year of college.
I’m making CodeHS for me 8 years ago.
I get so frustrated sometimes that I didn’t have the resources to learn it myself, and I’m so excited to give current high schoolers the opportunity they deserve to learn what I tried to learn in high school.
I had access to books and had the desire to learn, but never someone to help me. I had no idea where to start, and whatever I tried seemed too difficult and confusing.
With CodeHS, I’m trying to fix all of the problems I had when I tried to learn. It’s extremely easy to get started because you don’t have to worry about downloading programs or IDEs and can just code in the browser. And most importantly, students get access to real people who help them out when they get stuck.
These are all things I wish I had when I was in high school, and I love that I can help out kids like me do what I wasn’t able to do.