Yasser Jilani is Bringing Coding to Children by@slogging

Yasser Jilani is Bringing Coding to Children

Hackernoon talks to Yasser Jilani, the founder of Code With Us, an EdTech startup pioneering in coding education for children and teenagers. Their belief is that through coding students develop a wide range of competencies applicable both at school and at work. The team discussed an AMA event with the COO of the company, who’s the founder, Jack Boreham, Limarc Ambalina and Verushka Buonaffina. The AMA took place in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.
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In this Slogging AMA, the team at Hackernoon talks to Yasser Jilani, Code With Us founder, an EdTech start-up pioneering in coding education for children and teenagers and improving their academic performance and career skills.

This Slogging thread by Mónica Freitas, Linh Smooke, Yasser Jilani, Limarc Ambalina, Verushka Buonaffina and Jack Boreham occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Mónica FreitasNov 11, 2021, 6:30 PM

I have here Yasser Jilani from https://www.codewithus.com/en; it is a Silicon valley EdTech start-up that pioneers in coding education for students ages 6 to 18, to improve their academic performance and elevate their career skills. Their belief is that through coding students develop a wide range of competences applicable both at school and work.

We discussed an AMA event with https://www.linkedin.com/in/yjilani/, who’s the COO of the company. These are some of the topics we mentioned for the activity:

  • 5 skills children learn through coding
  • How coding can improve children’s academic performance.
  • Tools for the future: How coding in children will reshape their prospects
  • How coding is the cornerstone for the new generation. 
  • What are children learning when they learn to code?
  • Why is coding important in education?

🔥 1
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Mónica FreitasNov 11, 2021, 6:31 PM

Hey Yasser Jilani, thank you for being here with us.

Linh SmookeNov 11, 2021, 6:39 PM

Awww intersection of technology + education = my passion! So glad you are doing it! What explains your early interest in these topics?

Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 6:43 PM

Hi, Linh Smooke Our main interest grew when we saw a shortage of technology education. In the U.S., we always speak about a shortage of tech workforce and our need for foreign talents to bridge the gap. I strongly believe we need to invest in tech education to deal with this shortage, and that it should be part of early school education. My wife and I were looking for coding schools to enroll our kids to get a head start with that in mind. To our surprise, we couldn’t find quality instructor-driven EdTech resources that would address our needs, and that was the moment we realized the market opportunity and our social responsibility to prepare a tech-ready generation for our future.

Linh SmookeNov 11, 2021, 6:45 PM

How old are your kids? in your research, what (if any) were available for that age range?

Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 6:47 PM

In the beginning, we started with after-school programs, then we transitioned to in-person, online, and now offering in-school graded classes at many school campuses throughout North America and Europe.

Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 6:49 PM

We started our organization with the goal of making coding education ubiquitous at all elementary, middle school and high school campuses globally, and making the service readily available and affordable for all.

Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 6:50 PM

I have three kids, ages 5, 11 and 12.

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Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 6:52 PM

Our program teaches kids ages 5 to 18. Currently, we are in talks with career bootcamp programs to teach students fresh out of high school to prepare them for a high-paying technology career.

Linh SmookeNov 11, 2021, 7:03 PM

Ours is still young, age 4, but so surprising to me that there’re so little available coding resources for kids that are affordable! When did you start and when did you first see traction?

Yasser JilaniNov 11, 2021, 7:22 PM

We started our journey in 2017. And from the beginning, we saw a great demand.

We pivoted to Online starting 2019, and our business wasn't affected by the pandemic.

We started our push towards in-school programs in the beginning of 2021, and our bookings are solid.

Many schools are looking for coding programs, and we have the capability to customize programs based on their needs.

Limarc AmbalinaNov 12, 2021, 3:33 AM

Thanks for joining us Yasser Jilani! It was only a matter of time before kids started to learn coding alongside mathematics.

When do you think coding will become a mandatory class in all schools in the United States? Do you think it ever will?

Yasser JilaniNov 12, 2021, 5:56 AM

Hi Limarc Ambalina, thanks for asking! I believe in the near future we will see our children learning coding besides math and science at school.

Coding is getting more popular among early schoolers. Some states in the U.S have taken steps towards formulating CS framework for K-12 students, which is a great step towards making CS a part of the standard education.

We started our journey with the goal of making coding education ubiquitous at all elementary, middle school and high school campuses. Recently we are observing huge responses to our school marketing efforts, which is very promising.

Limarc AmbalinaNov 12, 2021, 6:05 AM

That's great to hear! I actually looked into a few kids coding platforms and really loved CodeCombat

I think for teaching children especially, gamifying ALL learning, not just coding will be key in the future. Is your team looking to gamify your programming education for kids?

Mónica FreitasNov 12, 2021, 5:14 PM

Yasser Jilani, What are the main challenges you face when introducing your startup?

Yasser JilaniNov 12, 2021, 6:25 PM

Hi Mónica Freitas, one challenge we face is finding an effective marketing channel. Our product and service are great. When a student or a school comes on board, they stay for a long period. Our trial to conversion rate is excellent. But we are seeking a cost-effective marketing medium to broadcast our messages to end-users. Our current CAC is high, and we would like to bring it down.

Mónica FreitasNov 12, 2021, 7:33 PM

Yasser Jilani do you think that your marketing difficulties could also be connected to the type of service you offer and how new it is!
Also, what are children learning when they learn to code?

Verushka BuonaffinaNov 12, 2021, 8:58 PM

Hey, Yasser Jilani Which abilities (soft and technical) does coding trigger in young kids?

Yasser JilaniNov 12, 2021, 11:00 PM

Hi Mónica Freitas The coding industry is still evolving, as coding awareness increases, organic demand for our service increases too.
Coding is basic knowledge children need to have in this day and age. We offer project-based education, where kids will learn how to design games and create Apps using programming languages like Scratch, Python, JavaScript, and many more. Our curriculum is designed to make learning exciting and engaging for kids.

Yasser JilaniNov 12, 2021, 11:01 PM

Hi Verushka Buonaffina.
Having children learn coding at a young age prepares them for the future. Coding helps children with communication, problem-solving, creativity, math, and teamwork.

Jack BorehamNov 13, 2021, 5:38 PM

Hi Yasser Jilani, great to have you with us. What kind of coding do you teach children?

Yasser JilaniNov 13, 2021, 7:11 PM

Hi, Jack Boreham We teach 15+ topics and programming languages to students, and thousands of projects they can work on with their teacher to gain the necessary skills. Our six popular topics are; Game Design in Scratch
Software Design in Python
Web Development in JavaScript
Roblox Game Design
Robotics with Arduino & C++
Minecraft Modding

Mónica FreitasNov 13, 2021, 8:52 PM

Yasser Jilani that's great! In your experience what are children's favorite topics to learn? What gets them really excited?

Yasser JilaniNov 15, 2021, 8:52 PM

Mónica Freitas, Children love to play games, that's the reason our curriculum is focused on game designing in coding languages. Children love creating animation games and playing with their peers, this gives them a sense of accomplishment of playing with a tool that they have created by themselves.

Game Designing in Scratch and Robotics with Arduino are two most favorite topics with younger kids.

Yasser JilaniNov 15, 2021, 8:55 PM

Kids 10 to 14, love to design creative Mods in Minecraft, also, design obbys (obstacle course games) and games with scripts using Roblox Lua.

Mónica FreitasNov 16, 2021, 11:20 AM

Yasser Jilani that's amazing. Thank you! That's a wrap on this AMA. Thank you for joining us; it has been a pleasure to have you. 😊

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