Building The Funnel Of Future Coders: The Codelicious Way

When my daughter was in 8th grade, she expressed interest in learning how to build websites. At the time, her school didn’t offer any web design classes. As I looked at my daughter, I reminded myself that she is a hands-on learner. She learns best by experiencing and performing. So, watching YouTube tutorials and videos wouldn’t be an optimal route for her. She valued interaction and collaboration to learn coding and web design.

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I began to search online.

Where could she learn how to build a website?

Who could help her?

What courses should she take?

It became clear after a few hours that coding classes were not publicly available for teens in the Indianapolis-area.

After plenty of networking and scouring through referrals, we finally found an amazing mentor. This individual helped my daughter learn web development in a positive, collaborative, and fun environment. I didn’t realize it then, but that was the first I witnessed one potential future coder enter the funnel of a new business endeavor.

4 years later, my daughter has filled her high school electives with coding and technology classes. She’s worked on many high-impact coding and STEM related projects, both internal and external to her high school curriculum. She has built a network of peers and passionate mentors who helped shape her love and experience as a coder.

As a mother, it’s been incredible to sit back and watch her gain confidence and excitement for her future career. Next Fall, she will enter her freshmen year of college – aspiring to major in electrical engineering and computer science.

Along my daughter’s journey, my two sons were exposed to coding, technology, and STEM opportunities. They didn’t always express an interest in technology. However, after seeing my daughter’s passion and confidence soar from learning technology and coding, they decided to engage through robotics clubs at their middle school.

In a short amount of time, it was clear that both of my sons enjoyed the opportunity to learning technology. They would share stories about their mentors, lessons they learned, and details about new experiences and challenges. They truly loved collaborating with their peers. In addition, I’ve witnessed their confidence in problem solving and tackling general technology related challenges sky rocket. In fact, my sons have both felt the excitement of qualifying for the Vex Robotics World Championship.

2 more potential coders entered the funnel…

So, when Erik Young approached me about being a co-founder and CEO of Codelicious, I immediately connected with the mission and value proposition. In my own personal world, I had been increasing the funnel of potential future coders, one child at a time. What if, together, we could exponentially accelerate the pipeline?

Because guess what? That pipeline needs filled! Hundreds of thousands of coding jobs go unfilled each year.

Erik and I are building Codelicious with a passion and mission to dramatically increase the funnel of youth coders for tomorrow’s tech workforce. We are helping schools accelerate the adoption of coding curriculum for elementary and middle school students. With the Codelicious curriculum, students as young as 3rd grade can become exposed to coding principles – just like they would learn English or Math.

By building confidence, gaining knowledge, and collaborating with peers and mentors – these students will help us close the technology and coding skills gap. Students who work through Codelicious courses will be better prepared for college and the workforce.

Whether my children decide to earn a living through coding, technology, or STEM related fields will unfold over the next 5-10 years. However, they are in the funnel. I know they will make the right decision based on a strong foundation of knowledge and experience. They won’t let fear of the unknown or uncertainty in their skills hold them back. At Codelicious, it’s our mission to make every child feel that way. We want to empower children to have fun, learn code, and build a network of like-minded peers in a safe and collaborative environment. Each day, we push forward with our vision that Codelicious can help schools create this opportunity for every child.

Can we count on you to join us?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-funnel-future-coders-codelicious-way-christine-mcdonnell/