When Taylor Wu was presented with the opportunity to bring a franchise of the Bay Area’s popular theCoderSchool to Bellevue, he didn’t hesitate.

thecoderschool

Bellevue’s new theCoderSchool celebrated its grand opening Aug. 28. Photo courtesy theCoderSchool via Facebook.

Passionate about technology and sharing that passion with others, Wu wanted to create a fun environment where kids could learn and gain exposure to coding in a non-curriculum based setting – something theCoderSchool already was doing at its existing Palo Alto, San Mateo, and Cupertino locations.

Established in 2014 by Hansel Lynn and Wayne Teng, theCoderSchool currently has those three Bay Area locations listed above (with two more on the way), in addition to its most recent Bellevue location, recently opened by Wu, his wife, Cindy, and friends, Christian Tuan, Liza Zheng, and Billy Hsu.

The concept behind theCoderSchool is not only to teach kids how to code, but to think like a coder. With a variety of programs ranging from online classes to camps, there are a number of ways for kids to learn code. Wu said the most popular programs are the App Team and Code Coaching programs. These programs provide students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace while developing a variety of soft skills, all under the guidance of coaches who are more like mentors than instructors.

theCoderSchool

Photo courtesy theCoderSchool via Facebook.

“We craft programs around the students’ interests and capabilities,” Wu said. “We walk them through beginner levels using Scratch or Snap!, then we move on to Python, Javascript, and those types of languages as they get more comfortable with coding.” Students can learn as little or as much as they want, excelling to more advanced languages including Java, C++, and more. “It’s entirely up to the kid, and how inspired they are, and how far they want to take it,” Wu added.

And it’s not just coding skills students leave theCoderSchool with. Coaches work closely with students, helping them develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied at school and in other areas of their lives. “Our primary focus isn’t to turn kids into coders,” Wu said. “We want to give them the tools and skills to think logically and solve problems.”

His school is still in its infancy, but Wu is excited to see how positively the school already has been received by the Eastside community and beyond. “We want Bellevue and Seattle to know we’re here to serve the community and that we want to build a successful school.”