LOCAL NEWS

The way of the (Code) Ninja

New Cedar Park facility shows kids how to code in style.

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Most technology in the modern world is run on code. From smartphones to cars to websites to entire factories, very little in our our modern world could operate without code — the language of machines and software.  

Code Ninjas of Cedar Park is an emerging company that teaches children ages 7 through 14 how to code in a safe, fun and social learning environment.

“We’re not just teaching kids a programming language, we’re giving them the opportunity to develop critical thinking and analytical skills,” said James Klein, the center’s director. “We believe there’s certainly a need for this kind of added computer-based learning that we’re offering.”

Code Ninjas opened locally in May 2018, and the franchised organization has more than 120 franchise owners with 300 territories nationwide.

Code Ninjas is centered on an interactive, intensive, game-based curriculum made up of nine belts, just like martial arts. According to the company bio, “The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Senseis and fellow students as they advance from white to black belt. The program keeps kids motivated with little wins along the way, and "Belt-Up" celebrations where they receive color-coded wristbands to mark their graduation to the next level. By the time a child finishes the program, they will publish an app in an app store.”

Klein said the facility is designed to help future generations gain skills for jobs involving or working around coding. 

“As we move forward to getting jobs in the future, the amount of technology that you’re required to operate will probably increase in the next ten or fifteen years,” Klein said. “Kids are going to need to be able to, at the very least, learn about code and what its functions are.”

About 200 local children have enrolled at the facility since its opening date. 

“I love being able to interact with the kids,” said Klein. “It’s really neat when they come in here and we start off using a relatively basic drag-and-drop coding program called Scratch. It’s so cool that after just thirty or forty minutes of working on the program, they’re able to build a game. They come out and they’re smiling and happy because they got to do something they’ve never done before. I think that’s the best part about my job.”

Code Ninjas was created by David Graham, a programmer and entrepreneur based in Houston. Previously, Graham was the founder and owner of Coder Camps, a program that teaches adults to be successful software developers. Over 17 years as a software developer, Graham saw that coding is not only a great career choice, but a crucial life skill. Coders learn logical skills and build resourcefulness that they might not get in other fields. Graham combined his knowledge of coding with his desire to give kids the opportunity to grow in STEM to found Code Ninjas. 

Code Ninjas of Cedar Park is located at 3621 E Whitestone Blvd., Ste 500, Cedar Park.

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