When meeting CodeWizardsHQ instructor Josh Ennis, one quickly notices two distinct qualities: his vibrant enthusiasm for teaching and a keen interest in his new career path as a coding instructor. Despite an extensive 15-year background in education, coding was not always part of his repertoire. In fact, there was a time when the world of coding held little attraction for him. That all changed just a few years ago.

Josh’s Coding Journey

Josh, a Louisiana native, was a young entrepreneur. While still in his teens, he helped his brother run a comic shop, and he owned his own nursery business. His homeschooling background allowed him to experience real-world ventures and graduate high school a year early. An interest in logic and reason propelled him to major in math. It was during college that he experienced coding for the first time.

Josh and his wife
Josh and Myra, his wife of ten years

“I was a math major. I didn’t like coding, and I had to take coding classes. At the time, I didn’t see the value in it and didn’t like it. That’s one of my biggest regrets. I just got through the computer science classes. Then later, I wanted to make video games, and that’s when I started coding. I realized that this is just math, logic, and reason- the stuff I love about math. I always tell people the difference between arithmetic and math. Arithmetic is adding and subtracting, and that’s boring. A calculator can do that. Math is reasoning, problem-solving, and logic. That’s what I’ve always loved about math. With computer science, you get to bring that to life with coding. You get to bring logic to life. I love the logic of coding.”

Josh taught math in a high school near New Orleans and then virtually during the pandemic. It was during this time that he decided to pursue game development and he quickly learned that he needed coding skills. As he went down the path of learning to code, it dawned on him that he could combine his many years of teaching experience with his new passion for coding. He was teaching both math and coding online when he found CodeWizardsHQ. His experience with other coding educators let him see that CodeWizards was different, and he was immediately impressed with the curriculum.

“I saw the website, and I thought. ‘Wow, I’d really love to work for these guys.’ I have taught a lot, and a good curriculum is very important, and CodeWizardsHQ has exactly that. Other coding classes I taught either had very dated curricula, or no curricula at all! You can easily tell those students don’t learn to code at nearly the rate of CodeWizards students!”

Teaching Kids and Teens to Code

Josh began teaching at CodeWizards in the fall of 2023. He instructs in elementary, middle, and high school classes. Josh enjoys building relationships with classes at every level and notes the attributes of each. He mentions that each group has specific strengths that make teaching them rewarding. High school students have an enhanced ability for higher abstract thought, elementary school students have amazing enthusiasm and energy, and middle school students bring both enthusiasm and higher-level logic to their class experience.

Josh recounts that his favorite classroom experiences involve those aha moments when a student suddenly discovers something new.

“I have always loved that aha moment. When you hear a kid say ‘oooooh!’ and you know it is genuine. The aha moment is unmistakable and extremely rewarding. Yesterday was one of those fantastic days. Every time we were learning something, asking questions, and going into the logic of what we were doing, we were overwhelmed with aha moments. Just the engagement on that day was so amazing. When they want to do more advanced stuff, I love that too.”

Josh’s extensive instruction experience gives him a unique perspective on teaching kids how to code. He has discovered that it’s similar to teaching any other core subject.

“It’s the same as teaching math, and I didn’t know that until I got to CodeWizards. You have to be clear. You have to have a routine set. It’s so important to have reinforcement of ideas, a structured curriculum, accountability-aka homework, and a nice common platform.”

Hobbies and Downtime

One of Josh's many cats
Za’myra, one of Josh’s six cats

Josh is relatively new to the CodeWizardsHQ family, and his teaching path has started with our intro and second-level classes. These days, he’s spending a lot of time learning about the comprehensive curriculum in higher-level classes. When he’s not studying and working, Josh has a variety of pastimes that he enjoys. Josh is a self-described foodie, and he and his wife take advantage of the abundant Louisiana culinary scene.

He also likes spending time with family and has found common ground with his nephews, who are pursuing computer science and math degrees. He enjoys attending concerts, strategy-style board games, long road trips, and hiking. Josh also dabbles in guitar playing. He hasn’t forgotten about that hobby that started it all either, and works on building his own video games when he has time. All that and six cats make Josh a pretty busy guy.

CodeWizardsHQ is proud to shine a light on instructors like Josh, who bring programming expertise, teaching dedication, and tremendous enthusiasm and energy to our classrooms. We are fortunate to have him as part of our coding family.