Just like many of our students, Jonathan first started learning how to code due to his interest in video games. Find out how he shares what he’s learned along the way with his students.
Trial and Error
After loving playing video games, in middle school Jonathan decided he wanted to make his own, which started his coding journey.
“I picked up a software called Game Maker and it was a real basic kind of code there, but that’s when I got started and that’s where I got my interest in it,” he says. “I worked on a couple of games and then eventually I went to school for computer science.”
Today Jonathan shares his experiences teaching himself how to code with his students and how much trial and error there was in the process.
“The biggest story I tell students is when we teach them about loops and arrays. When I was first programming, those concepts looked scary to me so I just decided maybe I don’t need them. So I would just start writing code without using loops or arrays. I tell them about these monstrosity programs I’d write with thousands of lines of code. I was just kind of like looking on the internet for how to do it, just trying to put it together.”
Giving Students a Solid Foundation
When the pandemic started in 2020, Jonathan knew he needed to find remote work, which led him to discovering CodeWizardsHQ. In his nearly two years with the company, he’s taught classes in our elementary, middle, and high school programs, but his favorite classes to teach are always the introductory ones.
“I really enjoy the introductory classes, just getting them started on programming. It’s always good to get people a nice first foundation on it. That helps them throughout the rest of their time programming if they have a good start,” he says.
This foundation helps students not only complete their projects, but really make them their own, which creates some of Jonathan’s favorite moments in class.
“When they really get into it and start customizing the projects a lot, that’s what I really enjoy. They just kind of see what the project’s all about, then they add their own stuff to it, and that’s really cool.”
Bonding Over Games
When Jonathan isn’t teaching, he still loves playing video games and also enjoys playing Yu-Gi-Oh. He shares his love of video games with his students, too, and even shows them some games he built when he was first learning to code.
“When they hear about that, they’re like oh wow, this guy’s kind of like me, so they listen up a little bit better. I’ve shown them a couple of my games, too. They’re really basic games, so I don’t really show them off for too long, but that gets them interested, too, and they really enjoy that.”
For Jonathan, connecting with his students is really all about giving them a better start to their coding journey than he had as a kid.
“I would say definitely my favorite thing about being able to teach this is the opportunity to be able to give students an experience that I wasn’t able to get when I was starting out. That’s why I really like the starting classes because this kind of brings back memories of me trying to learn these basic topics. Really teaching them the right way the first time is really, really rewarding.”