Coding instructor Peter Ferri approaches every class with the same sense of wonder and passion for programming that first sparked his interest as a seventeen-year-old. His contagious enthusiasm inspires CodeWizardsHQ students from elementary through high school to code, create, and enjoy the magic.
“The reason I love coding is it feels like magic, and that is why the term CodeWizards resonates with me. You can come up with a cool idea for something, and then just code it into existence. That is such a beautiful thing.”
Peter’s Coding Journey
Like many instructors and students, Peter Ferri found programming through a love of gaming. Peter learned how to make a simple game with the help of a YouTube video and never looked back. Beginning with online teaching resources, Peter was soon on his way to creating more complex games, software products, and his own gaming website.
“I made about ten games and even put out an app. I got more comfortable with coding. I made a whole variety of games in different genres, 2-D and 3-D games, a tower defense game, a maze game, and an endless runner strategy game.”
When it came time to attend college, the New Jersey native chose Rutgers University. He declared an information technology major in his second semester with a specialty in video game design and a minor in entrepreneurship.
“Freshman year of college I started learning web development, Python, and Java. I became more accomplished with those languages and realized just how powerful coding is and what you can do with it.”
Student Turned Instructor
While at Rutgers, he decided to turn his coding skills into a part-time job. He began his tenure at CodeWizardHQ three years ago. His teaching role was expanded to new project development. Peter maintained this impressive workload all while finishing his degree in 2022.
Today, Peter teaches all levels of coding classes, elementary, middle, and high school. He also serves as one of the leads for CodeWizardsHQ’s unique Internship Program. He likes teaching all classes and skills, but a few of his favorites come to mind.
“I think I particularly love the web design classes because they are very visual for students and it’s so cool to say that you made a website and you can share that link with whoever you want. The students find them fun and enjoyable.”
“A skill that I like to teach is API (Application Programming Interfaces) use. This can be done in Python as well as web development. It allows you to grab data from another place and utilize it on your own website. The reason it’s so awesome is you can do anything with it. For example, I could grab NASA’s API and then create a website that dynamically shows me the International Space System tracker or live footage of the Mars Rover feed. I get all that with a NASA API. That’s just an example, but you could do so much with it. You could make a weather application. You could use it to track game stats. The potential is just endless.”
Peter’s most memorable projects and classroom moments center around his students’ creativity. CodeWizardsHQ students are encouraged to personalize their projects. This engages, motivates, and inspires them to go the extra mile with their work.
“For most of the projects, I really try to encourage the students to put their own fun twists on them and go beyond what is taught in the class. If they have a cool idea or want to do something funny just go for it.”
One of Peter’s favorite projects occurs in a middle school course, Webpages with HTML/CSS. The project is a Harry Potter-themed newsletter with lots of room for student-penned wacky stories of life at Hogwarts.
Peter appreciates the skills that teaching enhances. He relishes having a calming yet engaging personality in the classroom and he enjoys keeping the kids entertained.
Hobbies and Interests
Outside of school, Peter spends time coding as a hobby, working on games, and tinkering with programming. He still loves to play video games too. He likes to hike nearby trails and plays several instruments. He’s been playing piano since he was a child, picked up the sax in a high school band, and has more recently started playing the guitar. Peter’s fun nature is encapsulated in his pet choice. He lives with a sugar glider named Munch, who he describes as hilarious and inquisitive.
CodeWizardsHQ is proud to shine a light on instructors like Peter who bring programming expertise and teaching dedication to our classrooms. We are fortunate to have him as part of our coding family.