We are celebrating First Code Academy’s 5th Anniversary!
This morning, 8-year-old Aidan walks into the First Code Academy campus and dashes into his classroom “Tesla” to grab his favourite seat. He opens his laptop. Eyes the clock. Yes! Another 30 mins till class starts. He takes a deep breath, opens ‘Scratch’ on his laptop, and starts coding.
“If Green Flag clicked”… “Should I get the cat to switch its costume?” … “Or just have ‘Happy Mama’s Day’ pop up?”
Max enters the classroom and sits next to Aidan who was still mumbling to himself. Aidan was so focused on his Mother’s Day project on Scratch that he almost jumped out of his chair when Max shouted “Hey!”.
This is how a typical day at First Code begins.
First Code Academy was founded by Michelle Sun in July 2013 with the mission to teach girls how to code. Michelle wanted to encourage girls to participate in the educational opportunities that will empower them in fields where women are underrepresented. This idea sprang from Michelle’s volunteer experience teaching kids how to code on weekends when she was a full-time software developer in San Francisco. Motivated by the urge to bring back what she learnt to her hometown, Michelle founded First Code Academy.
First Code started as a small team of 4 people, teaching kids coding at a co-working space in Wan Chai. October 2018 marks First Code Academy’s 5th birthday – now a team of almost 50 people bringing the top coding programs to both boys and girls all over Asia, with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau, Shenzhen and Shanghai.
A New Milestone
Since joining First Code Academy two years ago, I have witnessed First Code’s growth from a small Hong Kong startup to a leading STEM/Coding school. First Code showcases the importance of coding and STEM education. Having adapted the curriculum used in Silicon Valley programs, our goal is to equip each student with the knowledge and skills to transform their ideas into reality with code.
Shortly after joining First Code, I became the project lead for the AppJamming Summit (AJS), the Asia-wide mobile app competitions for kids. I took the lead in setting the business vision, organising AJS workshops, regularly interacting with parents and participants, and more. The opportunity to bond with the parents and the kids, and witness the kids grow in confidence, is extremely rewarding.
This October, we have reached an important milestone – bringing coding education to the next level. In 2016 and 2017, First Code expanded to Taiwan and China. In 2018, we’re running online coding classes through CodeCoach, spreading the love of coding beyond Asia and reaching kids in Canada, Qatar, Ireland and beyond.
When First Code first launched in 2013, our mission was to empower the next generation to become creators with technology. Today, one of the most rewarding aspects of our work is seeing the kids enjoy our classes and achieving the best versions of themselves. Their code has travelled wide and far, from the Shanghai TechCrunch to the MIT AppInventor Summit in Boston.
Thank you for all your support in the past 5 years. Being part of these kids’ coding journey has been a terrific experience. We’ll continue to empower the next generation to become creators with technology.