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The Coding Space

About

The Coding Space is an NYC based after school program to empower and teach kids how to code and build critical thinking skills. We offer Gap Year Programs to empower young adults to find their passions, explore alternative education, coding, and New York.

Our Gap Year Programs allow you to have an internship within a growing tech startup, learn the fundamentals of computer science, and have a meaningful impact on kids and their problem-solving skills.

Founded
2016

Reviews

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Isabella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My three month experience with the coding space was everything I could hope for. The people were friendly, fun and especially helpful. Most importantly, I learned a lot throughout the semester not only about programming but also about startups, the workings of a company and about the city of New York. I was encouraged to go to as many tech events as possible which meant that in the end I was able to see the insides of companies such as Spotify, Buzzfeed and Wells Fargo. I even got a private tour of Google!

What I particularly loved about the program was how customisable it was. I was able to chose what I wanted to focus on. In the end, instead of choosing to learn Javascript I chose to focus on Eimacs (a program that focuses on computer science logic and mathematical logic) and I also learned some Python. I am extremely happy with the progress I was able to make.

Another key aspect of the program was being able to help younger children to learn to program too. This was especially rewarding as by the end I had formed a bond with many of the kids. It was a valuable experience to watch them progress into young coders.

Overall I’m very grateful for everything that The Coding Space has taught me and I’ll never forget this experience!

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Isabel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I did this program for three months in the fall of 2017 during my gap year. I didn’t know much about coding when I started, but wanted to learn something new and useful without the school pressure and as a bonus explore my favorite city. This program gave me all of this and more!

There’s so many things I love about this program. First of all the team is super friendly and helpful. Everyone is really passionate about what they’re working with which is really motivating and inspiring.

New York has a lot of cool tech events every week, where you can go in the evening to learn about interesting topics (and often get free food). One of the highlights from the program was a tour at Google, with a friend of Nicole (working as a software engineer at Google) as our tour guide.

Then there’s the coding part. There are so many reasons why I will recommend everyone to learn to code. First of all there are a lot of job opportunities and it will look good on your resume. But the reason I loved it, is because while doing it you’re also learning logical thinking and problem solving, which you can apply in your everyday life.

The program is different from many other coding programs, because you have a lot of freedom and flexibility. You get to learn in your own pace and in a lot more independent way than what I was used to from school, where the teaching method was a lot more traditional. This requires that you are proactive and take responsibility for your own learning. You need to be patient, do your best and most importantly believe in yourself and don’t give up when it gets hard.

Best regards,
Isabel Slorer

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Sally
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Before I started The GirlCode Gap Semester, I was had never coded and didn't know what I wanted to study in college. I had heard about coding, but I didn't really know what it was. When I joined, the team worked with me to help go over my goals and set a individualized plan for my semester. Each morning, I would learn how to code. I started to fall in love with it! I also got to shadow and intern with different parts of The Coding Space to see what areas interested me the most.

I also really enjoyed being able to teach kids how to code in the afternoons. It was such a great way to practice coding and break down the concepts to make sure an 8 year old could understand.

The program is small and entirely customized to you, which I loved. Now I decided to study Computer Science at Georgetown University. I am so grateful for my experience with the GirlCode Gap Semester and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in technology!

What would you improve about this program?
It is very small, so if you are looking for a large group, this program is not for you. Because it is so small, you can get a very personalized learning experience.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nicole Kelner

Job Title
Co-Founder

Tell us about yourself, Nicole.

I developed a passion for empowering young women to be leaders in the world of STEAM after my first company SmartPurse was acquired by BetaBrand. I was the winner of the Alibaba Women Empowerment Award, a finalist for Shark Tank, and a writer for The Huffington Post.

I have worked at Popexpert, an education startup in San Francisco. In my free time, I lead Lemonaid, a community for women focused on mental health & human rights.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Being able to work with young girls between the ages of 8-13 and get them excited about coding has been life-changing. I love the feeling that I know I am personally helping solve the problem of the gender gap in tech.

It is even more rewarding working with our Girlcode Gap Semester students because they are at such a pivotal time in their lives. It is a great period to try out computer science and see if they like it, without feeling pressured to pursue it as a career.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Before coming to the GirlCode Gap Semester Program, one of our students had no idea what she wanted to study in college. She came to us, learned how to code and now as a Freshman in college she has been able to get a job working as a Web Master for a local business.

She also studies Computer Science and Politics and plans to bridge her love for government with the newest technology.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are a very small program, so each student that comes to us gets an entirely individualized plan. We work with them to set personal goals and make sure that they are able to achieve them with our support and mentorship.

I also love the events that our girls go to. New York is filled with incredibly high-quality women in tech events. We curate a list for our students each week and encourage them to attend one per week. Just last week, we went to an event with Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit. We talked to her individually and she even signed our books!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Passion for making a positive change world and balancing mental health with productivity. Our entire team is formed with change makers who want to make the world a better place.

We also have a strong emphasis on flexible hours and taking breaks during the day. My co-founder and I rock climb almost every afternoon to take a screen break and we've found it boosts our productivity!