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theCoderSchool opens to teach programming in Bird Rock/La Jolla

Artur Pedrosa with his wife and business partner, Aline Pampalon, operate theCoderSchool at 7484 La Jolla Blvd. in the Bird Rock/La Jolla area.
(Photo by Elisabeth Frausto)

A new business in Bird Rock aims to help students prepare for the future with coding. Its colorful interior belies the traditional computer lab, but theCoderSchool at 7484 La Jolla Blvd. (open since early November) is already providing students with tools for success.

“Coding is a language,” explained theCoderSchool co-owner Artur Pedrosa. “It is giving the computer precise instructions.”

Pedrosa’s wife and business partner, Aline Pampalon, added that coding involves logical thinking that can be applied to many fields, and noted that even creative businesses employ some kind of coding in this modern age.

Fulfilling their dream to live in San Diego, the couple said they moved here in 2018 from Brazil with their young son.

They learned of friends’ success opening theCoderSchool in Rancho Peñasquitos and decided to launch their own location. With more than 40 schools in the United States, bringing theCoderSchool franchise to La Jolla “was a right opportunity,” Pampalon said, because there isn’t another business like it in the area yet.

With the statistic one in two jobs will require some coding, Pedrosa predicted coding will be “mandatory, the new English. It’s super important.

“67 percent of coding jobs are not in coding industries. The gaming industry, for instance, is worth $30 billion more than the movie industry.”

Pampalon added: “Gaming is coding, art, entertaining and storytelling,” and she pointed out theCoderSchool employs coaches with diverse skills — from UCSD computer science students to an artist who incorporates coding into his work with graphics to enhance his productions.

Coding is “always something you can integrate,” she said. “If you are exercising your brain in a logical way, that will be helpful for you, whether it’s playing soccer or some other activity.”

Pedrosa posed that eventually, the common language will be coding, and recommended children learn coding “as soon as possible because it’s a language better learned when children are young.” theCoderSchool offers lessons to students as young as age 7, once children are able to focus on the learning and can practice at home.

Beginning coders at theCoderSchool often start learning with Scratch, a coding language developed at MIT, based on blocks that you drag and drop, Pampalon explained. “It exercises your brain and makes you think logically.”

Learning basic coding languages like Scratch builds a foundation for learning other coding languages, of which there are almost 700. The couple said they learned Scratch in under 30 minutes without coming from a tech background.

From Scratch, students are encouraged to build on their coding foundation and move to other coding languages, applying their skills to languages like Python, Unity or Java, choosing those that fit their interests.

“We know kids are different,” Pampalon stated, “and not everyone has to follow the same path because we all learn differently. This is why we believe semi-private classes are the best. We teach the language students are interested in.”

The semi-private classes ($249 a month, with sibling discounts) are based on projects like creating games or apps. There are two students to one coach, one hour a week. A Coder Fair is scheduled every three months, during which students present their projects to family, friends and fellow coders to showcase their learning, Pampalon said.

In addition, theCoderSchool runs class sessions, with six students per coach, a program based on a curriculum for those experimenting with coding to see if they like it. The sessions costs $149 per month. Private coding lessons are also available.

Pedrosa and Pampalon are further working to bring coding lessons to local schools as an afterschool enrichment class.

There is no graduation or time limit, Pedrosa noted. “The learning is a continuous process. We teach coding logic students are going to use for life.” Pampalon agreed: “With coding, you will never stop learning.”

The school is offering a free, 30-minute trial session. If interested, call (858) 877-1814. Learn more at lajolla.thecoderschool.com

theCoderSchool at 7484 La Jolla Blvd. is not your average computer lab.
(Photo by Elisabeth Frausto)