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tl;dr: I'm starting a coding tutoring company, and if you have any interest in coding education, or want to get coding tutoring or be a tutor, email me at cky@levelupyourcode.com. I hope to keep in touch with you all!

So long, and thanks for all the ><>

As we wrap up the first PPCG election, it's time for me to bid everyone here a lovely farewell as I return to being a civilian. :-) It's been a very nice 5 years of serving as a moderator here, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to shape the PPCG community, especially in our very early days.

I decided not to run in the election: we already have 4 awesome full-time mods, Doorknob, Martin, Dennis, and Alex, and I have full trust in their moderation judgement and common sense¹; there really isn't a need for a fifth wheel.

Oh, and I'm starting my own company! Which will take up 110% of my time.

The mission ahead: making coding education more accessible

I'm currently in the process of building my new company, Level Up Your Code.² My mission is to make coding education much more accessible, so that anyone who wants to learn to code has the best shot of success, no matter what their background, demographics, financial position, or privilege level is. We live in an increasingly digital society, and people who know how to code have the power to shape our world. So it's an important skill no matter what profession one wishes to pursue.

We already have lots of coding education resources, be they a formal university education, a coding bootcamp, Udacity (including its Nanodegrees), Treehouse, Code School, Codecademy, Free Code Camp, or Khan Academy. There's really no shortage of learning resources in our current world, and for that I'm grateful.

Sadly, many people do not have the capability to actually succeed at learning coding. Maybe they can't afford a degree or coding bootcamp, or they don't have the time to go through all the trial-and-error that self-learning involves. Maybe they only have access to a computer at school, work, or a library. Maybe they excel at a different learning style from what most programming books and courses offer.

In other words, each learner has different needs, different struggles. We need to have adaptable educators who can help each student past the various hurdles they occasionally come across.

Where I came from: coding, tutoring, teaching

Though I've been programming since I was a kid, I majored in statistics in university, with the serendipitous fortune of working on R along the way. I loved stats, and I still love R today.

However, many of students in my class didn't love stats, and they didn't take stats voluntarily; they were psychologists and biologists, not aspiring data scientists. And in senior year, a good handful of students struggled. I wanted to help those students win, and I set up weekly peer tutoring sessions that anyone in my class was welcome to show up at.

And every week, about 6 or so students showed up, and I was glad to be of help.³ I was able to attend to each student individually and provide personalised help, but more importantly, the students there helped each other; their challenges were in different areas, and were able to help in in their respective areas of strength.

This is powerful stuff! I want to bring the same model to the process of learning to code.

Have a passion for bringing forth the next generation of coders?

I have a Slack group for discussing this mission and product ideas.⁴ Want in on the action? Email me at cky@levelupyourcode.com and I'll send you an invite.

Meanwhile, until I get my peer tutoring platform launched, if you are interested in getting coding tutoring, I'd be happy to tutor you! (First session is free, and there's always a 100% satisfaction guarantee.) If this interests you, feel free to email me, or go ahead and book a tutoring session.

Parting thoughts

Thanks again for having me as your moderator for the last 5 years! I've had a really wonderful time getting to know all of you. Now that PPCG is all gradumacated and all, I look forward to a new era of programming challenges and golfing, with the help of our awesome new moderators. :-D

Let's keep in touch! I won't be a stranger. ;-)


¹ I refrained from writing this post till now to avoid skewing votes. :-)

² No web site yet, but I'll edit this post when I have one.

³ Eventually, the stats department provided proper paid tutors, which validated my idea.

⁴ There's even a channel for discussing PPCG-related stuff. ;-)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good luck on your mission, and thanks for being a great mod! but this does seem like advertising for your new company as like 80% of the post is describing your company :/ \$\endgroup\$ – Downgoat Apr 5 '16 at 20:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Downgoat The company is a huge part of the reason I chose not to run in the election, so it's actually an important thing. Also, I consulted with the other mods to get an okay first. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jester-Young Apr 5 '16 at 20:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ On top of the mod approval, the voting on question, answer and comments here suggest the community is also very much in favour of hearing about this. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Apr 5 '16 at 20:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't it be "so long and thanks for all the ><>"...? :D \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 6 '16 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 [status-completed] \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jester-Young Apr 6 '16 at 17:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have faith that you will teach programming languages properly (e.g. not ignore Object Orientation when teaching JavaScript etc.) because you have proven yourself to be a good programmer, and that they will learn, because you have proven yourself to be a good teacher. \$\endgroup\$ – wizzwizz4 Apr 7 '16 at 8:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ For an advanced challenge for your pupils, introduce them to code golf! (Once they know how to write good code, that is.) Drop us a line if your work goes down below 110%, you know we'd love to hear from you! Best of luck! \$\endgroup\$ – Conor O'Brien Apr 7 '16 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, and best of luck! This is a noble goal and I definitely hope you succeed. As for your email address, where does the cky come from? \$\endgroup\$ – Bassdrop Cumberwubwubwub Apr 12 '16 at 7:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bas Thanks! "cky" has been my nickname since 1998, long before I got married (Jester-Young is my married name). Since everyone already called me "cky" for many years beforehand (in real life too, not just online), we decided that I should retain my nickname. (I do use "ckjy" on sites with a 4-character minimum, or where "cky" is already taken.) \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jester-Young Apr 12 '16 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since you've just bumped this anyway, and it's a month old, maybe now is the time to unfeature it? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 3 '16 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I tried to manually remove the tag and the system won't let me. The tag will be removed automatically in a few days by a scheduled task, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jester-Young May 3 '16 at 12:51
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Wow, that's awesome. Best of luck! We'll be sad to see you go, but eager to see what you do next.

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I can only say one thing in response to that post:

Thank You!

I didn't have the pleasure to really known you as a mod because i'm still in my first year on PPCG. But you should be praised for wanting to teach other wanna-be coder (and, maybe, codegolfer? :)). I, myself, had and have a hard time as a student because the educational system of my country doesn't suits me, and I had to learn what they tried to teach me by myself.

Once again, thank you, it's warming the heart of a student that someone think there's other way. to teach and is willing to addapt to each one of his pupils!

Go on with your company, I wish you the best! If at some point you want an insider point of view (or in some year, a freshly graduated's one), just contact me and it will be a pleasure to help you!

For the moment, farewell Chris!

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