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Interviews

How one coding course helped shape this student’s future

Recently, we caught up with Priya, a first year Computer Science student at the University of Exeter who attended a Fire Tech course as a teen. Alongside her studies, Priya now supports Fire Tech in delivering in-person camps and online courses to young people across the UK. Continue reading as she answers our questions about her experience both as a student and tutor with Fire Tech.

Why did you decide to take a Fire Tech course?

Back in 2018, my friend Alex took a course a year before (Teen Coding with Python) and he told me how much he enjoyed it! We were in school back in Jakarta and were looking to join a course together so we can hang out and learn something new together during the holidays. We chose the HTML course as we wanted to learn a different programming language to what we were learning at school. 

Which courses did you do and why?

The course we did was all about HTML, CSS and Javascript. I found the course was totally different from school, it was a lot less intense, and I liked just being able to focus on one task at a time. I remember feeling like even if we finished quicker than the others there was always more to learn. It didn’t feel like a chore and I was genuinely interested and wanted to find out more. It was also really nice meeting new people not from school who weren’t our classmates. The breaks were even fun too – we played sports in the break and it was fun in general and the tutors were awesome!

How has the course have helped you later on in life?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do later in life. The course definitely inspired me and gave me so much confidence. 

“I remember showing off my final project and thinking to myself ‘I can actually become a web developer in the future.’ And here I am in my first year studying Computer Science.”

Priya

Do you have any tips for children looking to get into tech but are unsure of how to get started?

The best tip would be to start by doing something that interests you! Don’t be afraid to go onto YouTube and Google to search around for courses like Fire Tech which will help teach you in a fun and interesting way. If you’re thinking “I wonder how I can learn about coding” when it comes to you while you’re at home, or as an interest, or something you enjoy, take initiative! The world of technology is exciting and there’s so much to learn about!

What do you like most about working with Fire Tech?

It’s so inspiring working with young people and I get to share my knowledge in such a range of tech topics. I’ve taught everything from Coding Games with Java, Artificial Intelligence, to Creative Digital Design, and Making Games with Roblox. Each time I’ve learnt something myself and you have to think differently like “how am I going to teach this to someone else?”

What was a highlight of working with Fire Tech?

Definitely working with the teens in the STEP now programme! Over the summer, Fire Tech partnered with STEP Now, a community-run organisation based in Lambeth, to support their 2-week programme. STEP Now work to help young people step into adulthood by offering them financial education, social skills development around relationships, and career insights and experience.

It was a fantastic experience teaching older teens 16-17-years-old who were interested in tech and looking at possible career options. The teens came from different backgrounds and normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend Fire Tech courses. Most of them had no coding experience so over the 2 weeks it was so exciting and satisfying to see their skills grow infront of my eyes. The final day was awesome seeing them show off their skills and projects and seeing them so proud – there were so many happy emotions!

They had a different attitude and such a hunger to learn about tech and coding. The types of AI models they built were: Book Genre, Family Recognition and Business Model Predictor – I was so impressed!

About Fire Tech

Fire Tech’s mission is to give young people the tools and inspiration to become the tech creators, makers, and leaders of the future. We have delivered over 80,000 learning experiences to young people across the world. Courses include Python & Java coding, AI, game design, and digital media production. Each workshop is designed to teach young people future skills such as design thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. All of our programmes are taught by tech-savvy teachers from some of the UK’s leading universities. 

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