Tech professional hopes to create more tech enthusiasts to lead the digital world
Last updated 6/21/2019 at Noon
As a concerned father, Dmitry Litvinov hesitated to use his own daughter to test his theory that students between the ages of 8 and 14 are at the best age to absorb and utilize the advantages that ability to write code. He believed that coding would add to a student’s educational opportunities and future employment.
But she was right there in his house and just the right age. His five-year-old son, Ivan, was too young to take part in the research, he said with a smile.
The experiment was apparently successful. The young Kristina helped her father turn his after-school tutoring lessons into a thriving enterprise.
After years of providing educational opportunities for adults in the high-tech field, Dmitry Litvinov founded Mighty Coders as an after-school learning experience for middle school students to learn the basic tools needed to create websites and develop apps to enhance their own education.
“It amazes me how young people can take a concept and turn it into something that can be turned around and used as an actual tool for their own education,” Litvinov explained. “Having the opportunity to instill the knowledge to students at the right age is an important factor.”
The entrepreneur said he has found that students need to be at least 7 or 8 to have the math abilities needed to write code. He also determined that middle school aged students can discover how much fun they can have creating on a digital platform.
With a sigh, he said students who are not introduced to the basics of code by the time they are 13 or 14 are often too busy with activities at school “or playing video games.” Students, he explained, can achieve real-world results through building games they love to play while they master new technology.
Litvinov stressed that software development can be viewed as a team sport builds cooperation and understanding.
“The ability to solve problems is probably the most important skill my students discover,” said Litvinov. “Hopefully they come away with the knowledge that problem solving can be fun. It fosters creativity, imagination and collaboration.”
His greatest hope is to be stopped on the street by a former student one day in the future and be thanked for opening the doors of possibility in their college education and new opportunities as a working professional.
"I would love to be partially responsible for the next Bill Gates or the future Paul Allen," he said proudly.
The private school currently has an enrollment of about 150 students who come to the storefront school in Bothell from as far away as Seattle and the Eastside. The founder said he could double enrollment before he needs to find more space.
The program offers after-school classes an always has room for drop-ins to match the busy schedule most pre-teens have today. Friday nights are reserved for an evening of fun activities and games that allow parents to have a night on their own.
Summer, said Litvinov, is the ideal time to have students prepare for the new school year. There are week-long camps scheduled during school holidays that focus on specific games, including Minecraft. Weekly field trips have been scheduled for July and August in cooperation with some of Dmitry’s former colleagues at Microsoft.
Half-day camps this summer will give students the time and support to become comfortable with Java, Python and other common languages used in the gaming industry.
“My ultimate goal,” said Litvinov, “is to create a world with more geeks.”
More information on the Mighty Coders program can be found on their website at http://www.MightyCoders.io or by contacting Dmitry directly at email@example.com.