Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dev program ‘Coded by Kids’ expands to Martin Luther King High School

The program has grown since its founding in 2013, now offering three classes a week.

Billy Shakespeare.

(Photo by Flickr user Marilyn Roxie, used under a Creative Commons license)

Coded by Kids, a program that teaches web development to Philadelphia youth, is now hosting a weekly class at Germantown’s Martin Luther King High School.

Founder Sylvester Mobley, who teaches the class, partnered with the school so he could expand its reach, he said.

That weekly class is in addition to the two free classes he hosts weekly at Graduate Hospital’s Marian Anderson Recreation Center. Coded by Kids has grown since its founding in the summer of 2013, when Mobley only held one class a week on Saturday mornings.

At his Marian Anderson classes, students range in age from five to 12 and the classes average about 12-14 children, he said. At Martin Luther King, he’s starting out with eight high schoolers.

Coded by Kids is a completely volunteer-run operation, said Mobley, an Iraq veteran who now manages data infrastructure projects for Penn Medicine. He’s working on finding sponsors for the program. He’s also working on launching a developer bootcamp for low-income adults this January, which he thinks of as a pipeline for Coded By Kids instructors. Several Girl Develop It students have also volunteered with the program, he said.

Mobley said the program is about exposing children to a world they didn’t know existed.

“Many of our kids have never met a software engineer,” he said. “They don’t understand that they can do this for a living.”

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