Michelle Sun – Founder and CEO of First Code Academy

Coding is like a third language. It expands your perspective of the world,” Michelle Sun

Company and Founder Background: Founded in 2013, First Code Academy is an education startup based in Hong Kong that teaches young children to code and create their own apps. Through their 1 to 1 online classes, the company has taught more than 10,000 students since 2013. It’s also interesting to note that Michelle began her career working as an equity analyst at Goldman Sachs. It was a Silicon Valley coding boot camp that changed her life forever and put her on the path to founding First Code Academy. This shows us that career changes might not be a negative aspect and at times, it’s important to find an industry which truly interests you and have the passion to work in.

Objectives: First Code Academy (FCA) is a leading education institute that teaches kids coding and develop curriculum for coding skills, computational thinking and entrepreneurship mindset. The goal is to inspire children and teenagers to become creative leaders in the digital era, for their future career and for driving social change. They empower the next generation to become creators with technology

Highlights: Their curriculum is divided into

  • Junior (5-6)
  • Tinker (7-8)
  • Explorer (9-11)
  • Creator (12+)

Focusing on Immersive Online Learning, the curriculum was created jointly on cognition, creative problem solving, psychological development, in line with international standards.

Interactive Project-based Classes: The company’s coding instructors excel at guiding and inspiring students’ enthusiasm for coding. They offer timely guidance to problems that students have in the coding process and analyze and explain the knowledge points.

Exploratory Projects After Class: Each lesson, a student completes a one-on-one project, the instructor provides challenges for students to tackle afterwards. That way, students get to consolidate their knowledge of computer science concepts, coding syntax and blocks

Personal thoughts: I think this is a great venture which teaches a crucial skill which is usually absent in K-12 curriculums in many countries. Commentary has reflected that future employers don’t consider basic IT skills as “technology literate”. Learning how to code, program and understand data analytics are valuable skills which helps our future generation remain competitive while empowering them with the necessary skills to either create their own venture/business or having more options available on the job market. As STEM/STEAM subject knowledge are increasing in popularity and importance, being able to code is a great way to get a footing into science and tech related fields. Even as adults, it’s not too late to immerse ourselves in basic coding knowledge as who knows when it’ll come in handy (or maybe it could help facilitate a career change for some of us…)

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One response to “Michelle Sun – Founder and CEO of First Code Academy”

  1. Nathan Bishop

    Great post, John!

    The first thing that comes to mind is that there are probably a lot of coding academies out there, but I think it is Michelle’s story and passion that really make First Code Academy stand out. The true value is likely in the teaching quality, which means the teachers and team that support them need to be stellar. In this case, I get the impression that Michelle leads by example and the quality trickles down from the top all the way down to the teachers (and then the students). As we discovered in this course already, an entrepreneur needs to be a special person: one that inspires others and is motivated to create change. This is why I like this venture.

    Also, I like your point about IT skills no longer cutting it as technically literate. When I have hired in the past few years for roles that were not technical roles per se, complex tech skills like HTML, Java, SQL, etc. always stood out to me. As a leader of an online school, I just know those skills are going to be helpful to us at some point. I fully agree that the future generation needs advanced technical skills to stay competitive in the job market of the future (and even of today!).

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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