Meet Our Mentors – Faa Diallo

Faa is a Mathematical and Computational Science student at Stanford University with a wide range of coding experience. He has experience teaching kids Python and web development, but also has done a lot of scripting projects for small businesses.

When did you start to code?

I started to code in the 9th grade. My school offered three tracks in technology: digital design, software engineering, and IT. I chose software engineering because I loved the being able to constantly create and build things. Throughout high school, I participated in hackathons and coding clubs to develop my software engineering skills. I mostly learned basic web development in addition to my school material during this time.

Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?

It is important for kids to start coding when they are young for both the skills and opportunities it affords you. Programming forces children to think through something truly difficult. However, as they are allowed to incorporate creativity into programming, build the skill becomes a lot more accessible. Secondly, learning to code teaches kids that they are able to figure out difficult problems. Since they will be attempting difficult problems at a young age they will be building the habit of learning to struggle through difficult problems.

What do you find rewarding about teaching kids how to code?

Teaching kids to code is rewarding for me because I get to see the kids struggle through the same concepts that I struggled with. Often times, I was there age or older and seeing the next generation of programmers picking up these skills so quickly makes me happy that I was able to help that growth. Often times the kids that I tutor, have a particular project in mind with learning programming and being able give them the tools to create that project is also enjoyable. I often get to see them connect the concepts that we learn in our sessions to concepts that could be used for their projects.