Meet Our Mentors – Jacob Conrad Trinidad

Jacob is a sophomore studying Computer Science at Stanford. He joined our team at the beginning of 2015 and works with a 10 year old who is already a very capable Python programmer. Jacob is excited to help this student take his coding to the next level and is excited to introduce more advanced programming concepts. Let’s hear from him!

When did you start programming?

I started programming when I was 17 years old. During my senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to take some classes at Harvey Mudd College. Since my high school didn’t have any CS programs, I decided to try an introduction to CS course. I immediately fell in love with the subject and I have pursued it as a passion ever since.

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

It is extremely rewarding to stimulate the passion of someone who wants to learn how to program. Watching the evolution from being stuck on a problem to discovering a solution is both amazing and incredibly motivating.

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

While there are many ways to do so, programming is one of the best mediums through which we can help to teach valuable critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. The kids will be enthusiastic and interested in developing these skills through the normal use of games to teach programming concepts.

What advice do you have to kids learning how to program?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You may often go through the frustrating experience of not knowing why your code is not working. If you absolutely get stuck, you may want to give up. However, there are so many resources out there to help you such as google, stack overflow, and many other online communities dedicated to programming. And of course, you can always ask someone else, whether it be a friend, a teacher, or a mentor.