Meet Our Mentors – Patrick Lee

Patrick is a senior at UC Berkeley from nearby San Jose (go Lynbrook high!). Before joining Breakout Mentors he worked at youth leadership camps for years and tutored for the Cal first Computer Science class in Python. Patrick is excellent at helping his students create fun projects as the master the fundamentals of coding!

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

I really like seeing people who never understood code or how computers work suddenly make the realization that computers are not magic – there is a systematic way of telling a computer what to do. I like seeing the shock and joy on their faces when they figure out some piece of the code.

What advice do you have for kids learning how to code?

My advice would be to never give up. Things may be challenging, but when you figure it out, it is one of the most rewarding things that I can think of. If at first you do not understand it, take a break and come back to try and understand it later. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. There will likely be someone else who knows more than you about coding, but don’t make that be the reason you quit. You should keep striving to be like them.

When did you start to code?

I went to a coding workshop in middle school but did not particularly enjoy how they taught it. In tenth grade I decided to take the Java course that was offered and that’s when I really started to code.

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

Coding is something that does not come naturally to many. If you start thinking about code when you are younger, it might be easier to pick up. By starting when you are younger, you would also learn the magic behind all the technology that you know and use daily.