Meet Our Mentors – Ryan Chen

Ryan grew up in nearby Cupertino and arrived at Stanford with plenty of Computer Science experience. Before college he had a prestigious artificial intelligence internship and was already well versed in Java and Python. Ryan joined Breakout Mentors his freshman year and works with some of our more advanced students learning AP Computer Science material and more.

When did you start to code?

I started coding in junior year of high school, with an Advanced Placement Computer Science course. Ever since that course, I have delved into higher level CS such as artificial intelligence, and the largest draw towards this subject has to be the endless problems that computer science can solve.

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

The most rewarding part of teaching kids how to code is seeing their personal growth and excitement in learning a fundamental skill. Many of the mentees enter with close to no programming experiences, and it is very rewarding seeing the progress that they make through projects and core computer science concepts. Watching students who don’t know where to begin with coding grow into capable programmers who can finish projects on their own is the most rewarding part of teaching kids how to code.

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

One of the hardest parts of coding is navigating through the wide expanse of tutorials, information, and documentation available on the internet. The wide expanse of knowledge can be a little difficult and overwhelming to navigate, but finding strong mentors whether it be those in the tech industry or friends and family could be crucial to developing as a coder. Explore and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you get stuck along the way – it’s part of the process that will only help you grow as a coder!