Sumer is our Director of USACO Education and is an expert in competition programming. He reached USACO Platinum in high school and went on to compete for Stanford’s ACM-ICPC team. Now, he oversees our team of mentors working with students to advance in USACO, and also striving to make the studying more exciting by building community.
When did you start to code?
I started to code in 9th grade by taking a class at my high school.
Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?
I think it is super important to learn to code from a young age because if you’re not exposed to the subject, you’ll never know if you like it. It’s a hard thing to develop if you find you love it later in life.
What do you find rewarding about teaching kids how to code?
I find it rewarding to see the gears churning in kids’ heads as they solve problems. At the end of the day, computer science is just a medium to satiate their puzzle solving skills and I love to help them strengthen those skills by doing something they love.
Update: Sumer has stepped away from the USACO Director of Education role with Breakout Mentors. The Director positions are part-time roles so that we can hire the highest caliber people for the role. Computer Science students and recent graduates have skills in high demand, so even if they are interested in education, they are unlikely to pursue it full-time. This is why we are thrilled when Directors like Sumer will devote consistent time to Breakout Mentors over many years. In Sumer’s case, he ended up working full-time at a startup while finishing his Stanford degrees, so decided to hand off the role. Thanks for all the great years Sumer!