George Saines

50 points
San Francisco, CA

I'm a 28 year old entrepreneur currently working on my second startup, which is a game that teaches people to code. It's called CodeCombat, and we're a YCombinator W14 company with a mission to teach the world to code. I enjoy downhill skiing, talking about cars and computers, working with my hands, blogging, and music videos. Although I wasn't a computer science major, I'm slowly teaching myself how to program. I'm a terrible runner, but I could run a 5k right now, and I have no interest in alcoholic beverages. If you'd like to drop me a line you can do so at my work email at george@codecombat.com.

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Hi Aseem, that's a very good question and yes, I do think that code needs to be taught different to different age groups, but with less variety than might otherwise be expected. We designed CodeCombat for high school and college kids, but kids as young as 5 years old are playing it. The biggest hurdle we see among our testers is typing proficiency, even young adults have difficulty with programming syntax. You can be a relatively good typist and still struggle to accurately hit the semicolon and parenthesis keys, for instance. I strongly disagree with the idea that younger coders need a visual layer of abstraction (a la Scratch for instance), but level content, themes, story, and artwork, do seem to be important differentiators for different age groups.