Local-rado: Cracking the Code

Local News

Kids do programming for kicks at Code Ninjas. Coding students, or ninjas, range from ages 7 to 14 where they tackle a series of college-level courses before high school.

For local founder Jeff Burke, this isn’t just about having a tech business for kids.

“It’s also the incentive that they get to create something,” Jeff Burke elaborates, “It’s not just for themselves, it’s something that their parents can see and play, their friends can see and play; and it’s just that motivation boost that they accomplish something and they physically created something over the course of the whole curriculum.”

Like a karate dojo, the coding program starts at a white belt or wristband. CMU students who major in computer science or relevant subjects serve as senseis.

From there, ninjas begin to grasp how code can be entered.

“Starting at a very young age, these ninjas learn the basics to creating their own video game, one belt at a time,” Cora Dickey summarizes.

In a short few weeks since opening, someone has already advanced to the yellow belt.

At nine years old, Lucas knows his passion is in video games. Coding is now his outlet to grow.

“It’s like more advanced than video games,” Logan shares, “Actually, I think it’s almost more fun than just sitting at a computer, just pressing a few keys and clicking just one button.”

18 students are part of the dojo now with open enrollment for current and future semesters.

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