Spotlight: This Small Business Teaches Coding Skills to Young People

Spotlight: The Coder School Teaches Coding Classes for Kids

Coding is a valuable skill. So those who learn young can find themselves with lots of opportunities throughout life. That’s exactly what The Coder School hopes to accomplish. Read more about the business and the story behind it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Teaches coding to kids.

Founder Hansel Lynn told Small Business Trends, “We teach kids to code in a social and fun setting using a methodology that’s tailored to individuals. We don’t teach with one-size-fits-all curriculums or software, we recognize that each student learns differently and accommodate for that. Most of our teaching is in a 2:1 ratio, 2 students to one coach.”

Business Niche

Customizing lessons to kids.

Lynn says, “By customizing the lessons to our kids, we are keeping our students more engaged and interested. Teach at their skill level, speed, and interests, and you’ll keep them interested longer.”

How the Business Got Started

After his daughter tried coding.

Lynn explains, “I am a franchise owner of School of Rock, a music education business. Seeing how amazing kids can be onstage led me to want to do the same thing for coding (plus, I have a professional background in coding/tech). The story goes – I sat my daughter down to do an online coding course – and she blazed through it. But when Proud Papa asked basic questions about what she did – she answered “I don’t know, I just got to the end”. That was the light bulb, that while there are resources out there, kids often just “get to the end” without really understanding the material. That’s when I knew an in-person customized mentoring model would work best for teaching coding. I then brought in Wayne, my best friend and old rhythm guitarist from our old days in a band together, who happened to be looking to open a small business, and off we went.”

Biggest Win

Gaining interest right away.

Lynn says, “Operationally, it was the opening day of our first school. It was elbow to elbow, people wanting to sign up without even necessarily knowing what they’re signing up for, because they didn’t want to miss out! It instantly validated the demand, and led us to decide to open school #2 right away.”

Biggest Risk

Jumping into franchising.

Lynn says, “The biggest risk is probably starting to franchise, with the hope that others can recreate our business model. The end result of the risk is simply that our franchising arm would need to shut down.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Marketing the franchises.

Lynn says, “Spend it on marketing for our franchisees, or give it to our franchisees for their local marketing. We really aren’t looking to over-expand in franchising. We feel comfortable with our pace of growth, and are really focusing on making sure our franchisees are having a great experience like we are.”

Spotlight: The Coder School Teaches Coding Classes for Kids

Brainstorming Strategy

Going for runs.

Lynn explains, “As an ex-ultrarunner, I would go on 4-5 hour runs in the mountains to clear my head and find inspiration for new company ideas. Probably half our ideas came from those long runs!”

Favorite Quote

“The only good race pace is suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die” – Steve Prefontaine, legendary track runner

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Images: The Coder School Facebook


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.

2 Reactions
  1. Annie,

    This is a fantastic business idea.

    I hope that parents will look at it as a much-needed thing. Kids that learn to code will have a leg up in all things digital when they’re older.

    The Franchise King®

  2. With young coders, who knows what will happen next? But I guess it is now an important skill that must be learned at an early age.