Coding & Computer Programming Classes

Parent Q&A

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  • Minecraft Coding Class

    (1 reply)

    My 8-year-old is obsessed (obsessed!) with Minecraft and has expressed an interest in learning to code, so I’m looking for a way to combine those interests. I’ve found some Minecraft coding classes for kids online but am not sure which one to choose. Any recommendations for particular classes would be welcome. Small groups of kids preferable but we’d be open to private lessons too, if the teacher is really good. He’s in school full-time so it would need to be on weekends or afternoons. 
    Thank you!


    have you looked into Unity? It’s not Minecraft, but there are a ton of resources online, as well as YouTube influences who teach it, and a great Lego template (once you download Unity).

  • Python Camp for 10 year olds?

    (1 reply)

    I'm looking for a virtual summer class/camp that teaches Python with a live instructor for my 10 year old who is interested in coding. He has done Scratch, but will be a beginner at Python. I looked online and am overwhelmed with choices. I would love recommendations for an online camp that your child has tried and enjoyed. Thank you!

    Check out Juni Learning. Our 13-year-old daughter has been learning Python with one of their tutors all year and she is almost ready to start their AP Computer Science course. Excellent teachers, fun and engaging material. Here is a code for $50 off your first month: It really is excellent and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

  • Advanced Minecraft Camp

    (1 reply)

    My 12-year old son has played a lot of Minecraft over quarantine and he's gotten really really good at the games (like Bed Wars). He can sometimes hold his own against the youtubers that go on the server and gets a thrill by being included in their videos or being accused of hacking because he's so good. He also likes building redstone contraptions.

    I want to find a camp for him (online or in-person) where kids who are also very good play games together and give each other tips about how to improve or just have good games. The Minecraft camps I've found are either basic or don't focus on games or do focus on coding, none of which really suits him. I've suggested that he make his own videos but he isn't interested in that.

    Any ideas about camps that would be suitable?

    Planet Bravo- my kids love this and they are advanced with Minecraft.

  • Roblox Studio Tutor or camp

    (2 replies)

    My son is 11 and interested in making his own games in Roblox Studio. He has been able to do some stuff on his own using online tutorials but inevitably he gets stuck and needs help. Has anyone found a good tutor for Roblox studio? I have found a couple companies online (CodaKid, the Coder School) but I am not sure about the quality. We tried the self directed tutorials on the CodaKid site which were okay but there wasn't really any support when he got stuck. They seem short staffed in general so I am not sure I want to try the tutoring with them. An online mini camp over winter break would be ideal but the camps I am finding are for Scratch or Python.

    We have had a wonderful experience with Coder School in Berkeley. My son started with weekly on-line coaching when the pandemic started and has also done some of their on-line camps. He has learned a lot and we've been very happy with it. I highly recommend them.

    The Coder School has been great for my kid. He is currently working on making his own game in Roblox, and he is signed up for the 3 day winter camp to work on it.

  • Hey everyone, Does anyone have experience with the coding classes taught by WhiteHat Jr? Looking for some feedback....Thanks! Maya

    My 10 year old kid has done 9 classes so far and is learning a lot. He loves it, and especially likes the hour of one on one attention. They have videos, quizzes, homework practice, and points to earn. 

  • Hi BPN

    We just took guardianship of a 10 year old AA little guy and he wants to learn how to code. He is deep into MIndcraft and all sorts of games I have no connection with.  He is creative and i can see he is a natural. 

    Looking for a cohort of kids of color and a club, organization for coding.  Any suggestions?  
    Any like minded families out there?


    I checked and this program is accepting students in Berkeley (although it mentions Oakland). He may be a bit young (I'm not sure) but it could give you an idea of what is out there.

    "Code Next

    Are you a Black or Latinx high school student interested in learning how to code - for free?

    Opportunities are live for the 2020-2021 year with Code Next, a free (yes, free!) Google-sponsored computer science education program for Black and Latinx high schoolers in Oakland and New York City.

    Applications for fall term close on August 12, so apply today on ! "

    Hello Allison,

    Check out the Hidden Genius Project.  It is geared specifically for AA in Middle School through High School.  But, they may be able to direct you to programs for your son's age group.


  • Computer programming for young children

    (4 replies)

    Hello - I have a kindergarten-aged child. As I think about their lifelong education, I’d like to consider computer programming/coding as almost like a second language that I feel like they should know for life. 

    For those with older kids who feel like they have achieved this (or are on their way to), how did you get there? Does school provide enough of this along the way these days? We are in the OUSD system, if that helps. Or did you supplement with outside providers/tools, and if so how often/how consistent/what age is appropriate to start? 

    Also open to specific provider recommendations. At this point I’m a little more interested in getting an idea of the map for learning, but any further details helps.

    Thank you!

    We are in the OUSD (Orinda, not Oakland). There's limited coding in elementary: no curriculum that advances levels with grades. There's a STEAM lab in each elementary school. 

    We've supplemented coding / programming languages. In K, started with a board game called Robot Turtles. Teaches logic and beginning coding language. 

    In 1st or 2nd our child got a Wonder Workshop Dash and Dot, which is an early robotics / programming toy that you can use with an iPad.

    Our child also did ID Tech camp at UC Berkeley, for Minecraft game design after 2nd grade. After 3rd grade they did Lego robotics with ID Tech camp.

    In 3rd / 4th he started doing Scratch at home, with my spouse helping him. Now, in 5th grade, he goes weekly to Hackingtons in Pleasant Hill. We're going to start our younger child (currently in 1st grade) with Hackingtons as soon as he's old enough, which I believe is age 8 (so next year). While we are all in SIP, Hackingtons has moved to online learning and it's going well. We like this program because each student works at their own pace with their own desired projects, there's a good instructor to student ratio, they learn multiple languages and earn different colored belts (similar to martial arts) when they pass different levels of the various languages. 

    Osmo is an ipad (or kindle fire) based game that has plenty of age-appropriate learning games including coding games.

    Most schools in the US do not yet have a full K-12 pathway for CS. In terms of what that'd look like if it existed,'s curriculum might provide a good hint: trains teachers in teaching CS Fundamentals at the elementary school level, CS Discoveries at the middle school level, and CS Principles at the high school level. There are also just a huge number of ways to learn coding online, of course. You can see a sampling in the Hour of Code lessons here: Generally, SCRATCH is super popular at middle school level, and SCRATCHjr or Tynker at elementary. also has this fact sheet about Computer Science in CA, which you might find interesting to see what the stats are like for schools offering CS:

    I personally work for Khan Academy, where I create the computing courses. None of them are appropriate for kindergarten-age, however. I now have a 9-month-old baby, so I'll probably learn more about teaching computing to younger kids soon! :)

    During SIP my daughter (age 7, just finished first grade) has been doing Khan Academy lessons.  She really likes them and gets up early "to do my coding." 

  • Hello,

    Recently,(my child has shared with me..).  -as i began to enroll my kid into summer enrichment programs-I found out that i robotics camps and Sarah science camp was not as successful for my kid. Although these programs are great and costly-they do not have the training or the  conscious awareness that all children do not understand written or spoken instruction at the same speed as others. Hence, I am looking for coding, robotics and LEGO enginering summer program that is known to have extra support for children with dyslexia/APD. If you have any information-this parent as well as others-greatly appreciate the help!


    heartbroken summer camp blues

    This may sound odd, but my daughter LOVED the Lego STEM camp at the Downtown Oakland YMCA. I'm uncertain the leaders have extra skills to support differences, but they are definitely capable of engaging a wide range of learners. My daughter has attention and sensory challenges, yet she was engaged and included with zero reports of issues during the day. It was the one camp she wanted to ensure she could do again this summer, so I planned the whole summer around it. She also went to several of their regular day camps and did well. When there were issues, the counselors communicated with us at drop-off/pick-up to understand how they could better support her to be successful during the day. 

  • Teaching coding to preschooler

    (2 replies)

    im interested in my 5 year old learning coding. I saw some places in other states teaching coding to preschoolers. What places online or local to Berkeley do it? Low cost or free would be best.

    Check out the website

    Check out Studio One Art Center in Oakland.  They offer coding classes for kids (the brochure doesn't specify age ages).  They offer resident fee discounts.  

  • Coding for teen girl?

    (2 replies)

    Hi there. I have a very cool, strangely not awkward teenager who really wants to learn to code with other 13+ kids. Preferably some girls too. But at this point any in person coding class that's not full of kids under 12 would be awesome. 

    Looking for classes, tutors, small groups to form? 

    Do you know about Girls Who Code? Here is a link, where you can enter age and location. You'd have to call the individual clubs to find out the age range of the students in that particular group.

    There's a place in North Berkeley opening soon that you might want to check out, called The Coder School. They're having an open house on Saturday, January 28th from 1pm - 3pm. Maybe check them out:

  • I am looking for an after school or weekend class for my 12 1/2 year old son. He is (for lack of a better word) "high functioning" autistic, very socially motivated but with some social and emotional difficulties. He is interested in Lego, robotics, coding and gaming.He really wants to meet friends who are like him, similar in age with the same interests. The class or group would ideally include an adult familiar with the challenges of autism with the insight and expertise to help appropriately when emotional upsets and misunderstandings happen especially when they become physical. Thanks, BPN!

    oh let's talk.  you're describing my kiddo! drop me a line via my BPN user name, and let's see if we can get them together.

    I believe this is a specialty of Autistry Studios in San Rafael. They connect autistic and/or "quirky" kids ages 13+ with their passions, which I have seen include robotics, legos, remote control cars, coding, painting, animation. Also they do some social outings--some exapmles on their facebook page are Sessions are on weekends for the younger set.  --Maker Mama

  • Video game design development

    (3 replies)

    Our 15 yr old son has outgrown most of the local summer coding camps (Digital Academy, IDtech,etc) and we're searching for an ongoing group or program in the East Bay where he can continue developing his passion on an ongoing basis. We're exploring online options like Udacity but would like a social component as that's an area of challenge for him. Thanks in advance for your help!

    Take a look a the maker spaces but even better are the Meet-ups in SF.  Or try


    My children are younger but we've had really good experiences with a local guy in Lafayette. Here's a link to his meetup page where he coordinates his offerings.


    Boy, I'm thinking CIT programs - ask about an informal opportunity even if they don't advertise them - at all of those places, plus Children's Creativity Museum in SF, TechKnowHow, etc...

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Coding/programming camp for 15 year old

June 2016

does anybody know about a coding/programming camp for a 15 yo high schooler? I remember
reading about a camp in SF last summer but can't find it anywhere this year.
Thank you!
teen's mother

I would recommend ID Tech Camps,
They offer programs through age 17 and offer an award winning program at
many locations around the Bay Area.

Check out Dave Briccetti's coding classes in Lafayette
He's been a teacher at DVC College for Kids for a couple decades and is
now doing his own thing.

+1 for Dave Briccetti.  He taught our son who really liked him.  We thought he was so good
we hired him to teach our son and several of his friends in afterschool workshops at our

If your kid is really into programming, you'll be happy with Dave.

Summer learn-to-code camps

Feb 2016

Hello, I'm looking for recommendations or tips about any summer learn-to-code programs that my soon to be 15 year old could do this summer. I notice there are several offered at Cal, but wow: so expensive. Are they worth the money? Another question: these coding camps offer a number of sessions working with different codes. How do you pick the most appropriate one? I would love to find a program in the East Bay if possible, or San Francisco if need be. Thanks! Codeless and clueless.

You might want to look into your local community college. Classes are FREE (though books are expensive). Please note early deadlines and testing pre-requisites. Anon

Check out Samsung App Academy. Last summer, my 15 year old attended this camp which was held on the UCB campus. She learned to build apps and had fun and made a lot of new friends. Samsung brought in interesting people to talk to the students including someone from the Cal EECS dept. Best of all, the Academy was free of charge and all participants received Samsung Galaxy Tablets as gifts for completing the course. Chris

Any coding programs for elementary school kids?

Dec 2015

Hello All,
We live in South Bay and are looking for programs or workshops that introduces kids with
programming or coding.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Happy Holidays!!

Our 8-year-old son has been receiving one-on-one tutoring, in our home, through
Breakout Mentors:

The tutoring is based on Scratch, a programming language designed at MIT to introduce
young people to coding. Basically, it allows for instant results and tons of fun with
a drag-and-drop functionality, while still leaving limitless possibilities to be
challenged logically, organizationally, and creatively.

Our son creates his own games with his tutor, and we have seen the complexity of
these games ramp up quickly. He loves the sessions, and looks forward to them every
week. The tutor has been patient, encouraging, and appropriately challenging. 

Basically, the experience has been a win. Highly recommended.

You couldn't have asked this question at a better time!  The week of December 7 to 11
is the international ''hour of code'' week.  All across the WORLD, schools and
individuals are signed up to participate in some kind of a coding activity, with the
hope that more people will get exposed to coding.  You can go to the Hour of Code
website,, and click all around.  Some of it will be about how to sign
up a school, but some links will take you to activities of all sorts for children of
all ages.  There are all kinds of events happening, too.  It's pretty cool.
Nanu C

Hello - 

We live in south bay and have attended free coding fundamentals workshop with
Coderbunnyz. My kids loved it, we plan to join another one of those.(kids want to). 
Their schedule is on their website( and workshops are in
public libraries. I subscribed to their facebook page
( to keep myself updated. ( classes fills up very

The amazing thing is , its done by a 8 year old girl, who also invented the board
game also. 

Hope this helps,


Programming group/lessons/events for a 13 year old

Jan 2014

Hello all,

My 13 year old son has started to teach himself computer programming - python, c,
c++, javascript. He really likes it and in order to support him I'd like to know
if there any groups/classes/events he can join on week-ends or after school?


this isn't exactly a group but online my son (soon to be 13) is learning
from codeacademy, online.  for javascript.  they also do python.  i don't
think they do java or c++.  but maybe yours is well beyond that.

id tech in the summer has more advanced classes, i believe, at berkeley and
also at stanford.  they are pricey but would gather together kids with
similar interests perhaps?

looking forward to hearing what other people recommend to you!
coding parent too 

Computer Game Programming Camp for 11 yr old

Dec 2013

Looking for suggestions of good summer day camps in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito/N. Oakland area where my 11 year old grandson can start to learn computer game design and programming. As you might expect he's a Minecraft geek/addict. He's done a couple half day Lego Robot camps through El Cerrito Parks and Rec and enjoyed those. But at this point he's ready for a more significant challenge. What's worked well for your children/grandchildren? Grandma Jenny

My 10 year-old daughter took a week-long camp this summer called Video Game Design at the Chabot Space and Science Camp. She actually didn't like it because she was the only girl, so we transferred her out part way through, but it sounded awesome and I was a little disappointed she didn't keep in there, as she is also a minecraft freak/geek. For girls, however, there is a thing called Black Girls Code for girls of color to learn web design, game design, etc. and she did do a full day workshop there in May. I guess that's probably why she didn't like the ''boys'' class at Chabot. Minecraft Mom

Hi there- My 10 year old daughter had the same problem with IDTech. They claim to be supportive of girls, but it is hard to do when she is the only one. We have resorted to private tutoring. She is learning beginning Python to eventually be able to code mods for Minecraft. Sorry to not have a camp resource for you. I would love to know if you find one! Perhaps our two girls could get together, though, to geek over Minecraft together. cam

Classes for teen in Introductory Computer Programming

Sept 2012

I have a freshman son who is very, very interested in computer programming. He did not get into the C++/Jave 1/2 class he wanted at his high school. Does anyone know of courses at local community colleges or UC Berkeley classes for audit for a motivated teen or other options? I am also looking at ways to channel this interest into something beyond gaming which is what he's mostly occupied with now. Recently he researched components, saved his money and built his own souped-up computer. Thanks in advance. Mother of Computer Teen

If your son is a good motivated self-studier, he may be in luck. The online educational consortium EdX - MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley - are offering two online introductory computer science courses. These courses are free, homework is submitted weekly and exams are given.

Harvard is offering CS50X, an introduction to computer science starting October 15. MIT is offering MIT6.00X, an introduction to computer science and programming. The former uses C, the latter python. The course syllabuses are posted online.

A certificate of completion can be printed by the student. Just create an account and sign up.

These courses are ''college level'', which means your student must be diligent. But they *are* real CS courses from two top-tier universities tailored for Internet study.

Most community colleges now restrict their courses to age 16 (junior level) or above, and CS courses are in such high demand that it is difficult for a low-priority high school student to get admitted, so I would not advise going that route at this time. Check out EdX and see if the courses offered are right for your son. Good Luck

Computer Programming for Teens

Feb. 2002

My 14 year old son would love to learn programming, with the eventual goal of designing video games. We haven't been able to find anything in the East Bay. He's been trying to teach himself from a book (C++ for Dummies) but it's tough going and there's noone to help when he gets stuck. I'd appreciate any leads to classes, teachers or more user-friendly resources. Thanks. Anna G.

Vista College offers a number of classes in computer programming, many of them in the evening. My 15-year old is currently enrolled in one, and has been quite comfortable in it. High school students can enroll at Vista quite easily....they need to get a form approved by their school, and then get it approved by Vista. They can take the class for either high school or college credit. Check with your son's counselor, or call the Vista College admissions office. Its too late to enroll for Spring semester, but there are classes in summer and fall. Jeffrey

Try UC - they have a summer program for C++ for teens. Yogreen

My son has gone to computer camp a couple weeks every summer for the last three years. He's attended Cybercamp because it offers robotics, video classes, game programming and C++. The college kids and grads who lead the classes are great and there's flexability for anyone who changes their mind about what they want to try out. Unfortunately, it's very expensive. So this year, having taken robotics and other related subjects, he's mainly interested in C++. My plan is to wait until the camps issue of Parent's Press comes out, and see if there's a less costly alternative, though I highly recommend Cybercamps is you can afford it. I look forward to hearing what other parents have to recommend. Thanks for asking. Dusky

Oct 1998

I have a son just turning 14 who has been intensely involved with computers for years now, but primarily playing games. He has shown some interest in programming, again related to games, and has taught himself enough to be able to create new levels for some of his games. He also does lots of tinkering with his computer system at home, and he is a computer technical consultant at his middle school. He is now showing a broader interest in programming, and we would like to encourage this. Any suggestions on opportunities or resources for kids of this age group? We would be interested in hearing about summer programs, other courses, books, groups, etc. Cynthia

Don't know if this is what you're looking for...I would encourage you to investigate programming classes at some of the local community colleges (Merrit, Vista, etc.). I took intro to programming at Merrit, and the class was quite diverse. I don't know the age range of the class. Many students came with skills far below your son's -- several were into gaming and aspired to write game software. Bob