14-year-old sets up free coding camp

With an eye on making coding more popular and fun, the ‘0Gravity’ coding club for school-goers was launched in the city on Saturday.

Spearheaded by teenager Krish Samtani, it was started in Bengaluru a month ago. For 14-year-old Samtani, who had been flooded with hundreds of requests from Chennaiites to bring his camp to the city, it was an easy choice.

As the unusual name suggests, the camp does not stick to the traditional method of teaching coding. It has maintained an equal girl-boy ratio in its intake of students and is looking to make learning about computers fun.

And this, according to Samtani, means ditching the text-books. “There is too much theory in there,” says the ninth grader. What he envisioned was gamifying the experience of learning computers, and bringing his peers closer to knowing what they are really doing.

For most students learning programming as part of their school curriculum, the subject remains elusive with several sets of codes, and little room for application-centered ideas, he said at the launch.

“We need to understand where all the theory we are learning is going to impact. I want to know how sectors like banking or medical industry can benefit from coding methods. So, our learning too should be more practical, shouldn’t it,” questions the coding-whizz, who managed to tie up his free-of-cost initiative with city-based Saggezza.

The company has extended the support system, including course structure for the programme, as part of its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative.

‘0Gravity’ currently has a three-month course with 2 hours every week, where students between ages 10 and 15 can learn enough programming to be able to build their own websites.

And best part? “There are no exams or evaluations. Its for the fun of learning,” says Samtani, who is also enrolled as a student at his own camp. Currently, Saggezza employees and city-based techies have volunteered to teach the children.

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