"My first experience with creating technologies was when I was 13," says Jevin Sidhu, the 15 year old co-founder of Project Cipher, a recently-launched coding school in Peel Region. "I coded my first website using HTML and CSS and it was incredibly [rudimentary], but it was my piece of the Internet and it was breathtaking to conceptualize that anyone with Internet could access my amateur creation."
Project Cipher started as a way for Sidhu to help his friends learn how to code. His co-founders wanted to learn how to code, but found that coding bootcamps and online courses weren't practical for high school students.
"We thought about what these resources didn’t execute correctly and realized they didn’t provide an engaging environment, which was something school did really well," says Sidhu.
"Students are constantly helping each other out, whether that means studying for tests, completing projects and finishing off homework. We found in-person, working alongside others towards a similar goal is the most effective way of learning."
The initiative has a couple of features that distinguish it from other coding programs, says Sidhu. The main one is that the goal of the group's initial workshop is not provide high school students with an exhaustive coding education; instead, it's to give them a taste of what it's like to create something with a couple lines of code.
To that end, the group is hosting a conference on August 20th
that will give students an opportunity to see what the program is all about.
Set to be held at Brampton City Hall, the one day conference will feature speakers from various startups and established companies, as well as freelancers. According to Sidhu, more than 500 students have expressed
He goes on to say that the goal of the conference is to "promote and provide exposure for computer science through engaging talks and activities." On the same day, he and his co-founders plan to launch their Circles program.
In the meantime, Project Cipher is attempting to find funding partners and more student leaders.
High school students and parents can find out more about Project Cipher and the at its website