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Teacher Spotlight: Ivann Grande

About Teacher Spotlight: The concept of “students first” is at the heart of everything we are and do at CodeWizardsHQ. We know students learn best when they interact with a talented teacher. We conscientiously hand-select the very best coding teachers, ultimately hiring only the top 2% of applicants. Every month we go behind the scenes to tell you more about one of our amazing teachers. This month, we bring you, Ivann Grande!


Who/what inspired your career choice growing up?

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, my mother won a raffle for a new computer. I was always playing with it and doing whatever I could with it. It just so happened that my elementary school was doing a career day event where we selected a career we would like to pursue. We dressed the part and had our photo taken as a reminder. When I learned about what computer programmers do, I realized that’s the career I wanted. Fast-forward to when I was 20, I went into college and lost sight of my genuine interests from when I was younger. I worked at a warehouse where I met a coworker (Erik) who was an amazing programmer. He motivated me to pursue the computer science field, and since then, I have worked hard at achieving a dream that I had long forgotten.

What has been the most rewarding part of working at CodeWizardsHQ?

My kiddos, hands down. Most of my students have been following me now since the beginning. It has been an incredible experience seeing them grow and develop not just their programming skills, but their life skills as well. If I can make just a small impact on what my students pick up throughout their academic career, then that’s enough for me.

What is your vision for the future of coding and kids?

I hope that coding can be made available to all kids and schools as a basic course. Every bit of tech around us utilizes some form of programming and preparing kids now will only benefit them in the future regardless of their career choice.

When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing (hobbies)?

I have quite a few random hobbies. I have over 15 instruments, and I enjoy wood carving, hiking, traveling, gardening, photography, watching movies, board games, longboarding, baking, and programming. I always enjoy picking up new hobbies any chance I get. Currently, I started poking around into game development, and I’ve grown to like it.

If you could have one teacher super-power, what would it be?

If I had just one teacher superpower, it would probably be the ability to teach any topic the best way on the first go. Most teachers understand that different students learn in different ways and that sometimes requires us to teach in multiple ways for one class so that every student understands. If I could know from the beginning which way to teach a specific topic to all of my students, then students would have more time to put that topic into practice rather than trying to understand the topic itself.

What do you think is the most important thing about working with a company that teaches coding to kids?

Times are constantly changing, and I think it’s important that a company dedicated to teaching kids something as fast-paced as coding should be open to new and exciting changes as well. Being able to incorporate new technological advances into the company can ultimately improve the experience kids have when learning to code.

CodeWizardsHQ Top 10 – August

The opportunity to build a career in technology should be available to every child, no matter their background, gender, nationality or identity.  This month’s Code Wizards Top 10 focuses on opportunities for women in technology fields, as well as other topics. Girls should be given access to quality coding and STEM programs and encouraged to enter technology careers.  Diversity in the workplace benefits everyone.

We Need More Girls Making Video Games

This article from Teen Vogue explores why many girls have not entered the game development field and the great things that girls have brought to the table. It’s time to level the video game development field by encouraging more girls to get involved!

Girl Scouts Add New Cyber Security and Coding Badges

Palo Alto Networks has partnered with the Girl Scouts to create nine new badges focusing on cyber security and coding skills which encourages them to pursue technology careers.

The Importance of Women in STEM

Women make up only 22% of the workforce in STEM fields.  Twelve inspiring, impactful women share their insight, courage and vision for increasing the number of women entering STEM fields.

The Future of Fashion and Wearable Technology

Women who can code have bright futures in a wide variety of industries.  Learning about how coding ties into the future of the fashion industry may entice girls, or anyone who loves fashion,  to give coding a try.

Changing from Consumers to Creators

This engaging Ted Talk from MIT Media Labs focuses on the importance of teaching kids to code so they become creators of technology and not simply consumers of it.

What Does Your Desk Look Like?

This short animated GIF summarizes the impact of technology by changing the appearance of a typical work desk over time.  Notice what appears and disappears from the desk over time.

Sal Soghoian’s Innovation, Passion and Confidence Saved Apple

This article, featured in WIRED magazine, conveys the importance of innovation and passion through the story of Sal Soghoian – one of the great technology innovators of our time.

Professional Gamers Earn Millions

Esport tournaments are everywhere.  Gamers can earn impressive cash prizes if they’re good enough.  Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, age 16,  claimed a $3 million grand prize after defeating his competition in a Fortnite tournament.

Twenty Six Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Code

Learning to code has many benefits far beyond acquiring an in-demand skill. This article outlines the additional benefits students gain from learning how to code – regardless of career path.

The Future of Education

Twenty three visionary experts give their predictions of  what education will look like in the near future. Technology will drive innovations in education and offer many new and unique options for students.

CodeWizardsHQ Top 10 – July

Technology innovation is exploding at a pace never before seen in history. Parents and students are paying attention and taking action.  Learning programming and coding skills isn’t a luxury – it’s a critical path for success. 

Here are 10 resources for parents interested in coding for their children.

Scott Hiett: The Next Generation of Computer Science

Scott Hiett is a 15 year old developer and co-owner of a successful company. He took the initiative to teach himself how to code.

11 Years OLD and a CEO!

Samaira Mehta is 11 years old and recognizes the importance of learning to code at a young age.  She formed her own company to teach coding skills to younger students.

Will coding become a basic life skill?

Experts agree that learning to code is a life skill in the near future.  Although experts debate about future technology, there’s no doubt that students who learn to code now are ahead of the game.

Looking for a high-tech gift for a young child? Think playgrounds, not playpen.

It’s ideal to introduce computational thinking skills early. The array of educational toys and games can be overwhelming.  Marina Umaschi Bers gives some expert advice on how to choose wisely.

How Are Computer Programming Languages Created?

There are new programming languages being developed seemingly over-night.  This article explores the complexity and considerations that go into creating a new programming language.

How Goldman Sachs is teaching its analysts about data science and programming languages

Programming is becoming a core skill for investment analysts.  Harness the power of data science to make informed decisions. 

Top 10 programming languages employers want the most

There are over 500,000 open programming jobs in the US. The programming languages that are in highest demand by business are not always the most popular among developers.

What’s Missing in Middle School?

Coding in middle school is a bridge to future success. Learning how to code provides unique benefits critical to success in life.

Five teens who changed the world

Teenagers are amazingly creative, passionate and resourceful.  These inspiring teenagers have directly and indirectly utilized technology to change the world for the better.

New report shows shakeup amongst top programming languages – SD Times

Experts predict Python will surpass Java as the programming language skill most valued by business.  Adding Python skills will help build a bright future.