Teen Coding Academy

Mentoring Teens to Become Producers and Creators of Technology Rather than just Consumers




The White Hatter Teen Coding Academy

If there is one thing that The White Hatter team has recognized, it is the need to provide teens with the ability to learn how to code. Recently, the Canadian Information and Communication Technology Council released a report titled, “Labour Market Outlook for Canada” where they estimate that there would be 182,000 openings in the information and communication technology field in Canada. Many of these jobs require the ability to code, and many will go unfilled by Canadians given the current lack of trained coders in our country. It has also been estimated that by 2020, artificial intelligence and robotics will touch over 800 million jobs around the world, and it is a reality that post-2020, many of the quality paying jobs in tech will be the ones that machines cannot do. Although some schools are meeting this challenge head on, it has been our experience that many can’t. This is due to the lack of teachers who are qualified to teach coding skills. Finding educators who have the requisite training to teach coding to their students is a challenge that many districts and schools are attempting to overcome.


The White Hatter team wants to help bridge this coding educational gap by providing the opportunity for teens to learn the fundamentals of coding logic, structure, sequence, and algorithmic thinking. We want to help mentor teens who are interested in coding and provide them with the opportunity to access professional coding resources and training. To this end, the White Hatter team is happy to announce “The White Hatter Teen Coding Academy.”


The White Hatter Teen Coding Initiative started as an idea about a year ago given the identified need that we saw specific to S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education and coding. As a result, we started our research and found two experienced millennial coders who get it and were extremely enthusiastic about helping us to design an introductory/beginner level coding program for teens. Our lead instructors are Gillian Bryson and Kelby Dalik-Lyall. Both Gillian and Kelby are University of Victoria Computer Engineering students who have a strong background in coding and teaching youth how to code.

Equipment Required:

All your teen needs to bring is a laptop with a power cord that has the following minimum software/hardware requirements. We will provide internet access, power, and all the open source coding materials that the student will need for this workshop.

PC Minimum Requirements:

Windows 10 version 1703+

Apple MacBook Requirements:

Mojave 10.14+

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Gillian Bryson

Gillian Bryson is an avid programmer, and a fourth-year computer engineering student at the University of Victoria. Gillian loves to use code to solve problems and to help others build and improve their technology skills.


Community involvement is important to Gillian who currently volunteers as a Chapter coordinator, instructor, and mentor with Canada Learning Code, privately tutors teens in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python. Gillian also volunteers as a Reserve Constable with the Central Saanich Police Department.

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Kelby Lyall

A long-time challenger of the standard ‘butts in seats,’ more passive approach to education, Kelby looks for ways to mentor and inspire others to learn to code by trying and observing how different approaches work with individual learning styles. Kelby often draws on her 12 years within the Waldorf education system to inform her approaches. Kelby strongly believes that the current model of coding education doesn’t facilitate a cultivation of interest or confidence in the subject matter for most people. And, by extension, many, many kids and adults are not drawn to learn any programming. She believes that presented the right way, they would learn to love it as she does. Kelby herself had never written code until university!





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