When a local teacher reached out because she wanted to bring her class to our Chattanooga HQ as a “field trip to see real-live programmers and developers in the wild,” our team gave a resounding:

Julia Phillips is an elementary teacher in Soddy Daisy, TN, a town near Chattanooga. She hosts a club called CodeThis, which is a 21st Century granted club consisting of 4th and 5th graders at Soddy Elementary School. She teaches them Javascript once a week, and wanted to show the students where programming could take you.

On the day of their visit, our office was buzzing with excitement as we saw the cars pull up with the kids inside. I didn’t expect our CodeScientists to be just as excited as the kids would be!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I led the 20 kids and 4 chaperones into our Lookout Conference Room and we got started with our ice breaker question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Answers included:

  • “A developer”
  • “A programmer”
  • “An astronaut”
  • “A mechanic”
  • “An engineer”
  • “A vet”

I love hearing the different goals we have in life!

Working at CodeScience

Our presentation to the students covered various aspects of working at CodeScience. A few highlights:

  • Teamwork – We work together to solve problems. It is important to work as a team. Everyone has a different perspective and solution, and we find ways to make it all come together.
  • Design is thinking made visual – Some designs are easy to spot like logos and branding, websites, and comics and cartoons. How about building popsicle stick bridges? Think about what the popsicle stick bridge will need to do: connect two things, hold weight, use specific materials, etc. Guess what? You have already starting thinking and acting like a designer.
  • Development – Solving problems with a team of people means that the code you write needs to work alongside all the other code that is being written by other developers. Teamwork is actually the most important and challenging part of being a developer. Even with all that complexity, writing code can also be easy. You should never be intimidated and believe coding is too complex or doubt you’ll be able to learn how to code. Everyone started from the same place. The secret is to being a great developer is knowing how to break down unsolvable problems into smaller solvable problems. In just a few seconds, with a few words entered in the right place, you can start modifying the webpage you’re looking at. In fact, that’s the easiest way to get started. Open the developer tools and start playing!

Curious Minds

And then, the best part of the visit.. Question and Answer! I expected to have a few questions, a handful at most. I underestimated that by a long shot. Almost every student wanted to know something, and some asked multiple questions, including:

  • “What is the hardest thing you’ve ever coded?”
  • “At what age did you start coding?”
  • “What would you be doing if you weren’t a developer?”
  • “How many projects have you worked on?”
  • “Where can I learn how to code?”

Final Thoughts

Welcoming the next generation into our office was a fantastic experience for our team. It was a great reminder that while we are seasoned Salesforce experts, everyone started somewhere. Nurturing the future developers is an excellent way to give back to our community, and share our love for what we do best: collaborate, innovate and answer complexity with simplicity to create amazing apps for our clients. My hope is we were able to inspire the students as much as they were able to inspire us!

We are always looking for awesome CodeScientists to join our family. Check out our current job openings — we’d love to talk to you!