pitiCODE – our kids programming course

In early 2019, some of our teammates had the most wonderful idea, to create a programming course for our employees’ kids. Soon after, the idea grew into a small, volunteer-based internal project, named pitiCODE.

I’ve been drawn to the idea as soon as I heard of it especially that I have two candidates of my own who are curious about everything that involves looking into a screen.

Along with nine other colleagues who decided to get involved, we decided to create this course, where we would slowly, and in a playful manner, introduce children to notions like operators, algorithms, or basic principles of computer programming.

For some of them, some of these notions were known. For others, they were completely new.

But with the help of visuals and stories, and a graphical programming language for kids named Scratch, we managed to help them catch on pretty quickly. I liked very much a term coined by our manager, Nicu, who said that programming with kids should be named “fungramming” – these lessons were as fun for them as they were for us, too.


But with every lesson, we were amazed of how fast they were learning. I remember that in the first edition we had four year olds who didn’t even know how to hold the mouse. When the course ended they were able to create an entire game and they were so proud of what they had accomplished, that they couldn’t wait to get home so they would continue playing in Scratch, or show off to their siblings.

I was once more convinced that children can do anything they put their mind to, if guided with love and given information that is properly adapted to their level of understanding.

Since I joined this project, I get asked a lot by people around me, what is the final purpose? Do we want them to grow up to be software developers, or follow other IT related professions?

I don’t think that at pitiCODE we prepare them for a future job. We don’t know exactly what jobs will still be around in 10, 20, or 30 years.

Scratch and algorithms and programming notions are just tools. Maybe we work with the tools that we know best. But behind these, we want to help them develop their logical thinking, their critical thinking, and their creativity.

pitiCODE series finale

Although we put them on hold when the pandemic started, I can’t wait for the moment it will be possible to resume our pitiCODE meetings. I’m proud to be a trainer in this program, as much as I’m proud to be a parent. These kind of ideas can turn the workplace into a playground, and as a former child myself, I’m always happy to pitch in.

I’m proud that my children have the opportunity to see this side of me too, and to associate my job with a place where you go with a smile on your face. I think that’s part of our legacy, too.