"I am an intellectual volunteer": who and for what teaches programming to children for free

Vladimir Ladyukov, a programmer at Ciat International, has been programming for about five years and at one point felt that I needed to share my knowledge. Volodymyr told about his path in mentoring with Code Club Ukraine especially for Ukrainska Pravda.

I had a desire to help, I wanted to interest others in this area. A few months ago, I saw an announcement on social networks about recruiting volunteers for Code Club Ukraine, a network of free programming clubs for children and adolescents aged 8-17. I thought - why not?

The club teaches on a volunteer basis - classes are conducted by students of technical universities, professional teachers and programmers from IT companies. This trend of "free transfer of knowledge" came to Ukraine from Europe a few years ago and is now only developing.

I wrote to the curators, they contacted me, we discussed all the details - and soon I was conducting my first lesson.

I remember being very worried. Especially now that due to quarantine, classes are held remotely, and getting feedback from students online is much more difficult. At first, it was difficult to hold their attention. But then you adapt and get used to it.

Of course, there is a constant sense of responsibility. Besides, this is my first teaching experience. But working with children is quite easy. They are quick to accept new information, especially if it is interestingly presented. That's why it's interesting for you too. In addition, I have a brother who is 9 years younger, so it is easy for me to find a language with those who are younger than me.

And it is an opportunity to realize yourself in charity. Since my relatives are far away, I do not have my children yet, I feel the need to take care of others.

Teaching programming to a new generation is about creating a community of developers. Moreover, Ukraine has a great potential to earn money in the IT industry, in its specialists. In the future, those children who are currently studying with us may connect their lives with programming and increase their achievements even more.

Teaching children free online is also an opportunity to educate those who need it but cannot afford it for a number of reasons. Not everyone can afford the courses. I am sorry that there is such a high threshold for children from ordinary families. Yes, a lot of information is freely available, but it is important to tell children that there is a whole community that is ready to help.

Previously, I did not seek to share information, knowledge and now I look at it very simply. But this realization came with experience and now I don't want to get paid for my volunteering.

I have quite busy days and almost no free time. All my time is spent working, parallel projects, studying, learning new technologies, helping my brother with his studies, personal life. Therefore, in fact, I sacrifice only sleep. I get some sleep on the weekends.

Only once did I have a conversation with relatives about my volunteering and the lack of money from it.

But I have no goal to earn. I have a main job, but often I can't realize myself there, because projects are closed, stopped, stopped funding. And Code Club provides this implementation. You are surrounded by people whom the project has made even better, and all together you are doing a good deed together.

I understand that it is not so easy to find people who would like to do something more. But they are. There are those who do not look at the world from a consumer point of view. And I can convey this concept to the next generation. I hope that when our students become professionals, they will also have a desire to help someone else.

If you want to become a mentor, first set goals - what it is for you, what you want to get for yourself. Then everything is simple: you fill out a questionnaire, tell about yourself, choose a course you would like to teach and a convenient time and format for lessons.

You are then contacted by a curator with whom you agree on all the nuances.

You get acquainted with the program - and start working.

The main thing - you should have an inner desire, not some trigger that motivates to action.

It seems to me that this desire is connected with the growth of a person as a person. When a person has achieved something, knows how to do something, then he begins to share this experience and knowledge with others. To change the world, you have to start with yourself.