GOOD 100: Meet Zach Sims, Bringing Coding to the Masses
Zach Sims is a co-founder of Codecademy, an online interactive website that teaches novices code in a fun and easy way, making a language once only used by computer scientists and engineers more accessible to everyone. Participants learn to build websites, apps, and games. The goal is “to turn a world of tech consumers into one of empowered builders.” Sims hopes to mobilize his community of coders further in 2013, to build things that will help create new jobs, companies, and economies.
Since its inception in August 2011, Sims and co-founder Ryan Bubinski have grown Codecademy to 18 full-time employees in New York and have raised $12.5m in venture capital financing. Codecademy has worked with organizations like The White House, the Government of Colombia, and American Express, to name a few.
Before he founded Codecademy, Sims worked in product and business development at startups like GroupMe(sold to Skype) and drop.io(sold to Facebook). He has also worked in the venture capital industry with AOL Ventures, the venture capital arm of AOL. Sims’s experiences in business instilled in him the belief that anyone can obtain marketable skills, like coding, and should be able to do so without paying out of pocket for costly college programs. Thus, Codecademy was born.
“People need to realize that they don't all need to become programmers, but they do all need to understand what programming is,” Sims says.
This year, Codecademy will work on optimizing its program, making it the best it can be for its users. After extending programming to millions of people across the globe last year, 2013 will see Codecademy focused on getting those users to take their skills a step further. According to Sims, the site will hit the ground running with the launch of a ton of new features this year.
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