Gira, founder of Cracking the Code (@cracking.thecode)

1. Tell me about yourself, why did you start Cracking the Code?

Hi everyone! My name is Gira Chawda and I am 15 years old. You can usually find me playing guitar, coding or cooking up a new item. In February of 2020, I decided to learn how to code, but it looked so daunting and confusing. With the help of a few programs and creators, I was able to learn how to code in python completely free of cost. I wondered why these amazing resources were not more known? So it became my mission to provide free external resources as well as hold free code workshops. That is when Cracking the Code was formed. Since then, I have held a 4-week free introductory course on code, I have filmed and edited YouTube videos on code and have released a completely free e-book.

2. Why did you start to learn to code?

When I was in fourth grade, my class was introduced to which allowed us to, with just a few simple clicks, create a customized environment. I was astonished by how much power and independence coding gave me through the use of computer commands and prompts; computing and technology immediately sparked my interest in that moment. Throughout middle school, I always sought the role of a “tech rep” which enabled me to act as a leader to troubleshoot issues on other students’ devices. This was the first sign that technology might just be perfect for me! When I wanted to learn a new skill, I sought back to what I enjoyed doing, which was troubleshooting problems and creating something new. I found this perfect combination to be in code. The satisfaction of fixing a problem after hours of hard work was irresistible to me!

3. What advice would you have for others looking to learn how to code?

My advice to those learning how to code is to find creators like Tiffany who talk about tech and code. You will learn many things and will find resources along the way. Also, be sure to 

  1. FIND A LANGUAGE. Find one language you want to learn (I started off with Python) and make that your strongest code language.

  2. STAY INSPIRED. In the beginning, take 3 hours in a week and research people who are in the technology industry (like Tiffany). This will help you to be surrounded with so many amazing resources and advice.

  3. KEEP PRACTICING. Your code will not get better until you have practiced a lot! Continuing to practice your code will also help you gain confidence.

  4. STAY CONSISTENT. Plan thirty minutes in your day to code and set goals to achieve during that time. Consistency will create a good habit to practice your code. Consistent coding sessions will bring you great results.

  5. ASK QUESTIONS. You will not learn code if you don’t ask questions. These questions can be aimed at Google, YouTube or even a mentor! You will learn so much by learning from other people’s mistakes and advice!

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