Enterprise Education

deCODE your future

Coding is fast emerging as a rite of passage and this is what inspired then 21-year-old Masa Kato set up Progate in Japan

“Coding is a powerful tool that can change your life!” exclaims Masa Kato, CEO, Progate, a Japanese edtech startup. “I am testimony to this for, my life changed when I learnt to code. As an ordinary college-goer, I learnt how to code and created a web service used by over 8,00,000 people around the world. Until then, I was bound to the idea of getting into a big company and living a steady life. But after learning to code, I gained the confidence to take risks. You don’t necessarily have to start your own business after learning to code — coding is for everyone because it helps logical thinking, which is important for every job. Even a non-programmer could hugely benefit from having basic coding knowledge.”

Today, his company has expanded to India too, and is on its journey to disseminate coding knowledge to as many youngsters as possible. Excerpts from the interview with Masa Kato, who recently made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 list...

Inspiration

I was a college student when I founded Progate, in 2014. Although I was majoring in computer science, I struggled while learning practical aspects such as developing web services and apps. In college, I was taught how to code using the programming language C, but I had no idea how that could be used to develop real-world applications. I didn’t understand how these dots come together until I finally met someone who guided me about where to start, which tools to use, and which path to follow. From there, I worked extremely hard for about a month and was finally able to create an app. I stopped going to college and started teaching people around me how to code. I wanted to give everyone the same opportunity that I was lucky enough to experience.

Courses

We provide 16 courses including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Python, Java, SQL, jQuery, Sass, Swift, Go, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Git, and Command Line. The demographics of our students are mainly secondary school and university students, and young professionals under 30.

Employment

Many of our students are now working as web developers. HTML and CSS, JavaScript, and React courses are the most popular languages today, for front-end web developers. We also provide lessons to learn server-side languages used by data scientists and marketers. On completion of each lesson, participants receive a certificate that they can share on LinkedIn, or submit with their CV. Those interested, can sign up from progate.com. The first lesson of each course is free. You will have full access to all the lesson content by subscribing to them, and can choose any language or course you wish to learn, depending on your purpose.

India

India is the first market where Progate has formed a local team. We decided to expand to India because we received significant feedback from here than other markets, when we released the English version of our product. We have partnered with over 50 educational institutions such as Amity University, Noida, Chitkara University, Chandigarh, BMS Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, among many others. Also, our product is now used in coding bootcamps including CodeAsylums, in their teaching curriculum. The most challenging issue we have been experiencing here is to acquire paid users. We are currently working on creating more valuable content, as well as offering special pricing for students in India.

Future of coding

Basic knowledge and concepts will not change, and will continue to remain useful in any industry. Technology and education should be accessible for everyone and we are happy to deliver quality contents at an affordable price, across the world, particularly in talent-rich markets like India.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:11:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/decode-your-future/article28224711.ece

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