When I spoke with Harry initially last February, I was very impressed with what this young entrepreneur had achieved so far. Over the past few months I’ve checked in with Harry for updates and watched as things have gone from strength to strength for him.
In between studying for school, teaching children to code and attracting former Dragons to come on board with him, Harry took some time out to tell us about Kid Tech and his journey so far.
Q1. Harry, thanks for taking the time to do this with us. First off, can you tell us a bit more about yourself. At 15 years old, what inspired and motivated you to start a company teaching computer courses to Kids?
No problem at all. I am 15 years old. I am currently in my Junior Cert year in Scoil Mhuire and I run Kid Tech. I am extremely passionate about technology and most importantly Tech education. I have been coding for the last 3 years. I have been attending and mentoring at the CoderDojo for the past 2 years and I have been running Kid Tech since November 2013.
I guess what inspired me to start Kid Tech was that I had always wanted to become a computer tutor and when I finally had a lot of free time I decided instead of teaching two or three kids, I would teach twenty or thirty kids and so I started Kid Tech. My motivation comes from me always wanting to give one hundred percent in everything I do and when I decided I was going to run a business, I was going to run it to the best of my ability.
Q2. Can you tell us a bit more about exactly what courses Kid Tech offers?
At Kid Tech we offer a wide range of courses in all areas of Tech. We offer courses in computer game development, App development & design, Web design & development, coding, programming and much more
Q3. Since we spoke to you initially back in February you’ve been quite busy. You’ve managed to get some well known people and companies to come on board with you. Can you tell us about them and how they are going to be involved?
Yeah, since we spoke first back in February, we have managed to get some key figures and businesses involved that have been crucial in bringing us forward and hopefully will play a major part in the future. We have managed to get the backing of Viddyad who have offered us their full support, Blackberry who have kindly sent us over equipment, Norah Casey who has come on board as a course advisor and British Actor Stephen Fry has given us his one hundred percent support and backing.
Q4. You’ve also been asked to speak at some events recently. Which events were they and how have you found the whole public speaking experience?
Yeah, I have been asked to speak at a number events like DojoCon, WWC and more. I was most recently invited to Dublin Castle to speak at Excited. I feel everytime I speak at an event it is an experience. I extremely enjoy public speaking so it helps when I have to stand up and speak in front of a few hundred people that I am comfortable.
Q5. I’m sure there may be many parents reading this now that may not be up to speed with computer programming and can’t really see why there is so much discussion surrounding teaching their children computers, rather than concentrating on the traditional subjects. What advice would you give those parents and can you sum up why you feel it’s important?
I understand that some parents do not yet understand the importance of teaching kids coding, programming etc. but it only takes a few statistics to explain the importance of learning these skills
90% of career options in the EU which will require a digital skill by 2015
There is an expected increase of 25% in demand for high-level ICT skills in Ireland over the next five years.
74% of ICT professionals in Irish enterprise to be locally sourced by 2018.
These three statistics alone show how important ICT skills will be in a few years. If parents want to assure there kids are going to have the possible chance of employment in the future, they should make sure they have ICT skills ( coding, programming etc.).
Q6. In your opinion, is there a particular language or area you think children should be concentrating on? With the mobile application market booming, is that where the smart money is now?
I personally feel Apps are and will be a big thing of the future. With over 1.75 billion people carrying smartphones and with 1 of every 17 people owning a Tablet, there is most definitely high demand for apps and there will be for a very long time. Also an App developer in the US gets paid on average $92,000 a year.
Q7. Over the last few years we’ve had a lot of discussion in the office surrounding technology in the classroom. Some schools are abandoning paper books in favour of tablets or laptops. Personally I’m in favour of this as I believe technology can add another dimension to teaching that will engage children to a far greater extent than plain text ever will. Sadly it hasn’t always been implemented properly and the debate of the pros and cons rages on. How do you feel about this, do you think it’s a good move or should we be sticking to the tried and tested methods?
It is a very interesting topic, I attended an event in Dublin Castle called Excited which discussed this in detail. I personally feel that as technology advances, education needs to advance with it. We can no longer ignore that fact that technology is here and that it is here to stay and if it can improve the way we educate then we most definitely need to look into it. There is the technology to replace books, copies, pens and pencils and this technology can improve the way we educate.
Q8. Based on the courses you have run so far, how would you describe the type of students that are attending?
Since I have started Kid Tech I have seen and taught a lot of kids, all different in their own way. The one thing they have in common is that when they come to Kid Tech the questions they ask are “how to do something” not “what to do”. The kids have the ideas, they just need the resources to make those ideas into something amazing, something real, so the kids we see are creative.
Q9. How often do you run your current courses and what’s the teacher/ student ratio?
We run our courses over a period of ten weeks. We have two teachers to every eight students.
Q10. If someone is interested in joining one of your courses how do they go about doing it?
We are currently working on our website at the moment but to keep up to date on all our new and updates you can follow us on Twitter @kidtechhq or Like the page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KidTechCourses
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase get in contact with me on [email protected]