#LetsTalk Ep 2: Learn to Code with Kyla

The dream for most of us, if not all of us, is to be an entrepreneurial success story that qualifies for ‘Forbes 30 under 30’, and to me Kyla is a perfect example of that success story. While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across Kyla’s interview with another Toronto blogger and I automatically became captivated by this 21 year old who started her own coding enterprise. More importantly, to be a young woman in an emerging field that is fairly male dominant, Kyla is a superstar who I had to capture on #LetsTalk. Let’s dig right in.

Q1. Who is Kyla? Give us a bit of your background story
I am from Bermuda, I did my university studies in Boston, and now I am here (Toronto). I am half canadian, because of my dad. I studied English and Afrikaan studies, but I was technically not a double major graduate. Last year I started Wizkid Coding, which came out of my love for coding, and children’s education. I began learning to code since I was twelve years old, through online videos. I actually started learning about coding because I wanted to make my tumblr page look really cool. At the time, I wanted to be a fashion designer, and the idea was that Anna Wintour would discover me through my blog, so I spent a lot of time learning to code to make my blog stand out. Then during my final year in university, I saw a gap between those who learn to code before university and those who learn it academically on scholarship. Only those who take computer science at the university level, are exposed to coding, that’s why the tech industry is not diverse.

Q2. For so many of us, coding is so captivating but so complex to comprehend, how do you manage to simply such a skill set that very few are able to grasp?
Coding is like learning a language. When you learn it young, like me speaking English as my mother tongue, it’s easy because I have spoken this language my entire life. Now, for you to expect me to learn an entirely new language in my early twenties, while juggling so many other things, it’s harder. That is why learning it (coding) when you are young, is much easier.

Q3. So what are the necessary steps needed for someone else to take in order to start such an enterprise? What were the first steps you used to establish wiz kid coding.
It started at my church. I teamed up with educators who already had the market and platform with young students. I created a curriculum for my coding program, announced a summer camp program at church at a very low cost to test the market for WizKid coding, and it took of from there. Early last year we were at the Boys and Girls club, this year we are teaching at 20 schools. Our client acquisition cost is very low, because we go directly to the consumer and rely on word-of-mouth. We are about to franchise, so our business model may slightly shift moving forward.

Q4. If there is one piece of advice you could give to other millennials like yourself, what would that be?
Just do it. I didn’t have everything ready or good to go when I first started, but I did it and I am learning as I go. But you have to 100% into what you want to do, or don’t do it at all. It’s also really important not to get swayed by social media, because there are so many ‘sexy jobs’ advertised out there and that seem so appealing. Instead, you should spend more time thinking about what you are passionate about and your interest. That way, you will get the most fulfilment doing what you love and making sure that it impacts others. Last, know what you need. If you need more mentorship or training, go out there and find the resources to get you all of the learning that you need.

Always think about the ‘why’. Why do I think that this business I want to start is a good idea. Why am I doing this. Be smart about it.

Q5. If there are three words you could use to describe yourself, what would it be?

Planner. Faithful. Fun.

Check out Wizkid Coding: www.wizkidcoding.com

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