LAH teen offers free coding classes for all

Angeline Chen wanted to learn about computer programming, but the Los Altos Hills resident didn’t know where to start.

Two years later, inspired by that dilemma, the high school senior has set up her own free coding workshops in hopes of helping others avoid the same problem.

“If you have no prior programming experience, and you just watch videos, it’s really hard to start learning,” said Chen, who noted that online videos failed to teach her how to code properly.

Chen added that she was only able to successfully learn coding after taking classes at Palo Alto High School, but not many schools offer such classes. While there are other coding classes available, she said, “most of them are paid, and the ones that are free are targeted toward a specific age group.”

Her workshops are free and open to ages 10 and older, including high school students and adults. The curriculum is high school web development and computer science.

Chen teaches HTML, CSS and JavaScript, noting that they are “more applicable to real life, as the majority of websites on the internet have been built using these languages.” She also teaches Python and Java, which cover basic concept computational coding.

The workshops, titled “Coding Trek,” are held at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road. They are serialized and compiled into several two-hour sessions; the first few sessions are introductory, and the following address more advanced topics.

“I’m currently working with (Los Altos Hills) Parks and Recreation to get my classes published in the activity guide,” said Chen, who previously taught HTML, CSS, Python and Java at libraries in San Jose.

The next series of workshops is scheduled to start in January and run through April.

Chen teaches each session by herself but hopes to get some help to broaden the topics to include app development and machine-learning artificial intelligence. Additional teachers also would enable her to offer more workshops.

“I’m looking forward to finding some volunteers in the community,” she said, “because I feel like just being one person and teaching everything … it’s a lot of work.”

No coding experience is required of those who want to take her workshops, but Chen asks that all participants bring a laptop.

To register, volunteer and for more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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