Moe Dafer is crazy about coding and wants to share his passion with kids of all ages.

“I started coding when I was 13 on a Commodore Vic 20,” the Stouffville resident said. “Then took a few programming elective courses at university, but my first actual program was an accounting inventory software for my dad’s auditing accounting firm back in 1986.

Teaching code was not one of Dafer’s goals.

“I was in the IT distribution world in charge of sourcing the latest trends and tech to North America,” he said. “And was faced and shocked with the lack of kids knowledge when it comes to coding compared with the European and Asian levels.

“This is when I decided that I want to be involved in this field and that coincided with me learning about Code Ninjas. So, I bought its franchise for Stouffville, quit my corporate job and went all in, in February 2020.”

It wasn’t an ideal timing to open, as 2020 was pretty much a write off for most small businesses.

Dafer says that life without the pandemic meant drop-in visits, which would allow participants to work around their own time schedule.

During COVID, Dafer and his team have to implement a booking system to ensure they don’t go over allowed capacity.

“Our business is in-person,” he said. “We did offer online during the pandemic, but it stopped as soon as we reopened. To me, the difference between online and in-person is similar to listening to someone playing music on the street while you are passing by in your car versus going to a live concert and listening to him in person.

“Coding teaches kids analytical thinking, and it is the main skill that I believe will affect their lives moving forward.”

Code Ninjas offers JR for kids five to seven. This program is based on touch screen devices and robotics. They also offer CREATE for kids seven to 14.

It should take someone 2.5 to 3 years to finish the whole curriculum. On their way, kids will learn Scratch, Javascript, Lua and finally C#?.

Dafer has 10 to 12 instructors who are all high school or university students from Stouffville who have excelled in coding.

“It is easier for our kids to connect with someone who is 16 to 20 rather than someone in his 50s like me,” he said. “We teach our instructor and help build their coding experience.”

Code Ninjas is located at 6601 Main Street, Unit 7 and 8 in Stouffville. For hours and rates, visit codeninjas.com/stouffville-on-ca.

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