How do I start working as an on-line coding instructor/mentor?
August 9, 2015 3:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm an experienced but largely self-taught programmer. I'd like to earn money teaching other people to code, either on my own or (maybe when I get more documented experience) working for a company. How do I get started?

Particularly: where do I advertise, and how much should I charge? I'm in Canada but of course can instruct people located anywhere over the wires.

And I have persistent doubts about this point: Will I find it impossible to make a go of this work because, up to now, I've been pair-programming mainly as a volunteer with people less experienced than myself, rather than for pay at a company?
posted by aestival to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think your plan, as stated, will work. There are great classes taught by well-known experts on Udemy and similar sites, and if you do the math on pricing and sales, all but a few can't possibly be making enough to make it worth their time.

You know what will work? Do a couple really compelling workshops on hot topics for free at regional techy conferences. If you're good, you'll start getting some really amazing job offers. I've seen this work multiple times and I'm trying it myself.
posted by miyabo at 3:27 PM on August 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


You could also try going a more traditional route--i.e. teaching at a high school or community college.
posted by ropeladder at 3:50 PM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are great classes online, yes, but what if you reframed it as tutoring? There are plenty of guides online and on paper to learn, say, physics or French but high schoolers and college students certainly hire people with moderate proficiency to step through things one-on-one anyways.

Additionally, for tutoring, there are quite a few adults who are teaching themselves to code from books, MOOCs, etc. who probably want more than StackExchange for help, particularly at the beginning. Trying to google error messages is really really confusing as a newbie programmer (I say this as one myself).

If you think you'd be comfortable tutoring high schoolers and college students taking computer science classes, then advertise through typical academic routes. For those adults who may need help, I'm less sure - craigslist? For example, here are a number of C++ tutors in Ontario on Kijiji. I think they're your competition, not udemy.
posted by R a c h e l at 1:08 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Consider joining a firm that runs paid trainings, or looking for adjunct opportunities in online extensions of accredited colleges.

Take the Software Carpentry instructor training, which covers "the basics of educational psychology, instructional design, and how to apply both to teaching programming to adults." Once you've done that, you can tell the rest of the SC community that you're happy to do online/remote training and tutoring.
posted by brainwane at 1:36 PM on August 10, 2015

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