Zach Sims

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Zach Sims

Co-Founder of Codecademy
In an interview with Zach Sims, Co-founder of Codecademy, a startup that offers free online classes in coding and programming, we have a discussion about innovation, the future of programming in the next ten years, and the role the government should play to help other innovators and entrepreneurs.

What is your definition of innovation?

Zach: I think innovation is creating something new that improves peoples' lives.

Explain the concept and idea behind Codecademy. What inspired you to found the company?

Zach: Codecademy is the easiest way for anyone to learn to program.  We think programming is twenty-first century literacy, and we think education has to adapt in order to teach in new and exciting ways.  Using the internet, crowdsourcing, and interactivity to do so is the first step to create a community of people that know the twenty-first century's most important skill.

Where do you see the biggest opportunity for programming in the next 10 years?

Zach: We think enfranchising everyone with programming abilities is a massive opportunity - not everyone will be a programmer, but hopefully most people will know the basics of code.

What is the most challenging aspect of being involved with a startup? What is the most rewarding?

Zach: Startups are a roller coaster and are almost always chaotic, but that's what makes them fun.  It's rewarding to see the impact you have on the lives of millions of people.

What do you think the government should do to help innovators and entrepreneurs like yourself?

Zach: An issue lots of people have discussed is the visa process in the US - several members of our team are in the US because of their extraordinary abilities.  Making it easier for entrepreneurs and incredibly talented people to work in the US should be a priority.