SkilStak Coding Arts Helps Students Ages 8-18 Learn Computer Programming
SkilStak is a unique private school located near Town Hall
in Cornelius, North Carolina (off exit 28), where we believe learning
to code Jedi-style is not only a fun, empowering skill but an art
form preparing students for life, college, and early job opportunities.
Word of Mouth
Congratulations you found us! Though newspaper articles have
been written about SkilStak, we have done very little advertising
other than local sponsorships and volunteer work. Most students
have been referred by others or found SkilStak themselves. We get
downright metaphysical in our belief students are led to SkilStak
when the time is right. Is this the right time for you?
Small by Design
We like small. At a maximum we have 300 students per school (70
play/prep, 174 core, 56 pro) classes sizes range from 4 (the minimum)
to 14 students. We are designed to stay small to maximize focus
and attention. Exceptional students are hired as Gurus (teachers
assistants) to ensure a 4-1 attention ratio in every class. Our
classrooms are designed with partial separation to help adjust
seating as needed for different student learning styles and
You won't find any way to register on this site and you never will.
That's because we want to meet you first. There is simply no better
way to understand your needs than to discuss them in person. You
can read more about this in the Meet Us section.
Every course is carefully selected from current and future technologies
that are real and relevant. In fact, special in development courses
are regularly offered at a discounted rate to students by invitation
as they collaborate with instructors to prepare and test new
technologies and new course materials for them. As a result our
curriculum and materials change much more quickly and organically
than most every other school, almost too quickly some students
lament, but this is simply the nature of technology and the pace
of change is only increasing. To help keep up, we use the same
systems to manage our code that we do to manage our course materials
so changes are immediate and on-going. This is the closest thing
to a text book SkilStak will ever have. The term "technology text
book" is practically an oxymoron today.
Learning to Learn, Just in Time
Anyone who has spent any amount of time in IT knows the most important
skill to learn is how to learn, often just in time to make the
deadline. When combined with a solid foundation in logical thinking
and creative problem solving just-in-time learning allows those in
IT to quickly digest any relevant technology, understand it, and
apply it productively. This is the most important thing any SkilStak
student will learn.
Every Core Block™ course is taught by instructors with more than
five years professional programming experience. Code and Play™
and Code and Prep™ courses and camps are lead and taught by trained
adults over 18. Most classes have one or more experienced Gurus
(teacher assistants) who are selected from our most exceptional
students to maintain our 4-to-1 student to mentor ratio.
While we support and assist traditional educational institutions
we believe the best way to learn and teach is by using the
same workflows and tools professionals and college computer science
What Do You Want to Learn?
This is the hardest question any student ever has to answer at
SkilStak. There's just so many fun technologies to learn. Do you
want to become a master Minecraft engineer proficient with red
stone, command-blocks, WorldEdit and resource packs? Perhaps you
have never coded at all and want to start by making interactive
tired of gluing things on poster board for your school projects and
want to ask your teachers to let you submit an interactive quiz
video you've produced for your homework instead. With time you could
learn Java to make your own Minecraft mods and Android apps, or
Raspberry Pi and Kali Linux to do white-hat hacking, or even Golang
to create commands and microservices for SkilStak for which
you can be paid cash.
The best way to help you answer this question is, you guessed it,
to talk to us in person so we can get a feel for your interests and
aptitude. Then we can suggest something or, if we don't offer it,
maybe you can help us develop a course around it. One of the main
distinctions between SkilStak and other schools is that students
are active owners and developers of the SkilStak course offerings.
Here's a link to the current weekly calendar
to give you some idea.
At SkilStak we have done a lot to create an extremely fun and intense
learning environment and curriculum for a particular kind of learner,
which isn't for everyone. SkilStak is a place where the right students
want to be, not where they have to be. For this reason, and because
of the high demand for SkilStak courses, the application process is
selective and often involves a waiting list.
Who Can Apply
Anyone can apply but SkilStak tends to attract students that don't
seem to fit in elsewhere or who are very bored with their current
school. Most of us who work and attend SkilStak fall proudly on the
spectrum between geek and nerd. Though we do sometimes accept
adult students the style and course materials are designed with
younger students in mind (roughly 8 to 18).
Applications are judged based on maturity, aptitude, dedication,
and fit and SkilStak reserves the right to accept only those
applicants we feel will benefit and contribute the most.
An application process starts with a conversation. Call 704-310-6778
or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone from SkilStak staff will explain
things, answer questions, and ensure you understand where to find more
information including pricing and expectations.
We take a highly personalized approach to registration and enrollment,
no forms to fill out or buttons to click. This surprises some since we
are a technology company but we feel the human connection is critical
— especially during enrollment. Nothing should get in the way.
Schedule an Audit
If after meeting everyone still agrees SkilStak looks like something
the applicant might want to commit to then we set up an audit and
interview. This gives students a chance to see what it is like here,
what is expected of students, ask questions from other students, and
let staff evaluate the student. Sometimes more than one audit is
appropriate. The first audit is free. If more are needed, subsequent
audits have a $10 fee.
If the applicant is excited about beginning and receives staff
approval the student can register in any available classes or put
their name on the waiting list. Priority is given to currently
enrolled and returning students. The process of registration involves
first sending an email confirming the desire to register and for
which courses followed by payment in person or by invoice including
signed acceptance of the school policies form.
The only information required to register a new student is the following:
- Name, phone and email of responsible party
- Full name and birthday of student
- A Google Gmail/Plus account and password* for the student
- An email verified GitHub account and password* for the student
- Optionally a Minecraft account and password* for the student
* Password information is optionally stored encrypted at the
school to prevent in-class delays looking up forgotten login
In case you haven't noticed we expect students and parents to read,
a lot. Reading is the single most important career skill any
programmer, technologist, or responsible human will every learn
— especially in this 140-character, TL;DR;, video-centric
world. Today, those who read accurately and quickly will dominate
We know everyone is busy. You still need to read, this site, mailing
list notifications, and lots of material on the Internet related
to what you are learning. Google is your textbook. If you find
reading painful or bothersome SkilStak is likely not for you. Start
your reading practice today by making sure you read all this page
before calling the number below. And yes, we will ask if you did