Me and my friend are both in high school taking a “PLTW” Engineering class, where our goal is to design a solution to any problem and work on that solution over the course of the year. We’re reaching out to this forum in hopes to receive some advice on our startup

After careful consideration of different projects we could pursue, we came up with the idea of a platform that could provide comp. Sci. students with all the resources they would need to develop their careers. We would take on any willing instructors with backgrounds in coding that would be able to use the students as a means of developing their personal projects, while simultaneously teaching them how to code. Everyone benefits. We hope to expand this past just students, and take on more and more staff. The students would leave the program with experience in their field and proficiency of 1 or more languages.

The main goal of our platform is to provide a network for students and teachers to collaborate and work on projects while developing their skills as coders.

Where we are at Right now we are in the planning phase. We need to reach out to different communities for not only advice but for reassurance that people would want to take part in this project with us.

What we need help with If anyone has had experience with assembling people for a project, or just starting a project in general, we would really appreciate any advice you might have for us.

So our question is How do we go about finding people that would be willing to invest in our idea? We would need teachers, students, and anyone else who is qualified and willing to work with us.


2 Answers 2


Buffy's answer is already spot-on, but here's another $0.02.

We would take on any willing instructors with backgrounds in coding that would be able to use the students as a means of developing their personal projects, while simultaneously teaching them how to code. Everyone benefits.

I think you're vastly underestimating how much work it is to delegate tasks, to bundle those tasks up in a format that another person can approach, and to generally manage other people. It's also very difficult to deal with time management (or lack thereof), and to manage expectations (and decide what happens when expectations are not met).

You're asking instructors (who are already extremely busy) to work as program managers, for free, on projects staffed by people who are going to need a ton of hands-on help. There is a huge time cost here.

You've basically just described an internship, and generally both parties are paid for their time. If you aren't planning on paying the people involved, then I'm afraid you aren't going to see many volunteers.

Your heart sounds like it's in the right place though, so I'd recommend doing another round of brainstorming. The best advice I can give you is to start smaller.

For example, you might rethink your project to be something more like a way to connect students to open-source projects looking for help. This question has a bunch of resources you might want to check out.


I hate to be the one to dampen your enthusiasm, but your project as described seems wildly optimistic with an unachievable scope. For example, "all the resources they would need to develop their careers" implies that you include at least everything in an undergraduate curriculum, including non CS courses. But that already exists. A more reasonable scope would be something like "all the resources they would need to be successful in the first two CS courses."

But an additional caveat is that such a resource might be used for student cheating as easily as it could be used for learning. If that is the case, then many people would be unlikely to participate, especially those with the most knowledge. That isn't a necessary consequence, but one you would have do design against.

Note that this site, and SE in general, already provides much of what you want to do, I think, except for the collaborative project part.

In fact, computer mediated collaborative work is in itself a worthy goal that is not well supported by existing tools. There used to be some tools (Eclipse plugins) that permitted pair programming to be done. They were a bit awkward to use, unfortunately, partly due to latency, partly due to design.

On the other hand, it isn't a bad thing to have a large goal. But if you want to do something big, make sure that you can do it incrementally, so that even if (when) you don't achieve it all, you have something valuable at the end of the year. Even a useful remote pair programming system would be a pretty good project for a few students to achieve in a year. It could be written in any language, but if it is coordinated with a major IDE, could support other languages (i.e. the tool itself would be language neutral).

I may expand on this in coming days as additional suggestions occur to me.


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