GOSO Coder Spotlight: De-Jon

For the past few weeks, several GOSO guys have been taking a coding class taught personally by the co-founder of Flatiron School, Avi Flombaum. Flatiron School is a coding bootcamp school located in the Financial District of Manhattan. Flombaum comes every Wednesday to teach the different programming skills and techniques that our guys need in order to grow in the field and to ultimately obtain jobs in coding.

GOSO sat down with one of our guys in the class, De-Jon Smith, who has always had an interest in computers and technology. He offers his perspective on the class and what he’s learned so far.

“I want to learn as much as possible and just pass it on.”

Why were you interested in taking the coding class with Flatiron School?

New challenge! It was something different – different than the usual daily things. Not every day do you get a chance to say I’m a coder. On top of that – it’s a growing industry.”

Do you have prior experience with coding?

“Working on previous things myself. I come from a history of geeks – my great grandmother is a geek and she doesn’t want to admit it. She got me into computers and stuff. It started out with playing video games – so then I started to think, how can I make this game better? I also wanted to make my own cartoons.”


Coding work that De-Jon has completed during the class.

I know you’re working on a video game of your own – can you tell me more about it?

“I started doing it about 6 months ago. It does have some coding aspects. But I basically just copy and paste from the original game. It’s called Mugen, which is Japanese for ‘infinite.’ There’s a whole community for this game. I can edit a character, and make him stand a different way, or do a different move. It’s just fun to me – I never even noticed I was actually learning how to do things like programming.”

What do you like about video games?

“The freedom of it. The fact that you can make whatever you want, do whatever you want, and there’s no consequence. You can jump over a building [in a game] and not get hurt. It’s about creativity. It also kept me out of trouble. Playing video games, in some cases might make for a lack of a social life, but the good thing is I don’t get in a lot of drama.”

De-Jon programmed most of his video game (before the GOSO coding class)

What’s something interesting that you’ve learned so far in class?

“Computer languages. It was like a total foreign language to me, but it started to become more clear. It’s like a big puzzle, and it’s not as hard as it seems. We had to make a playlist on Youtube and make the video a hyperlink so that it could link to the actual music.”

What’s one goal you have for the coding class?

“Well I’d like to get a job in a field that will need my expertise. But I really want to learn as much as possible and just pass it on. I never realized that I’m actually a good teacher. Morgan Freeman’s character in the movie, Lucy, said that the best thing you can do with knowledge is just pass it on.”