Nerd Culture

7 Places to Learn How to Code in Metro Phoenix

Remember when the people who could tinker on computers and create websites were considered geeky and nerdy? Those days are long gone, thankfully. 

Coding, or the process of creating computer software, apps and programs, has become the passion project of all types of celebrities. Karlie Kloss is doing it, President Obama was the first Commander in Chief to do it, and even Ashton Kutcher is getting into it.

You can expect to see a couple "National Coding Days" or "Day of Codes" as you scroll through your news and social media feeds over the next few weeks, but we tend to think that any day is a good day to code. Check out one of these tech spots around the Valley where you can learn all about coding and other computer programming tricks. 

HeatSync Labs
Hackers, artists, and mad scientists can look to HeatSync Labs in Mesa for a space to build and play with all sorts of programs and supplies. It is a place where art projects and technology projects intermingle to create new and innovative solutions. The space has no staff. Instead, it is owned and operated by its members who pay what they can to keep up the lab. Members, and people looking into becoming a member can bring their work in on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m. There are, however, many opportunities to meet and interact with the gang outside of office hours. Every Wednesday, for example, a group meets in the lab at 9 a.m. for coffee and code talk. There are also classes for Arduino, crafting techniques, and metalworking. Go to the lab's website for more information and a calendar of events.

Code Day at Gateway Community College 
Gateway Community College is hosting a 24-hour coding marathon in honor of National Code Day on Saturday, November 7. From noon to noon on Sunday, November 8, participants will pitch an idea, spend all day building it, and then present it to a panel of judges. Snacks and meals are provided, but if you want to sleep you'll need to bring your own sleeping bag and toothbrush. Registration is $20, but if you're not a student, you'll need to reach out to ahead of time. You can visit the event's website for more information or to RSVP. 

Collaborative workspaces are all the rage right now, and CO+HOOTS is one of the most successful. Along with offering space and computers for its members, it also offers coding opportunities in the form of marathon workshops. CO+HOOTS will celebrate National Code Day on November 7 and 8 with a 24-hour codathon that will incorporate basic coding lessons, pitching ideas, and building apps. Though this particular event is intended for children and teens, it's a good opportunity for adults who already know a thing or two about programming to mentor younger students. Find more information on Code Day here, or go to for more information on events and membership prices. 

Every month, a group known as the Code Sisters meet at Gangplank in Chandler and proceed to share their incredible knowledge with anyone who shows up. The free workshop is broken up into three sections: one where you learn basic programming concepts, one where you go over an existing project with your peers, and one where you can test your skills and find areas in which to improve. This month's meeting is on Saturday, November 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Code Sisters usually meet at the Gangplank in Chandler, but there is a second location in Avondale as well. Both Gangplanks offer classes and meetings throughout the week. The classes vary in topic, but include writing workshops, hacknights, software engineering and more. Check the calendar and find out more about both Gangplank locations here. Find out more about Code Sisters at

Mesa ThinkSpot
Mesa ThinkSpot is an organization within the Red Mountain Branch of the Mesa Public Library that seeks to empower people of all ages and backgrounds. By partnering with ASU's Entrepreneurship Outreach Network, the group has been able to provide a collaborative workspace where people of all ages can come in and work on various types of technology-based projects. They offer numerous classes each day, which range in topics from coding to computer basics to 3D printing. All the workshops are free. On Tuesday, November 17, ThinkSpot will host a Coffee and Code session from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for women who have any questions or projects to resolve. Coffee will be provided, but you'll need to bring your own laptop. You can RSVP here, or check out ThinkSpot's website for more information. 

Burton Barr Central Library 
The Burton Barr Library has long been regarded as a technological sanctuary for kids. It also serves as one for adults looking to learn more about coding. The recurring MACH meetup is an adult class that sets students up with mentors who can than work to solve issues and create programs. MACH classes for adults include Hacker Haven for those interested in the technical functions of computers, 3D modeling, and Javascript. There is also a monthly MACH: Coding Club meeting for all ages. The next Coding Club will meet at the library on Wednesday, November 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Find more coding and tech meetups at the library's website. 

Axosoft is the result of a frustrated project manager who wanted a cleaner experience. Hamid Shojaee created the organization in 2002 and has since helped it grow to a prominent local business dedicated to furthering progress in the technology world. The project management software company now hosts events and classes throughout the year that teach coding to kids and adults alike. Its codathons and hackathons, combined with Tania Katan's famous It Was Never A Dress Campaign, have brought national recognition to the company. Though many of the classes are online, Axosoft is located at 13835 North Northsight Boulevard, Suite 205 in Scottsdale. Visit for more information and to keep track of future events.
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Sara Weber