Our core values and how we talk about them:

We think big, but act small

We may seem like a large org, but our roots are as a tiny startup. We don’t want to be a "borg", whether internally or in the eyes of others. If in doubt, we ask “how would an agile startup do it?” We don’t over-spend, so our funds can impact the most students.

We’re personal

We sign our names to emails, appear in our own videos, and take a personal approach with our audiences.

We’re agile and responsive to feedback

We make decisions and move quickly. We are always open and thankful to receive feedback and criticism so we can make informed decisions or adjust direction. Our decisions aren’t set in stone, we’re always looking to improve. We have a bias for action, we don’t over-plan. We prefer to react to data than to plan without it.

We’re transparent

We openly share good news and bad news. If we screw up, we own up. We make decisions based on data, and we want the numbers to speak for themselves. Everything we create is open-source. None of our work or our ideas are secret or protected (unless they’re other people’s secrets or brands. We protect those, of course).

We’re thankful

We’re lucky for the support of students, parents, educators, donors, and all the partners we work with. We strive to always communicate our gratitude with humility, and continue to work hard to earn this support.

This is a community effort

We consider anybody pursuing similar goals to be part of the movement. We’re here to lift all boats, not to compete. We should strive hard to recognize, promote and amplify the work of partners in our mission. We don’t compete with or bad-mouth other groups, in fact we promote them. If a school adopts any computer science curriculum, whether it’s ours or not, we’re one step closer to our goal.

Messages our communications reflect

"Anybody can learn" (whether you’re a student or teacher)

We believe in opportunity for every student in every school. Anybody can start with the ABCs and 123s of computer science, just like any other field. To go beyond the basics, you need hard work and perseverance. You’ll make mistakes, but that’s how one learns, especially in computer science.

(Note: we do not say "anybody can teach." It takes a LOT to be a great teacher)

It’s about "computer science," not “code,” and our focus is on schools

Our message is every school should teach computer science. Computer science is broader than just coding, just like English is broader than grammar. We picked the shortest name for simplicity. Only the tech-savvy know the difference between computer science, programming, computational thinking, or code. Because our name is "Code.org", we use “computer science” everywhere else to avoid the perception that we’re narrowly focused on coding.

Computer science is foundational for every child

Even if you don’t want to become an electrician, you still learn about electricity in school. Computer science is the electricity of the 21st century. It’s relevant to every career. But of course, it helps that computer science leads to some of the best careers in the world. And by helping millions of girls or underrepresented minorities learn computer science, we’re not only preparing them for the 21st century, we’re addressing problems with inequality of opportunity or diversity in tech.

Improving diversity is core to our mission

Computer science is now foundational knowledge for all 21st-century careers, making access to this field a critical equity issue. We embed a focus on diversity throughout our work – from the Hour of Code, our curriculum design, our work with schools and teachers, to our government affairs. Stereotypes drive girls and students of color away from computer science; we balance this by showcasing diverse role models using computer science to change the world.

This is a teacher-powered movement

Ours is a grassroots revolution that’s fueled by the passion and support of teachers. We believe in empowering educators, they are our most important agents of change. Many educators feel trapped by bureaucracy or administration. Code.org gives them an outlet to do something great for their students, and we help the administration catch up.

Clarifying common misconceptions

  • We’re about "computer science". (not just about “code”)
  • We’re about foundational learning for all kids. (not just about tech jobs)
  • We’re about every school teaching computer science. (not about every student learning to code)
  • We want computer science in every school. (not requiring Code.org in every school)
  • Computer science should be a peer of biology or chemistry, and students should have a chance to learn all these things. (we’re not competing with other fields like math or science)
  • We want schools to teach foundational computer science concepts that will stand the test of time. (we’re not about any one coding language or platform)
  • We’re lucky to have the generous support of tech companies, but we make our own decisions. (we’re not run by the tech industry, or by any of our donors)

See this blog post from January 2014 addressing some of these misconceptions in detail.