January 20, 2022

Community Partner Spotlight: TradeZero

Group of students posing with statue of girl standing up to wall street

At The Coding Space, we’re always seeking to form stronger bonds with our communities through special partnerships that help us advance our education and inclusion goals. One of those community partners is TradeZero, a stock-and-option brokerage firm with locations in Brooklyn, Toronto, and the Bahamas.

Since partnering with The Coding Space in 2019, TradeZero has sponsored weekly coding classes at MS 136 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, facilitated a partnership between The Coding Space and East Flatbush Village, Inc. (a nonprofit that brings free after-school coding programming to at-risk youth at PS 135 in East Flatbush), and donated 25 Chromebooks to East Flatbush Village. This month, we spoke to Dan Pipitone, co-founder of TradeZero, to learn more about his passion for giving back to the community and his belief in the necessity of a coding education.

What inspired you to work with The Coding Space?
DP: Being a good corporate citizen and giving back to our community has always been important to us. In the Bahamas, we’re one of the largest sponsors for a charitable organization called Hands for Hunger. 
After launching in Brooklyn, I had the idea of creating an after-school coding class for a school near our office in Sunset Park, where they didn’t have the resources to teach coding. The vision was to start with one grade and, if it was well-received, we could expand to sponsor two grades and eventually another school. The Coding Space was a perfect partner to help us achieve these goals. 

What excites you about The Coding Space’s approach to learning? 
DP: I think most schools do a great job of educating our kids with conceptual knowledge, but there isn’t as much of a focus on the hands-on application of knowledge. I love how TCS makes applied knowledge so accessible; coding is a skill they can learn from school and immediately translate into some sort of employment.
As a co-founder at a Fintech company, everything we do is online. We have various applications that run on web, mobile, and desktop, all requiring the skills that we’re looking to teach by partnering with The Coding Space. 

What are some of your favorite events that came out of the partnership?
DP: We are so inspired by The Coding Space’s approach to experiential learning and field trips. Thanks to our partnership with TCS, our students can go on two field trips to provide perspective on what coding in the real world could translate to. The first field trip is to our office, to experience a trading floor and meet our engineers. The second field trip is to the New York Stock Exchange. Getting to meet these kids on field trips is a highlight of my professional career, because I get to share what I do with bright kids. We’re excited to show our students two steps beyond the classroom, to see what the possibilities are from learning to code. 

What do the success rates look like in this program?
DP: We’re very excited to be teaching over 50 students in partnership with East Flatbush Village this year.d. We love the consistency, engagement, and excitement that we’re seeing. 

​Has anything about working with The Coding Space surprised you?
DP: I was thrilled to see that one of our classes at MS 136 had twelve kids, eleven of whom were girls. We were really surprised and excited to see this gender representation, considering the current dearth of women in tech!

Two boys coding while wearing masks

Our team at The Coding Space is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with TradeZero to create free after-school coding classes for students in Brooklyn. To learn more about the Community Partnership Program with The Coding Space, please visit this link.