EXL Inc., the company behind Coding Rooms, is a venture-backed EdTech startup founded by a team of students and industry professionals with a mission to help anyone create, share, remix and deliver interactive content with ease.
While officially formed in 2017, the foundation for what would eventually become Coding Rooms was laid by then-AP Computer Science student, Sasha Varlamov, in 2015 out of frustration with the status quo in computer science education.
Since then, we've empowered educators with a platform that enables them to build their own teaching tools, freely design their content, and bring their teaching to life, ultimately giving learners the best experience possible! Our tools and courses have reached over a million learners and are used by thousands of teachers around the world.
Sasha has led Coding Rooms since its inception and focuses primarily on product and strategy. Before Coding Rooms, Sasha led several projects at Cathay Pacific and AT&T where he developed customized recruitment technologies and organized large programming competitions for the purpose of recruiting software developers – these experiences helped to form the initial thesis for Coding Rooms, which came from teaching and working with a lot of computer science students and junior developers in a fast-paced environment, where training for new projects and technologies was a top priority.
Stan has been full-time on the team since late 2016 and brings with him a long track record in enterprise IT and consulting. He managed large-scale projects at Oracle, Denovo, Capgemini, and E&Y – predominantly for blue-chip clients, including Glaxo Smith Kline and 3M. At Coding Rooms, Stan focuses on pre-sales, IT operations, technical hiring, and support. Coming from a high-stakes enterprise IT background, Stan not only has a passion for developing high-quality, maintainable, and secure software, but also for building the teams that can effectively collaborate to build and operate complex systems that require vast amounts of developers – often hailing from a myriad of cultures, offices, and time zones.
Karim joined full-time in late 2017 to manage Coding Rooms' operations and business development. Before joining Coding Rooms, Karim founded Cardiac Design Inc., the first company in the world to introduce a medical grade, FDA cleared heart monitoring wearable enabling a smartphone to become an integral part of an automated and powerful heart assessment toolkit. During his 5 years’ term, Karim managed to lead incredible talents from around the world applying a strong expertise in data-driven and strategic planning, coordination of team planning in Asia and USA, implementation of plans and achieving on-time deliverables. Along with his long-time passion for engineering, product, and cutting-edge technology, Karim brings years of consulting and project experience – with specific expertise in Asian markets, including China.
Enzo Cheng is the Head of Operations who joined the team in 2020. Before joining Coding Rooms, Enzo was an investment banking analyst in the Greater China Corporate Finance team at Credit Suisse (Hong Kong), responsible for transaction execution. At his previous position with Credit Suisse, Enzo has executed several financing transactions such as the Hong Kong secondary listing of Alibaba Group (9988.HK), the new shares offering of Alibaba Health (241.HK) and the US IPO of Youdao Inc. (DAO.US). Enzo holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
Joe Mazzone is Coding Rooms' Customer Success Manager and is passionate about ensuring that the Coding Rooms product is meeting the needs of all its customers. Joe is an experienced Computer Science Educator and president of Rhode Island’s local CSTA chapter. He has a long history of creating open-source curriculum content and resources, facilitating professional development for teachers, and working with state departments of education to expand Computer Science education in schools across the US. Joe has a bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in School Leadership from Providence College.
Brian is a lead frontend software engineer at Coding Rooms, specializing in building full-stack cloud-based solutions. Before joining Coding Rooms, he’s been developing his own software such as Co-ode – a collaborative platform for developers, Visualize COVID-19 – data visualization tool that displays coronavirus cases, SortAlgo – a web app that compares sorting algorithms and how they handle random and reversed data, and Stock Price Predictor - a program for predicting stock closing prices with a Machine Learning (LSTM) model. Driven by an innate passion for solving complex problems, he takes pride in providing the best software experience possible. Brian attended college at California State University, Fullerton, where he obtained a Bachelor of Computer Science.
Bethany joined the team in 2022 to expand our outbound sales efforts. She works with higher education and B2B customers. Bethany brings with her 10 years of experience in higher education courseware sales. In her previous role, she helped pioneer the institution-paid subscription model for higher ed courseware, closing the first deal in the state of Georgia. She also led the learning and development of her multi-state district team. Bethany holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in business.
Richard is a Customer Support Specialist with a wealth of experience from the public and private sector. His passion for tech began at 13 when disassembled and rebuilt his first computer. He's worked in hardware/software support for Geek Squad, non-profits, Indiana University, and most recently at the Jacksonville Public Library--developing and teaching a diverse array of tech literacy courses. His passion for problem solving and education led him to Coding Rooms where he is excited to help grow this expansive education platform. Richard received his bachelor's degree from University of North Florida and a master's degree from Butler.
Nelson joined Coding Rooms in 2021 as a frontend software engineer. Prior to joining Coding Rooms, Nelson founded Codingbee.my - a coding academy for K-12 students in Malaysia. There, he taught computer science and worked with local schools and non-profit foundations to develop and offer CS courses. Nelson also created CSPlayground - an interactive coding platform that offers self-paced coding courses for students to learn how to code (acquired by Coding Rooms).
Maaz joined Coding Rooms in 2022, and he brings with him an experience of 3 years working in multiple technologies (backend, frontend and devops). He loves being part of agile and fast-moving teams. Prior to joining Coding Rooms, he has contributed to developing learning management systems and documentation management software, and he aims to bring that experience over to Coding Rooms. In his free time, you would find him building products from scratch or planning his next hiking trip ⛰️
Eesha Arif joined coding rooms in 2022 as a Frontend Software Engineer. She has expertise in project management and multiple frontend technologies including Angular, Flutter and React. Prior to joining coding rooms, she has worked in various EdTech products and agile teams and has been part of planning, development and management. While being included in various tech societies, she enjoys conducting and organizing local events, likes to read in her free time and loves cats.
Jonathan Schmidt has been a strategic advisor and director of Coding Rooms since its inception. He oversees the company’s strategy and advises the management team on the company’s financing deal flow. Jonathan is Co-founder and CEO of Adtingo, a project incubator and development-company with a present focus on India and the Middle East. He also served as a legislative assistant in the US Congress before locating to Taiwan as an editor of the China Post’s editorial and international pages. In 1994 Jonathan co-founded and served as MD of Asia Intelligence Wire, which was sold to the Financial Times Group in 1996, where he subsequently served as MD for the FT’s Asia Pacific activities until 2000. For 7 years, he served as a senior strategic advisor the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and is a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan on international investment and New Silk Road investment strategies. Jonathan was also a board advisor to Caixin Media (China) and is non-executive Chairman of Skills Matter, the world’s largest peer-education community of senior software architects and engineers.
Mr. Hsu was appointed as Coding Room's Non-executive Director in 2021 and helps provide strategic expertise, and governance oversight. He is also a director of OSS Capital, the family’s single family office, a member of the Advisory and Investment Committee of Isola Capital Group (a multifamily office based in Hong Kong which manages direct investments in private equity), and holds directorships in various private companies and NGOs. John has been a Director of Atlas Corp., a leading global asset management company, and is a member of the audit committee, as well as a director of subsidiary Seaspan since 2008. For generations, Mr. Hsu’s family have owned and operated bulkers, tankers and specialized ships through Sincere Navigation Corp. (Taiwan-listed) and Oak Maritime Group. Since 1998, he's been the chief investment officer of Matrix Global Investments, managing a portfolio of private and public securities. Mr. Hsu received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and his Masters of Business Administration degree from Columbia University, and is also fluent in Japanese and Mandarin.