Control’s adaptability has introduced us to some fascinating companies that are performing, designing, and creating exciting things in tech, commerce, and arts. In this monthly series, we’ll take a look at those organizations that we proudly dub Controllers. We’ll listen to their stories, discover the problems they are solving, and understand how our business management system is helping them succeed.
Every kid in the world absolutely positively must learn to code. Except they don’t.
Kids, Code, and Computer Science is a bi-monthly online and print magazine founded and published by Tim Slavin. He launched the online magazine on August 1, 2013. The print version was launched on February 1, 2015, geared mainly for school and community libraries.
The publication focuses on teaching kids coding, computer science, and how we use technology in our daily lives. Targeted for kids, parents, and teachers, as well as schools and community libraries, the topics cover influential people who are doing neat things with technology, puzzles, projects, and product reviews. Also there are articles dedicated to the importance of computer science and programming concepts.
The magazine strives to provide comprehensive resource lists of summer tech camps, coding schools, 3D printing, and other useful but often hard to find resources (the magazine’s resource page has 40 schools, from big name options to local schools).
A high-level view of what new coders need to know to become great coders
Originally the idea for Kids, Code, and Computer Science was to do a Popular Science-style magazine about the WordPress community. The day before launch, however, Slavin realized the market was too small and there were some quirks in covering WordPress. For example, you can’t use the name “WordPress” in a commercial magazine or product.
He decided to combine this idea with another one he had years before: create teaching materials for parents who want their children to learn about programming in kindergarten to Grade 5 classrooms.
Slavin learned programming on the job and in courses. He knows that, once you’re out of the classroom, you have to use your knowledge to reinforce and expand what you already know. With his magazine, he wants to provide continuity and context for kids, teachers, parents, and other adults.
Moreover, it is very difficult to find comprehensive information online for a lot of topics. Kids, Code, and Computer Science magazine goes one step further by providing a lot of links for readers to explore at the bottom of each article, getting rid of distractions like ads, links inside stories, and callouts.
Control, a massive set of tools and a super easy feedback process
Kids, Code, and Computer Science magazine’s primary payment-related objective was to have as few steps as possible between the customer paying and the business’s bank account.
The subscribers can pay online through Stripe. Slavin uses a WordPress plugin, Memberful (a service for selling subscriptions to your website with Stripe), to coordinate the payment information to Stripe while creating user accounts on his magazine WordPress site.
Slavin loves using apps on his iPhone to manage his transactions. He has used a couple of those (including Control for iOS) since he launched his online magazine.
However, he uses Control almost exclusively because it provides a massive set of tools in a fairly easy to understand menu set.
He has chosen Control also because of the easy feedback process and of the responsiveness of the CEO (Kathryn Loewen), who met his requests for new features to identify subscription renewals and non-renewals.
“I use the Control app almost on a daily basis”, Slavin says.
The primary benefit Slavin found when using Control is the Dashboard view, where he can see his subscription payments on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Thanks to it, he can easily see how activity for one month compares to other months. He also likes the Transfer page where he can see transactions as they transfer to his business bank account.
“I particularly pay attention to the notices as they appear at the top of my phone to announce new subscriptions and transfers.”
In the future, he’s planning to bring Kids, Code, and Computer Science magazine to trade shows and the ability to access payments through the app will be really useful for him.