Programming School++

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Original short description: "Education Institution in Ukraine"

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Programming School++ – abbreviated "School++" – (укр. Школа програмування Ш++ ) is a free, non-formal education institution founded in 2012 in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine.


Roman Shmelev,[1] a developer, has been teaching programming on a volunteer basis to students in Kirovohrad (now Kropyvnytskyi) ever since 2011 using his own educational program. In September 2012, Roman Shmelev and Anatolii Knyshuk, a teacher at Kirovograd Cybernetic-Technical College, founded a commercial project together to teach programming to people aged 18 and over. In October 2012, the project was named "Private School of Programming School++" (abbreviated "School++"), and the founders rented a space of 50 m2 on Timiriazieva Street (now Taras Karpa Street), where the classes were held.

During October 2012 – May 2015, 9 groups took a course in School++ of web development and mobile application development, each group consisted of 5–15 students aged 18 to 45. The ninth group was the last one that paid for studying in School++. In July 2014, the founders of School++ rented a new space on the Inhul waterfront. In February 2015, the premises were renovated with the funding of Roman Shmelev.

Since February 2015, Roman Shmelev founded the Creative IT-space KOWO in said premises on Vasylivskyi Lane. School++ is active on the basis[2] of Creative IT-space KOWO.

In July 2015 the founders of School++ with other volunteers created a social non-profit organization Youth Non-Governmental Organization KOWO. The goal of this organization is to develop the IT area in Kropyvnytskyi and School++ is one of its projects. The School++ Private School of Programming was renamed into the School++ Programming School, the tuition at the school became free, and the curriculum has been changed: the studying process is now divided into two stages, and in order to start the course a student must take an entrance test.[3]

At the first stage, students learn the basics of programming and computer science under the program of CS106a course from Stanford University.[4] During February 2016 – February 2018, within the BrainBasket Foundation's Technology Nation[5] program, School++ students could study the basics of programming under the CS50 program from Harvard University.[6]

In the spring of 2017, in partnership with the BrainBasket Foundation as part of the Technology Nation Kids[7] Program, volunteers began to teach School++ students aged 8 to 11. In early 2018, School++ joined the Ukrainian network of free programming clubs CodeClub for students.

In February 2017, a new group started studying in peer-to-peer format as an experiment, in which students review each other's homework without teachers. Based on the results of this experiment, volunteers of School++ developed a new methodology and a school Web portal for students to study without groups and mentors. As of November 2018, the Computer Science stage of studying takes place only in the peer-to-peer format on its own School++ web portal.

In October 2019, Public Organisation Insha Osvita launched a programming studying course in peer-to-peer format based on the School++ methodology in Ivano-Frankivsk.[8]


One of the success rates for School++ is the level of employment for adult students and their career change: miner, law enforcement worker, bus driver[9] – they are all programmers now.

Team of Creative IT-space KOWO also won 25 000 ₴ at the Media Hack Weekend hackathon in 2016.[10]

In 2018 coordinator and co-founder of School++ Roman Shmelev was awarded The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Prize for special achievements of youth in the development of Ukraine. Financial reward was given for implementation of new creative ideas in the development of small and big businesses, creation of new job vacancies, education and employment assistance for socially endangered categories of the population, including people with special needs and internally displaced people, etc.[11]


Since 2014 every spring volunteers of School++ arrange youth IT-festival Vesnasoft[12] – the most visited IT-event in Kropyvnytskyi.[13]

Ever since 2017 School++ volunteers initiate free summer IT-camps for teenagers.[14]

In 2017 students of School++ developed an application "Misto dlia vsih"(City for all) – an accessible map for people with disabilities.[15]

School++ student Koptiev Ruslan[16] developed a prototype of Riveroni – a robot that collects trash out of the Inhul river.[17]


  1. "Обличчя України". 
  2. "IT-волонтери: як у Кропивницькому заснували безкоштовну школу програмування та соціальний креативний простір" (in ru). 
  3. Крушеницький, Ігор. "Школа програмування та альтруїзму" (in uk-ua). 
  4. "У Кіровограді можна безкоштовно змінити професію та стати програмістом" (in uk). 
  5. "Technology Nation". n.d.. 
  6. "Роман Шмельов про Ш++: Один рік ми вивчаємо гарвардський курс, наступного – стенфордський" (in uk-ua). 
  7. "Technology Nation Kids". n.d.. 
  8. "Без вчителів. Як у Франківську працюють безкоштовні курси з програмування | Kufer" (in uk). 15 January 2020. 
  9. "Школа програмування Ш++ – Громадські ініціативи України". n.d.. 
  10. "Програмісти з Кропивницького виграли 25 тисяч гривень на найбільшому хакатоні України." (in ru). 
  11. Kitsoft. "Кабінет Міністрів України – Про присудження Премії Кабінету Міністрів України за особливі досягнення молоді у розбудові України" (in uk). 
  12. "Молодіжний ІТ-фестиваль vesnasoft!". 
  13. "Молодіжний ІТ-фестиваль Vesnasoft об’єднав близько 800 учасників" (in uk-ua). 
  14. "Школа програмування "Ш++" оголошує набір у літній освітній табір.". n.d.. 
  15. "Кропивницькі студенти розробили карту доступності міста". n.d.. 
  16. "17-летний программист из Кропивницкого — о любви к Embedded, разочаровании в КПИ и работе в аутсорсе" (in ru). 
  17. "Учень з Кропивницького створив робота для очищення річок від сміття" (in uk).