A photo of Dennis, a tutor from Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Dennis

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Whether you're looking to solve a specific problem or get more of a background on a general topic, I can use my 20 years of experience in the software industry to help you understand in the way that works for you - I have worked with all different types of people from all different backgrounds and all different levels of technical expertise so....don't panic.

Dennis’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Bachelor in Arts, Communication

Test Scores

SAT Math: 700

Hobbies

Music, movies, and sports (soccer/football)

Tutoring Subjects

AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science Principles

Basic Computer Literacy

College Computer Science

Computer Programming

Computer Science

High School Computer Science

HTML

IB Computer Science

IB Computer Science HL

IB Computer Science SL

Java

JavaScript

Mac Basic Computer Skills

PC Basic Computer Skills

Technology and Computer Science

Web Development


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I'm looking forward to helping students solve specific problems and teaching them in a way that they understand - whether that is fast-paced and technical or "just getting through it" - we will figure out how to work through your issues together.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In our first session, I want to get to know who you are, where you're going to school, in which class or classes you need help, and if you have any course material for me to review. This helps me prepare better by allowing me to make some sort of plan for our sessions together. Also, and this is just from experience in the real world, a lot of times the "correct" answer is going to vary with who's asking, so I will work with you to figure that out as well.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I am largely self-taught in programming and have been working for nearly 20 years in a very demanding, high-paced, changing environment, so I have had to learn how to adapt quickly. I can impart some of what has worked for me and give the student the skills he/she needs to learn on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

This is something I deal with a lot, particularly when learning a high volume of new stuff; sometimes the amount of jumble that gets into your head just drives you mental. I would remind the student that they're allowed to take breaks, but to break up their tasks into small pieces in order to get a bunch of small victories under their belt, which inevitably makes you feel better and ready for some more!!

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I find that breaking down complex ideas into small parts helps a lot, as well as making analogies from the abstract concept to the real world. A lot of teachers don't like to do that, but I do, because I think it's helpful to see how this knowledge can actually be used (or sometimes - not!).

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Again, this often has to do with overload and trying to be an expert in everything at once. Just take in what you can and realize that you're human, and that even after 20 years I might be able to find answers much more quickly, but I still don't know everything and I'm fine with it.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I have had to do one-on-one training many times. The best way is to start with an overview so that the student gets used to the "jargon" that typically comes with technical topics, and then gradually delve into more specific areas so they get a more complete understanding.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I just have to figure out how to apply what we're learning to things that DO excite them. There's always a way to make the dreaded part of learning somewhat fun.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Quizzing, flashcards, or perhaps, in the case of programming, just designing a few test questions to see how well we're doing.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Success breeds confidence. To build success, you set small, attainable goals and meet them, with an eye on the larger goal at the end, such as passing an exam or getting a specific grade in the class. It's just a matter of setting goals and sticking to them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

This is mostly up to the student; it's their time, and we want to make sure they have an end goal in mind, but I will discuss that with them to make sure we have a clear idea how to make the tutoring worthwhile to them.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I have to do this in my professional life every day; from fellow employees who are not native English speakers to product managers who have very little technical expertise in the area where I operate, everyone requires an explanation that works for them. There's no magic button to just "get it." Some people like to work off videos where they walk through every phase of a problem. Others, like me, are less patient and like more direct methods, like skimming an article or reading search results on Google. Whatever the student is ready to handle, we'll figure it out.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Generally speaking, most students are going to come to the plate with their own materials from the course they're taking, but if required I can help point them in the direction of books, websites or blogs that I feel might help them.