[RV0] How we gameified exploratory CS with Tech Roulette


Mingjie Jiang


Megan Cui


Brian Xiang

We're Execute Big, a CS education non-profit org, and as three-person strong team, our mission is to give every student the chance to explore and experience CS education. We've been bringing unique programs to students across the country, and the move to virtual programs sparked a little creativity in us — after all, virtualization has made education more accessible than ever.

That's why we've worked hard as a part of Replit Ventures to bring you Tech Roulette, a free game for the summer where you (and 500 students AKA new friends) get the chance to take a leap into fields of technology through a variety of random intro projects while earning rewards and prizes — all within your free time.


Each week, you'll receive an email that your portal is ready, and you'll see three random projects for you to choose from for the week, ranging from hardware projects, like building a real-life "Simon Says" toy, to data science projects, like creating an algorithm to predict who'd survive on the Titanic. On top of weekly projects, you're welcome to join in on community-wide speaker sessions and coffee chats with industry professionals.

Join the game and invite your friends (some friendly competition never hurt!) at techroulette.xyz.

P.S. Are you a seasoned tech pro who wishes Tech Roulette was around when you were a kid? Sign up to mentor and chat with students here.

Sounds very baller. Why'd you build it?

We noticed that while CS taught in classrooms tended to teach important academic concepts, students found it difficult to connect classroom ideas with exciting work in the world of technology. In particular, many students opted to study non-computer-related degrees because they didn't see a future in their introductory computer programming class in high school.

Yet, we know that technology is an area so expansive that we'd run out of space talking about every possible field within. So, we deduced that:

introducing students to the fields and possibilities in tech
enabling students to explore with no limits
students imagining and pursuing an exciting future in tech 

This seems like a big project. How'd you do it?

We came into Replit Ventures with the goal of building a program that enabled students to explore the fields of computer science in this particular way, and our RV0 mentors and staff helped us out immensely with brainstorming, product design, and launch (including this very blog post — so meta!) within our four weeks in the program. With just a few weeks until the program starts, we're hard at work with our mentors to finish developing unique projects, scouting out cool mentors and speakers, and reaching out to students everywhere to join in on a fun summer at Tech Roulette.

Our team is small, but mighty (think: Jerry from Tom & Jerry). Megan is an Economics/CS student at Harvard, leading programs and fundraising/development work. Mingjie is our head of operations & engineering (and a Berkeley CS student as a side hustle), and he works with Brian, a UMD CS youngin', to build out all of the fancy tech stuff behind Tech Roulette and Execute Big.


As students ourselves, we really see Tech Roulette as a really unique way for you to have an impact on the next generation of makers, entrepreneurs, and engineers. We're always looking to chat with interesting people and organizations who are committed to our cause — please do reach out.

To support Tech Roulette, please consider donating to our fundraising campaign. This helps us cover programmatic costs, such as shipping, operations, goodies, and more — every cent truly counts.

Subscribe to our mailing list at executebig.org/subscribe to stay in the loop on new programs or cohorts we're launching.

We're so grateful for your support, and we'll see you soon!

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