Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Will.i.am and More Join to Give Inspirational Message to Today's Youth

By Allison Boccamazzo March 01, 2013

Today’s children and growing youth differ drastically from what life was like for us as children – even for those like myself who grew up in the late 90s and early millennium. For earlier generations, this difference grows increasingly drastic; however, this week, some of technology’s biggest names joined forces and stepped forth to encourage today’s youth to take advantage of something that earlier generations never had, and something they should seek to learn: technology – namely, coding.

The message is simple: coding is cool.

Associated with computer programming, coding is the process of assigning a code to something to classify or identify it. Also referred to as encoding or codification, coding can be written in one or more programming languages, including C++, Java and more. In a recently released video promoted by these inspirational innovators in the industry, today’s youth is encouraged to study coding to unlock a world of limitless possibilities to get ahead of the curve.

Many including Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and inventor of Microsoft, Bill Gates, explain in the video how they began coding as teenagers. The video doesn’t just include techies, either, as music producer, artist and creator of worldwide musical sensation, The Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am and NBA All-star Chris Bosh, explain the importance of coding and how they’ve engaged in learning in the past and continue to in the present.

The video also includes commentary from Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter; Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos; Ruchi Sanghvi, Facebook’s first female engineer and now VP at Dropbox; Drew Houston, creator of Dropbox; Elena Silenok, creator of clothia.com; Gabe Newell, creator of Valve; and Vanessa Hurst, creator of Girl Develop It (GDI)

“It’s really not unlike playing an instrument or something or playing a sport,” commented Houston. “It starts out being very intimidating, but you kind of get the hang of it over time…Even if you want to become a race car driver or play baseball or build a house – all of these things have been turned upside down with software.”

Reportedly, only 10 percent of US schools today teach coding, leaving a whopping 90 percent untapped and students unlearned in this leading, advantageous skill. This leaves a huge gap in unexplored potential and job opportunities, the video also explains.

“Coding is something that can be learned, and I know it can be intimidating, and a lot of things are intimidating, but what isn’t?” Bosh reasons, adding that as a child growing up, he would be made fun of for his interest in coding and technology, but he happily shrugged it off.

“You don’t have to be a genius to know how to code, you need to be determined,” added Hurst, whose website, Girl Develop It, is self-described as “empowering women of diverse backgrounds from around the world to learn how to develop software.”

Together with Code.org and its creator, Hadi Partovi, these influential figures in the technology industry are working to become a powerhouse for those who will come after them.

“Whether you’re trying to make a lot of money or you just want to change the world, computer programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn,” Partovi explained.

The message related to coding is simple – with technology and coding, you can very well change humanity. “I think if someone had told me that software is really about humanity and that it’s really about helping people by using computer technology, it would have changed my outlook a lot earlier,” Hurst said.

“The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. You’re going to look like you’ve got magic powers compared to everybody else,” Newell said.

“Great coders are today’s rockstars,” stated Will.i.am, who is currently taking coding classes. “That’s it.”

The video then provides some almost unbelievable facts, including that one million of the country’s best jobs go unfilled due to the fact that only one in 10 schools teach coding. To learn more about the movement, visit www.code.org.




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Web Editor

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