By everyone I mean EVERYONE

While I’ve primarily posted things so far about teaching programming to kids, I stand by my domain name: computer science is for everyone. Students being able to get first jobs is important…and so is other people being able to start new careers. Two news blurbs to highlight on the subject:

The first, from TechCrunch: Codecademy, one of the biggest names in online programming tutorials, is teaming up with a series of other organizations to create broader initiative ReskillUSA. Their focus, according to CEO and co-founder Zach Sims, is “making the pathways for people clear for how to get from zero to employed,” by assembling quality resources and working to convince employers that you don’t need a college degree to be competent. (Probably obviously, I am SO on board with that.)

The second, from Ars Technica: a groundbreaking initiative to spread California’s ever-expanding tech community into San Quentin Prison. Eighteen inmates are participating in a JavaScript immersion program: six months of eight hours a day, four days a week. Long-term effects remain to be seen; a major challenge so far is that inmates aren’t allowed internet access, so it would be difficult for program completers to consult with and get code out to potential clients before their release. Afterward, though, “[t]he education and training gained from the 7370 coding academy will instantly change the trajectory of my life. There is nothing like being self-sufficient and educationally astute after paroling from prison,” says participant Joseph Demerson.

Any readers with programming experience will likely join me in applauding these men for their dedication: working on a big project without being able to consult related forum discussions when you get stuck is no small feat!