Parents should demand that more schools teach computer programming, according to a new online video campaign from Hadi and Ali Partovi, brothers who formed Code.org, a nonprofit organization created to promote computer science education. The Partovi brothers immigrated to America from Iran in 1984, and Hadi says an early interest in computers and a formal education in writing software has put them in a position to have flourishing careers. The brothers graduated with computer science degrees from Harvard University, and launched companies that were sold to Microsoft and MySpace.
The 10-minute video includes familiar startup scenes, as well as interviews with tech entrepreneurs such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and some unexpected pop celebrities. The brothers also have lined up endorsements from Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and American Federation of Teachers union leader Randi Weingarten. “Computer programming, right now, is the best embodiment of the American Dream,” Hadi says. “The tragedy is the skills it takes are not hard to learn, but only 10 percent of schools offer [computer science] courses, and these are usually the privileged schools.”