"Computer programming, right now, is the best embodiment of the American Dream," Partovi said. "The American Dream is to be the next Mark Zuckerberg."
"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."
After graduating with computer science degrees from Harvard University in 1994, the Partovi brothers founded LinkExchange and sold it to Microsoft in 1998 for $250 million. Hadi helped co-found Tellme Networks, a telephony company, while Ali went on to found iLike, a music service that became one of the first apps to integrate with Facebook.
The Partovis' campaign comes at a time tech executives warn of a new digital divide emerging between job-seekers who possess programming skills and those who do not. They also point to statistics showing that while coding jobs are among some of the most well-paid, especially in Silicon Valley, there remains a dearth of computer engineers, who are recruited aggressively by companies like Google and Facebook.
But there have also been strong signs recently that government officials are increasingly raising the issue of technical education, beginning at the secondary level.
In his state of the union speech this month, President Obama vowed to redesign US high schools to meet "the demands of a high-tech economy," while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week introduced a new computer programming pilot program for 20 schools.