Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey – three people who became billionaire tech industry luminaries thanks to their computer programming abilities – appear in a new video released Feb. 26 by the Partovi brothers as part of their new computer science-education nonprofit, Code.org.
The goal of the online video campaign is to encourage parents to demand more schools to teach computer programming – a potentially lucrative skill that "equalizes opportunity" but is only available to a fraction of US high school students, Hadi Partovi said.
"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.