Gates, Zuckerberg champion computer programming in a new nonprofit video
Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey lobby for the teaching of computer coding in a new video produced by the nonprofit group Code.org.
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Nearly 30 years later, the twin brothers are firmly planted in the tech industry's elite circles, after selling companies to Microsoft and News Corp's MySpace, and tapping the rare connections to invest early on in Facebook, Dropbox, and Zappos.
Hadi Partovi says the arc of his own successful rise in the tech world was shaped by an early interest in computers and a formal education in writing software, or coding, which enabled that spark to flourish into a career.
Along the way, the twins made influential friends.
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.