Code.org is a vital non-profit, founded by the entrepreneur Hadi Partovi, that advocates for computer programming as an essential 21st century skill. Its governing ethos is that no child (or adult, for that matter) gets left behind, as our technology-driven world hurtles forth like a binary rocket. And as a happy byproduct, Code.org’s success should ensure that our nation won’t get left behind either. Famously, the number of available programming jobs is already far greater than the number of qualified candidates to fill them. But this is not strictly a jobs-centered initiative–it’s more than that. Code.org understands that there is a new language in town, and if you want to live here you’ll want to become at least moderately fluent in it. As Steve Jobs said, “everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”
The team at Code.org is proof Jobs was right: the organization not only thinks, it thinks big. That’s why consummate filmmaker Lesley Chilcott (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) creates its inspirational videos with Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg talking about conjuring code magic. And that’s why the site quotes, in support of its indisputable raison d’etre, everyone from Newark Mayor Cory Booker to MIT Media Labs founder Nicholas Negroponte, from Bill Clinton to Marco Rubio, Cheryl Sandberg to Meg Whitman. It may be Vanessa Hurst, of Girl Develop It, who says it best: “I think if someone had told me that software is really about humanity, that it’s really about helping people by using computer technology, it would have changed my outlook a lot earlier.” You can start to learn today, right on the site.