Python for Everyone

As I explained before, the ability to write code is a superpower only recently discovered by humanity, and as far as I know there is not one state in the world yet where every child learns how to code – as opposed to other more established superpowers like math, writing and cooking.

It will happen soon. Perhaps sooner than it would have.

Every Child a Jewel (or: Give a Child a Snake)

For the Lean Launchpad class I will be searching for a successful business plan for teaching all our children to code in a simple language like Python or Ruby.

This is a philantropic project – I could make more money elsewhere, but I care deeply about kids learning how to think – but is nonetheless planned as a for-profit, as I believe those are much more sustainable. It might or might not get executed, depending both on the results of this research and on personal reasons that will only clear up when I finish the project I was talking about in the last post. For now I’ll treat it as a serious exercise.

Is the Product Feasible?

I’ve had experience lately teaching very advanced programming material to many different crowds, including secondary school children. I took two hours of material, spent weeks distilling the perfect way to teach it – fun and engaging, requiring no previous knowledge – and then practiced in front of many groups.

That last step turned out to be the critical one. The first time, I taught a crowd of experienced programmers and had about 50% participating while the other 50% couldn’t follow. The second time, I taught a less experienced crowd and had 95% engaged, following and actively participating. When I first reached a completely non-technical crowd, I had it down so well that I had 100% engagement and active participation.

I believe if found a way to teach children advanced topics in assembly language programming in one two-hour workshop, I can definitely find a way to teach them Ruby or Python and make it just as engaging and fun.

Is the Business Feasible?

There are many factions that would profit tremendously from this offering. Some of them have very deep pockets.

Can they be reached? That’s what the class is for. I guess we’ll find out together.


3 thoughts on “Python for Everyone

  1. Ho Aur,
    I am a biologist that went deeply into coding, doing complex stuff in bioinformatics, mainly with python.
    Now I simply love python, and I use it to automate everything. I had a rich experience in teaching and presenting, including children, high school and university students, and I couldn’t agree more with your offer to teach all the students basic programming. I will be gland to hear more about your project, and how I may assist you in developing this idea.
    It will be great to hear: Is it a real stratup or is it just a vision? How advanced are you?
    Good luck,

  2. Toguro!
    Ho Dror,
    Thank you very much. This is not yet a startup, but much more than just a vision.
    I will be done with what I’m currently working on in August. By then, I should decide whether I take this as a full-time startup.
    For now I’m in research-mode, meeting with people who have experience in relevant fields and with potential financiers (both in industry and government), in order to get a feel whether it can be done (and whether by me).
    I’m also experimenting with the technical part – crafting lessons that are both interesting and teach all I must teach in the 150 hours I allot.
    In my day job I’m doing something very similar (except for a population two orders of magnitude smaller) and thus learning a lot about both the didactic side and the marketing side.
    I introduced the idea to a large audience for the first time last week. The responses were surprisingly strong.
    I’ll email you my phone number, I’ll be happy to discuss this further in person.

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