This week on Bullish, Mission Bit CEO Stevon Cook joined me in the studio to chat about computer programming and the importance of teaching kids how to code. In case you’re not familiar with Mission Bit, it’s a non-profit organization that works closely with the San Francisco Unified School District to teach coding to high school students. It ultimately aims to close the digital divide, which starts with a lack of access to the Internet, Cook told me.
“A lot of people who come to Mission Bit, they come from low-income communities — African-American and Latino students — and the first time they use a computer, or are intimately involved in a computer is with us,” Cook said. “If you look at the public schools, not enough schools have the resources to keep up to date with the technology so they’re using outdated computers and not [offering] much time in the computer lab. So there’s a huge digital divide that starts with access to the Internet and people having access to a home computer, and then that continues with knowing what goes on behind the screen and how to make a computer do certain demands, so that’s what we do with coding.”
We also talk about equity versus equality and how that relates to tech, as well as why kids should learn how to code. For one, Cook said, coding is where basically all of the top-paying jobs are, and a lot of our society is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Internet.
Hit play at the top of this post to watch the full interview.
Bullish airs every Wednesday at 7 am Pacific, 10 am Eastern.