Sunday, October 07, 2012

Programmers are getting younger and younger

I came across this TED talk today by Thomas Suarez, a 12-year-old app developer that develops apps for the ipod, ipad and iphone.

In Startup Weekend Delhi I met with Evan Luthra who describes himself as a Student, President, CEO, Founder, Director, Keynote Speaker, Blogger & More. Evan is just 17 years old and he has his own company that designs and sells apps.

We are seeing more and more students starting to challenge the status quo. They are challenging the tried and tested way of the 10+2+4 or the 10+2+3+3 education system. There is a lot of encouragement that they get to pursue their passions. There is so much information out there to help them learn quickly.

I was born and brought up in a small town in the coastal area of Andhra Pradesh and had my first taste of computers when I was 14 years old, courtesy my school. The school, bought 2 computers to teach Computer Science as part of the ICSE syllabus that had just introduced the subject as an optional subject for the very first time. We got 30 min of time each on the computer to program small BASIC programs once a week. We did not have a teacher to teach us programming but luckily for us our Chemistry teacher took an interest in programming went to Chennai learned programming to come back and teach us. We did not have the internet to learn.

What we had was the hardware but we did not have the software, the knowledge and the ability to connect with the rest of the world so easily and effortlessly as it is now. The age we live in now makes this all so possible that it is such an exciting era to be in as a student where the world is your oyster.

But the problem is how much of India is like this during this exciting era - I just read this article on the WSJ that says 81% of U.S. engineering grads are immediately "employable," vs. 25% of India's, 10% of China's. We need to encourage more Evan Luthra's in India to buck this trend.

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