Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jessica Jackley and Learning to Code

I went to a public presentation last night by Jessica Jackley, the social entrepreneur most famous for cofounding Kiva.org. She spoke as part of the Excellence in Leadership speaker series here at Ball State University. Jackley gave an inspirational talk entitled "Love, Money, and Work: Social Entrepreneurship as a Career," in which she outlined her career path, lessons learned, and inspirational advice to the many students in attendance.

There were many questions at the end of her presentation. The penultimate question came from a social work major, who asked about Jackley's inspirations and methods for realizing change in the world. Jackley masterfully handled all of the questions given to her, and at the end of her response to this question—almost as an afterthought—she added, "Learn to code." She said that she had only learned in the past year, but that she thought it was important, and pointed out that there are many accessible and affordable ways to build this skill. The crux of her comment was that coding gives you power to make the change you desire.

She brought this up again in her closing remarks, and this time, I had my notebook ready to get the exact quotation: "Learn to code. It's really fun. You should do it."

Thank you, Jessica Jackley, for using your position of influence to promote computing-for-everyone! Please keep sharing this message!

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