Yumio Saneyoshi is a former product manager of Google's artificial intelligence program. He is also the founder of Yahoo! Answers, the world's largest free Question and Answer service used by hundreds of millions of people. His experiences in the Internet industry taught him the importance understanding coding - even if you never intend to be a programmer. He believes passionately that ANYONE CAN CODE - and is working to spread that belief to as many people as possible. Yumio received his BA from Williams College and Masters and Ph.D. from Harvard University in Business Economics.Founder of Penguin Coding School
I started Penguin Coding School in 2016 after spending over 15 years in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having worked at global names like Google and Yahoo!, as well as numerous startups, I witnessed the power of computer programming and the influence that coders wield in creating products and services that have transformed the world.
At the same time, I also know how only a small group of people possess the coding knowledge and experience necessary to contribute to the tech economy that is increasingly becoming the only economy with lucrative jobs. And despite the millions that the tech giants spend annually on recruiting software engineers, there is still a global shortage of computer programmers.
The reality is that it should not be this way. There are plenty of free material that is available on the web to learn coding. Whats missing is a more systematic approach to motivating young children to take interest in coding and the amazing possibilities that it presents.
So this summer, I started to teach coding to my own kids (in elementary and middle school). Before this summer, they had shown very little interest in programming, even though I had sent them to plenty of expensive "tech summer camps".
What amazed me was how easily motivated they were to learn to code once they had a purpose. I had simply motivated them that they could create their own website - a hobby site of their choosing. Their eyes sparkled and they wanted to learn more, because they saw that they could "create" something with the knowledge.
My hope is that Penguin Coding School can motivate students to take up coding because code can create beautiful artwork; it can create games that everyone can play, and it can be used to analyze big data to discover truths about our politics and economy.
The school is named after a penguin because I'm a stay-at-home dad now, and according to documentaries (March of the Penguins), penguin fathers take care of the egg while the mother goes out hunting. Also, penguins are cute, and you can't go wrong with a cute mascot.