The Fourth 'R'

Short Form


As technology continues to grow at an increasing rate, why is our educational system stuck in a pre-technology age? Why is programming rarely taught even at the higher levels of schooling? Why do stereotypes of the isolated, nerdy programmer continue to linger, driving away smart, creative people from computer science degrees?


‘The Three Rs’ of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic have come to stand as the cornerstones of education. We need to step into the 21st century and add a fourth R — Programming.

This is not just an education problem. This is also a diversity problem, and even a technological advancement problem. Negative programming stereotypes drive away women and minorities. Difficulty finding programming talent hampers technological innovation and growth. The technology community has stood by for decades waiting for education to catch up — instead, we need to be the catalyst of change within the system.

I want the flying cars I was promised, and teaching today’s children programming from an early age is the fastest path to a Jetsons future.

Speaking experience

Spoken at a few conference before -- RubyConf 2012, Ruby on Ales 2013 (where I gave this talk previously, but with a focus on Ruby)