Growing up in Miami in the 1990s, I was fascinated by all things tech. Technology in general — and computer technology in particular — was still a relatively new frontier then, and educational opportunities in the computer science (CS) field were limited. At the time, my school didn’t teach coding — it taught typing. I also never thought CS was something I could do for a career, because I never knew anyone who did. What was a computer engineer, anyway?
Despite all of that, my enthusiasm for computers and technology was strong, and I taught myself how to code websites, turning my bedroom into a personal computer lab of sorts. Later on, I was one of the first people in my neighborhood to connect to the internet, a new, world-changing technology.
Following stints teaching elementary school, and at the U.S. Department of Education, I’m still happily involved in technology, which today touches nearly every facet of our lives. I work for Google as national manager of our CS First Roadshow, which gives elementary and middle school students across the U.S. a hands-on introduction to CS and coding that I never had growing up.
Last week, the Roadshow made a local stop at McMillan Middle School in Kendale Lakes, where we introduced students to basic coding, underscored the value of a STEM education, and opened their eyes — and minds — to the endless career opportunities that exist in CS.
Because of my experience, I’m proud to now advocate for CS education on a daily basis and to steer young students toward the fantastic CS curriculum and careers that exist today.
This was a wonderful homecoming for me, and a welcome affirmation of just how far computer science education has come.
Alex David Sanchez,
Google, Mountain View, CA