In trolling for blog fodder this morning, I came across an interesting post over at TrainSignal, which in turn depends on an interview with Tumblr founder David Karp on the Colbert Report last Tuesday (7/16/2013). There’s a link to the actual interview in the blog post, which is entitled “Computer science students should stay in school, says billionaire high school dropout.”
Looking at the youthful Mr. Karp, I can’t help but recall certain of the lyrics from the Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing…” (which is not intended at any kind of slight to his inestimable accomplishments).
Karp tells viewers that he dropped out of high school after his freshman year of high school, but only because he couldn’t get any useful computer training where he was going to school. Nowadays, says he, students at nearly every high school have the opportunity to learn about programming and computer science as part of the curriculum, and should take advantage of every such opportunity presented to them, if that’s where their interests lie. There’s lots of other interesting and worthwhile content in the interview (visit the TrainSignal link above to see it in full), but to me the point worth noting for this blog is that even those who succeed against the odds still recommend that young people work their way through the educational system before entering the workforce. Now, if I can only convince my 9-year-old to agree when the time comes to try to keep him focused and making progress in about 5 years, perhaps he’ll be ready to listen to Mr. Karp at that time as well! I can only wish the same for other parents reading this, and add “get certified in IT” to my recommendation of “stay in school” for those young folks pondering a career in IT, but not quite sure how to get there from here.