Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who will be our 21rst century heroes?

I took four senior programming students to the ECOO Regional programming competition up at York University on Saturday. 54 teams of 4. Over 200 bright, competent, young people. I know my students are going on to Engineering, Computer Studies and the like in University. I imagine most of the students in that room will do likewise. I thought, "Here was a room full of students with a plan, going forward into decades where they will never want for work. They've made the right choice to learn about the stuff the next few decades will be made of. The right stuff."

Think about it. After WW2 our heroes were the brave young men who flew to the limits of our atmosphere and then beyond to the moon. Remember the movie? Who are our 21rst century heroes? I would argue that they are Microsofts' Bill Gates, Apples' Steve Jobs, Googles' Larry Page and Serjey Brin, Facebooks' founder Mark Zuckerberg and so on. These are the people our students aspire to be like, to use their talent to hit the right moment to take the world by storm with the next big app.

And here I was in a room full of just the people who will do it, will become our next heroes. This was it. The real brain trust that would bring wealth and prosperity to our nation in the years to come. Some one among them would be the next Gates or Zuckerberg.  14 of the 54 teams will go on to the Ontario round. 30 of the teams went home with a certificate of appreciation and an experience they will remember for a long time. And all of them should know that they will be our next heroes.

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