More TEALS Information Sessions

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the TEALS program in which software engineers help teach CS classes in NYC high schools on their way to work. The response to that post was incredible. We got 140 software engineers to express interest and over 100 attended the first information session early last week. We are off to a great start with this program in NYC already. Thank you everyone who has raised your hand to help with this effort. It is really gratifying to see so many people giving back.

We have scheduled two more information sessions. The next one will be at Union Square Ventures at 6pm on March 20th. If you would like to attend this session, please RSVP here.

The final one will be at Google on May 9th and will be open to Google employees only.

Finally, Kevin Wang, the founder of TEALS, will be giving a short talk about the NYC program at the NY Tech Meetup next week on March 19th at NYU's Skirball Center. That event is sold out but if you are going, you will hear about it there.

As I have made my way around to various high schools in NYC in the past year, I have found a rapidly rising demand from students for classes in software engineering and computer science. The kids know where the future is and they want help getting there. TEALS is a great way to help them do that and I am super excited about what it can do for NYC.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. AlexBangash

    Great program and wide ranging grass roots impact. I am going.

  2. awaldstein

    I think this program has chops and will work big time because the market need has already surfaced and is demanding supply.I’ll take a program where demand is waiting for supply over one where supply is the driver any day! (Although both can and do work of course.)

    1. fredwilson


  3. Sam

    You could involve Buglabs in this effort ?

    1. fredwilson


  4. JimHirshfield

    What have we got for elementary school age children? What resources are out there to get 8 to 14 yr olds interested in computer science?

      1. JimHirshfield


    1. fredwilson

      Scratch is an amazing visual programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab and it should be taught in every elementary school

        1. bsoist

          I’ve seen scratch used in elementary school and middle school. Several schools in my area have also used it in an intro to cs course for 9th graders, though many have switched to using Kodu for that purpose.My wife volunteers to teach “computer science for girls” to eighth graders. She uses Alice.

          1. JimHirshfield


    2. ShanaC

      14 year olds might be ready for processing.

      1. JimHirshfield

        That sounds like something out of an Orwell novel.

  5. Rohan

    Maaaaan. Wish I had this stuff at school.

  6. Jeffrey Hartmann

    This is awesome Fred,I began programming when I was 7 years old on an Apple IIe, and I learned anything I knew about programming from books, Byte magazine, Dr. Dobbs Journal and just hacking on stuff. The only exposure I had to programming in school was a few days playing with Logo in an enrichment program. While I figured it all out and it became my hobby and then career, I know I’m the exception. Imagine how much better a programmer I would be now if I was learning data structures or algorithms in late high school? Imagine how many more of my peers would have been introduced and grew to love computer science? We would live in a very different world, and I think our technology would be so much farther along from just this one change of teaching CS early. Love what your doing here, great things will come out of this program even if it takes awhile.

    1. fredwilson

      Dr Dobbs Journal!!!!!

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I had that same reaction.

      2. LE

        Maybe a “back in the day Friday”.CP/M; Ashton Tate; dbase ; 110 baud ; APL ; Tops-10 ; Pdp-11 ; Daisy Wheel printers ; Dot Matrix ; Okidata ; Green Bar paper to name a few. And of course tty’s and Wyse terminals with burn on the tube.Nothing like that Okidata going so fast that the centrifugal force swayed the printer stand. Need bold or NLQ? It repeated the same line twice or three.I actually liked the physicality and noises of the equipment. My dad bought me (I may have paid half I’m not sure but that’s normally the way he rolled) a used tty with a 300 baud phone coupler so I could access time sharing and write my papers using iirc nroff (or similar).

        1. mikenolan99

          Turbo Pascal… COBOL on punch cards… ahhhh, the good old days!

          1. LE

            Philippe Kahn to this day I remember the ads he ran showing him using his software to win a sailboat race or something like that.

          2. mikenolan99

            A cool connection – Tim Berry, one of Bordland’s early guys is now producing – a web based business plan software tool I use with dozens of small business clients.

          3. Jeffrey Hartmann

            I learned C++ because my mom let me buy a copy of the Borland Turbo C compiler at a Garage Sale. Wow this thread is stirring up so many good memories for me its not even funny. Thanks everyone.

          4. mikenolan99

            And, oh man did I love Sidekick!

        2. fredwilson

          I have found memories of Okidata tooGreat idea for a fun Friday!!

    2. Cam MacRae

      That’s how I learned too. Logo on the IIe, and copying Basic out of magazines into GW-BASIC on my XT. Very fortunate to have a PC in the house during that era and at that age.

      1. Jeffrey Hartmann

        I think the computer “gods” were smiling on me personally. My parents adopted 7 kids from around the world and had three of us “homemade”. I was in about the middle, so I didn’t get the TV’s or the game systems too often, but in the pecking order of my family I got the computer. It started out as just a distraction and turned into a passion very quickly. I went from playing a few games to spending hours taking the Apple apart and copying hex listings from Byte in no time.I learned C when I was 14 and had a BBS called “The Matrix” that I had an older kid I meet on another BBS do some ANSI artwork for, and I absolutely feel in love with Linux, MUD’s and the Internet a little later. Its really funny how my “toys” turned into what I do for a living.I really miss that homebrew feeling and passion we had back then, I hope we can instill these sorts of things in our children. We were born or grew up in a very unique time, and it will never be the same. Lets remember those times and make it even more exciting and better for our kids.

  7. Anne Libby

    Fred, will there a need for non-engineers to participate down the road? I’d love to.

    1. fredwilson

      Not in this programBut you could mentor at one of the AFSE High Schools

      1. Anne Libby

        Stay tuned!

      2. Beher1962

        my classmate’s step-aunt makes $69 hourly on the computer. She has been without a job for 7 months but last   ­   ­  ­ ­A­s­­­k­2­5­.­­c­­o­m­ ­   ­   ­    ­

    2. Leigh Ann

      If you are interested in mentoring for AFSE feel free to apply at and when asked for additional comments put AFSE in the field and they will try to match you with one of our students. The commitment is one email a week and one two-hour meetup a month.

      1. Anne Libby

        Thanks, Leigh Ann. I will check this.

  8. Richard

    Know what computer language(s) they are teaching the CS principles ?

    1. fredwilson

      The AP class (and AP test) is currently Java. I don’t know the answer on the Intro class but will find out

      1. Cam MacRae

        I looked it up when you last posted — from memory it’s a Scratch variant called BYOB.

      2. Paul Sanwald

        I am sure that the choice to use java was carefully considered by very smart people but I really struggle with it, it doesn’t seem very appropriate to me for a lot of reasons (java has been my main professional language since ’98).

        1. Leigh Ann

          The AP CS A language choice was made based on what most undergraduate institutions who accept AP credit teach in their first course. To change the language of the exam, the colleges and universities must change.

      3. ShanaC

        urggggg, what a way to scare people into programming for the AP

    2. Leigh Ann

      The Principles course is language independant, meaning that each school gets to make its own choice. I know of programs in Python, Alice, Scratch, and other languages.

  9. laurie kalmanson

    This is b33ping awesomeNext step is full curriculum of ux design contentTeach the next gen right that dev is awesome and part of a team

    1. fredwilson

      We do some of that at AFSEWe need to do more

      1. Aaron Klein

        Is the curriculum open sourced somewhere?We need to get this model duplicated. Heck, we need a modern curriculum for this stuff at the community college level. I think we’re still teaching Visual Basic.

        1. fredwilson

          we are in the process of documenting it now

          1. laurie kalmanson

            hacking education with opensource curriculum to change the future. #becauseawesome

      2. laurie kalmanson

        the ecosystem

  10. Richard

    The SXSW Elon Musk fireside chat included a gripping tale about how their CS team saved their first successful spacex voyage by sending new code from the mission control station via a DOD sattelite. Lets hope cs education includes steering kids toward big engineering feats both within and outside the Internet.

  11. bsoist

    Fred, I’d like to know more about how to organize something like this in other areas. Do you think attendance at one of these meetings would be a good first step?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, absolutely

      1. bsoist

        Excellent! I didn’t want to take a seat from someone who can actually do the teaching in NYC. ( which I can’t do until I move there 🙂 Just RSVPed.

  12. Paul Sanwald

    my wife and I went and we’re both really excited about participating; hopefully the location thing will work mom was a 7th grade science teacher and I’ve always thought about doing some teaching, this seems like a great way to balance the day job with something like this.

    1. fredwilson

      teaching is most certainly something that is passed down. my dad was a teacher.

      1. Paul Sanwald

        whenever I have a tough day at work I think about how hard my mom worked and my job seems easy by comparison, I don’t want to call it a thankless job but damn, teaching is hard hard work.

      2. Dave Pinsen

        I thought your father was an Army general, but I remember you blogging about using computers at West Point – he taught there for a bit?

        1. fredwilson

          yes, he ran the Dept of Mechanical Engineering at West Point from the early 70s to the mid 80s

          1. Dave Pinsen

            OK, makes sense. So there’s probably some hereditary basis to your engineering aptitude.

  13. Russell

    Navy TEALS!

  14. William Mougayar

    “The kids know where the future is and they want help getting there.”That’s the golden message.

  15. ShanaC

    The New York Tech meetup isn’t sold out – they have new ticket release policies -today at 1 some should be rleased, as well as the friday before again at 1. Plus, there is an overflow space at NWC (which is pretty awesome and much more laid back than the main thing)

    1. fredwilson

      Ah. Thanks. I should fix my post and will.

  16. harris497

    Fred, my kids are homeschooled and have started using Codecademy to learn Java. They are enjoying it. I’m not a techie so I can’t help but they seem to be doing fine. Is there any information out there about programs for homeschoolers?

  17. Margaret E. Federico

    before I saw the receipt 4 $5538, I didnt believe…that…my neighbours mother woz like they say truley receiving money intheir spare time from there computar.. there uncles cousin had bean doing thisfor only about sixteen months and just paid the mortgage on there mini mansionand purchased a top of the range audi. this is where I went, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT