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How To Teach Tech To The Black Youth

Ericelmo Augusto - 7 de Outubro, 2020 - 0 comentários

A friend o mine posted a question – “How do you think we can put youth learning more about programming and AI?” – and shared a video (watch at the bottom) of Iddris Sandu, a technological architect, addressing different issues of the tech industry. My friend works in IT and would like to help the black community in Portugal. So in this article, I try to answer the question.

In the video, Iddris Sandu says that the iPhone changed the whole tech industry. So for the first time, after 2 years working in the Digital Marketing field, I decided to watch the full 2007 iPhone presentation by Steve Jobs. Today I understand why and how the iPhone changed the world.

It’s way more than technology. The iPhone represents innovations in many areas:

  • Access to information
  • Business partnership
  • Communication
  • Design
  • End-user experience
  • Marketing
  • Technology standards

Learning to code is not enough. Why not? Well, big companies like Microsoft (with PowerApps) and OutSystems are pushing low code platforms. Other companies, e.g. Google (with AppSheet), are going for no-code platforms. Does this mean that coding is becoming obsolete? Not necessarily.

The future of coding is Data Science, which bundles: Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. So basically we should code for the future. Not the present. No wonder experts say the future illiterate people will be those that don’t know how to code. In other words, those with a low level of thinking.

“People who are really serious about software should male their own hardware” – Alan Kay

The second part of the equation is hardware. I guess because we extract so much value from apps we tend to forget that everything starts with the hardware. You can’t have software without hardware.

In order for the black community to stay ahead of the curve, it has to dive into overall technology. No matter the expertise or business sector, everyone uses technology. You either adapt or “die”.

The third part is dominating the ecosystem. As Iddris Sandu said, African-Americans consume a lot but produce very little. This reminds me of the name of Jay-Z & Kanye West’s collaborative album “Watch the Throne”. Most of us have probably thought about the following questions:

  1. How do I create wealth?
  2. What are the best ways to grow it?
  3. How can I protect it?
  4. How do I pass onto the next generation?

“If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together” – African Proverb

Usually, when the media talks about a great company they tend to focus on the founders and top executives. BUT a company is a group of people. For example, Apple needs great teams of engineers, designers, marketers, and more, to stay competitive.

I believe the answer to my friend’s question is the black community should create their own examples. The same way kids feel inspired to become NBA players because of LeBron James, there should be black icons in the tech industry as inspiring as Elon Musk.

“If something’s important enough, you should try. Even if you – the probable outcome is failure.” – Elon Musk


Iddris Sandu on BigBoyTV


Apple’s 2007 iPhone presentation by Steve Jobs

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