Zach Sims

  • Aired:  10/31/13
  •  | Views: 34,858

Zach Sims discusses Codecademy, his wildly popular website that provides free coding lessons to over 10 million people. (6:02)

>> Colbert: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THECOFOUNDER OF THE ACADEMY WHICH

TEACHES COMPUTER PROGRAMMING FORFREE SO IF YOU BUY ONE OF THOSE

BOOKS YOU ARE REALLY A DUMMYNOW.

PLEASE WELCOME ZACH SIMS.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Colbert: HEY, ZACH, THANKS

SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

LET ME GIVE THE PEOPLE A LITTLEBIT OF YOUR CV HERE.

YOU WENT TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY?

>> YEP.

>> Colbert: NOT EASY TO GETINTO, RIGHT?

>> IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL.

ALL RIGHT? ANYBODY WOULD KILLFOR THAT, RIGHT? YOU DROPPED

OUT.

>> YEP.

>> Colbert: OKAY.

>> FEW PEOPLE WOULD DO THAT.

>> Colbert: FEWER PEOPLE WOULDDROP OUT.

YOU DROPPED OUT TO CALLED COACADEMY, IT TEACHES PEOPLE HOW

TO CODE PROGRAMS, CODECOMPUTERS, RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> Colbert: WHY? WHY? WHYWOULD YOU DO THAT?

>> WE THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TOUNDERSTAND THE BASICS OF

COMPUTING, WHAT THEY DO EVERYDAY IN THE REAL WORLD, INTERACT

SO MUCH WITH TECHNOLOGY AND WEWANT TO TEACH EVERYONE TO

UNDERSTAND THAT.

>> Colbert: WHY DO I NEED TOUNDERSTAND THAT, CAN'T I SAY

SIRI DO A CODE FOR ME.

>> IF WE DID THAT WE WOULDN'THAVE SUCH PROBLEMS WITH --

>> Colbert: THE PRESIDENT SAIDHE CALLED THE BEST AND THE

BRIGHTEST FOR THAT, DID THEYCALL YOU?

>> NOT YET, I AM WAITING.

>> Colbert: YOU WOULD BE THEBEST AND THE BRIGHTEST.

BUT WHY DO YOU THINK -- WHY DOYOU THINK EVERYBODY -- YOUR

MISSION IS FREE, RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> Colbert: HOW DO YOU -- SOYOU HAVE THE SAME BUSINESS MODEL

AS TWITTER.

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?

>> RIGHT NOW WE DON'T, SO WEHAVE A LOT OF INVESTORS IN THE

COMPANY AND EVENTUALLY WE AREHOPING TO CONNECT THE PEOPLE

THAT ARE LEARNING ON THE SITEWITH OPPORTUNITIES TO WITH THEIR

SKILL SET.

>> Colbert: I WOULD NOT SAY WEHAVE A LOT OF INVESTORS AND NOT

MAKE MONEY IN THE SAME SENTENCE.

OKAY, HOW WOULD IT HELP ME TOLEARN HOW TO CODE?

>> SO YOU HAVE A WEB SITE,RIGHT, YOU CAN CHANGE THIS TO,

CHANGE YOUR WEB SITE AND BETTERINTERFACE WITH YOUR FANS AND WE

THINK EVERYONE CAN BENEFIT BYLEARNING BASIC PROGRAMMING.

>> Colbert: IS THIS -- WHATKIND OF LANGUAGES ARE WE TALKING

ABOUT HERE? BECAUSE THEY SAYTHE OLDER YOU GET, THE HARDER IT

IS TO LEARN A LANGUAGE, AND I AMIN BY LATE TWENTIES.

WHAT LANGUAGES ARE WE TALKINGABOUT?

>> WE DO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING,JAVASCRIPT, RUBY PYTHON, TO

BUILD THINGS.

>> Colbert: EACH ONE OF THOSETHINGS IS SOMETHING --

>> HTML YOU HAVE HEARD OF.

>> Colbert: IT IS AN INTERNETTHING.

IT BUILDS WEB SITES AND OTHERTHINGS.

OKAY, HOW MANY PEOPLE USE THISSITE?

>> AT THIS .10S OF MILLIONS.

>> Colbert: WOW.

>> YEAH.

>> Colbert: AND ALL OVER THEWORLD?

>> ALL OVER THE WORLD, IN EVERYCOUNTRY OF THE WORLD.

>> Colbert: OKAY.

WELL, WHY DO YOU LET THEM? ARETHE CHINESE USING IT?

>> THE CHINESE ARE USING THIS.

>> Colbert: WHAT PERCENTAGE OFTHE USERS ARE CHINESE?

>> MUCH LESS THAN THE PERCENTAGEOF AMERICANS.

>> Colbert: REALLY? WHATPERCENTAGE OF THE CHINESE, SIR?

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TELL ME NSAIS GOING TO BE ON YOUR ASS.

>> THEY KNOW, THOUGH.

>> Colbert: I AM SURE.

>> THEY KNOW EVERYTHING.

>> Colbert: EXACTLY.

THEY HAVE PICTURES OF YOUSHOWERING.

OKAY.

BUT SHOULD WE BE LETTINGCOUNTRIES THAT ARE OUR LEAST

ECONOMIC RIVALS LEARN THESETHINGS FOR FREE? I MEAN, IF

CODING IS REALLY IMPORTANT,AREN'T YOU A TRAITOR?

>> WE ARE IN A CYBER WAR.

>> WE ARE HOPING EVERYONE TOBECOME COMPETITIVE BY WORKING

TOGETHER SO WE HAVE PEOPLE INCHINA THAT ARE CREATING LESSONS

AND PEOPLE IN THE U.S. ARETAKING AND LEARNING FROM AND ALL

GET BETTER TOGETHER.

IT IS NOT NECESSARILYCOMPETITIVE.

>> Colbert: SO YOU ARE ONE OFTHOSE WORLD, ONE WORLD

GOVERNMENT KUMBAYA LET'S ALLHOLD HANDS AND CODE TOGETHER AND

EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

>> SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> Colbert: SOMETHING LIKETHAT.

OKAY.

SO WHAT AM I GOING TO DO, I AMGOING TO AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL

SHOULD I DO WHAT YOU DO, YOUKNOW? SHOULD I JUST DROP OUT,

TURN ON AND LOG IN? IS THEREANY PURPOSE OF GOING TO COLLEGE

OTHER THAN GETTING A HIGH PAYINGJOB WHEN YOU COME OUT? IS THERE

AT THIS POSSIBLE REASON FORHAVING A LIBERAL EDUCATION OTHER

THAN CASH?

>> COLLEGE EDUCATION IS GOING TOHELP YOU LEARN THINGS AND

INTRODUCE TO PEOPLE AROUND YOUAND IT IS REALLY EXPENSIVE SO

WHAT PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR ISBRY, THEY ARE HOPING TO GET JOBS

AFTERWARDS AND LETTING THEM DOWNAS A COUNTRY.

>> Colbert: THAT'S MY ROB WITHYOUR SITE IT IS FREE AND I

BELIEVE THE PURPOSE OF GOING TOCOLLEGE IS TO ACQUIRE CRIPPLING

DEBT.

>> THEN THE SYSTEM IS WORKING.

>> Colbert: BECAUSE THE PEOPLEWHO WORK FOR ME SAY ON THIS SHOW

WHO HAVE COLLEGE LOANS I KNOWWILL NEVER QUIT.

NO MATTER HOW POORLY I TREATTHEM.

SO LET'S SAY THAT THIS UTOPIANFUTURE OF YOURS COMES ABOUT.

>> SURE.

>> Colbert: AND EVERYBODYLEARNS BLEEP, BLURP AND YOUR

CODING THING WHAT WILL WE DO? ALL JUST SITTING IN LIKE

WINDOWLESS CUBICLES CODINGMADDEN 3,000? WHAT WILL AMERICA

BE PRODUCING IF WE ARE ALLCODING?

>> I THINK EVERY I HAVE WILLCHANGE BASED ON PEOPLE

UNDERSTANDING PROGRAMMING.

>> Colbert:.

>> YOU CAN SELL YOUR THINGSONLINE AND TELL PEOPLE WHAT THEY

HAVE IN STOCK THAT DAY.

UNDERSTAND HOW TO -->> Colbert: WHAT DO YOUR

PARENTS THINK OF THIS?

>> I THINK THEY ARE HAPPY.

>> Colbert: REALLY? BECAUSETHEY ARE NOT WRITING THE CHECKS

TO -->> THAT IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST

UPSIDE.

>> Colbert: UH-HUH.

>> THAT IS THE FACE I GOT FROMTHEM.

IT IS NOT THE BEST PICKUP LINEIN THE WORLD, HI I USED TO GO TO

AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL AND NOW IWORK FOR FREE.

>> YES, EVEN WORSE.

>> Colbert: IS CODING REALLY AJOB OR MORE LIKE A CALLING?

BECAUSE I HAVE HEARD, YOU KNOW,OBVIOUSLY IT IS LOGIC BASED

WHICH IS LIKE MATH, I HAVE HEARDMATH IS LIKE MUSIC, IS A CALLING

TO CODE, IS IT LIKE A CALLING TOPLAY THE PIANO?

>> I THINK YOU CAN BE BE GOODWITH ANYTHING WITH A CALLING.

AND I THINK PROGRAMMING -->> Colbert: THIS IS A FLUKE.

>> I USED TO BE A TOLLBOOTHOPERATOR ON THE NEW JERSEY

TURNPIKE AND ONE DAY JON STEWARTDROPPED BY AND HE GOES MAY I

NEED A CORRESPONDENT, GET IN MYCAR.

ZACH SIMS, CODE ACADEMY, THANKSFOR JOINING ME.

GET ONLINE.

IT IS FREE.

WE WILL BE RIGHT B

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