Guest post by Michael McGee

Mike McGee, The Starter LeagueWhen you look at the tech titans of the past two generations (Jobs, Gates, Dorsey, Zuckerberg), what do they all have in common?

They got their start when they were kids.

They all have talked about how their parents gave them a computer when they were little, how they had opportunities to learn programming on computer mainframes at their local university, or how they landed a summer internship at a technology company. They were given opportunities at a young age to explore learning a skill that would change the lives of billions.

The next generation is the learners’ generation.

Learning how to program is not about getting a job. Most of the children learning programming and design will not grow up to be software engineers and designers, but by developing these skills early in their lives, they will create boundless opportunities to shape their future. The key benefit to learning these technologies at an early age is that it helps kids learn how to learn more effectively. It not only will give them the confidence to tackle any educational challenge they face; they will welcome the chance to learn challenging concepts.

The next Bill Gates?

The Starter League’s Middle School Makers camp is a great opportunity for young kids to be exposed to the technology that is transforming our world. If you have a kid who’s interested in learning how to program robots this summer, he or she still has time to apply.

Mike McGee is the co-founder of The Starter League, an immersive, full-time program in Chicago that takes people from zero to entrepreneur in nine months. In 2011, Mike decided to turn down Obama for America (his first real job offer) to launch The Starter League. He’s one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” for 2013 (along with his co-founder, Neal Sales-Griffin). At MCON14, he’ll join other influencers to share his insights into how technologies build transparent relationships among constituents and consumers.