On Wednesday, Jan. 22, third- and fourth-grade computer coding students in Gerald Aungst’s classes at Cheltenham Elementary video chatted with software developer Alex Obenauer, founder and CEO of the design innovation firm Mindsense and creator of Mail Pilot. An email client that allows users to view their inbox as a to-do list, Mail Pilot helps users with their workflow. Obenauer, a 2012 Virginia Tech graduate with a degree in computer science, spoke about his work, how he became interested in coding, and why learning to code can help everyone develop perseverance and problem-solving skills.
Students’ questions ranged from “What was the hardest thing you ever had to program?” and “What does your company do with the money you make?” to “Do you have kids?” and “What else do you like to do with your spare time?”
Obenauer highlighted how computer programming - accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection - is a way to create something new and solve problems that can help people and make their lives better.