eBay Challenges Students During Hour of Code: “What Will You Create?”

By: Kristen Natividad, eBay News Team

Employees mentor local elementary school students in computer science, empowering them to explore careers in technology.

If you know how to use a computer, you can learn how to code. But don’t take our word for it – ask the fourth-graders at William Faria Elementary School to show you. 

Recently, eBay hosted 120 students from nearby Cupertino, California for an Hour of Code. The event is part of a global effort created by the Hour of Code organization to provide access to computer science education. 

The kids worked side by side with eBay employees, using HTML, Python and JavaScript to tweak the appearance of animated characters from popular mobile apps. Then, employees led students on personalized tours of the campus and gave them a behind-the-scenes look at eBay.

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CEO Devin Wenig also stopped by for a visit. VP of Buyer Experience Mohan Patt, whose team organized the event, led a special Q&A session. Judging from all the eagerly raised hands in the room, the kids were just as excited to talk to our leaders and learn about eBay’s history as they were about animating Angry Birds. (“How accurate were calculators in the ‘old days?’ What’s the most expensive thing that’s ever been sold on eBay? Will garage sales ever be popular again?”)

Devin’s getting in on the programming fun, too – he told the students that he’s recently signed up for weekend coding courses. “It makes us super proud to see a whole group of very intelligent young men and women learning about computer programming – which is what eBay is all about,” he said.

Mohan encouraged the kids to think outside the box about how programming can be applied to everyday life. “Coding is about providing instructions, kind of like how a GPS tells you when to turn left and turn right,” he said. He also sparked their interest in pursuing careers in tech, adding, “Send me a note in about 10 years when you are all ready to join eBay.”

At the end of the day, the kids surrounded Devin and Mohan for hugs, autographs and photos. William Faria Principal Alison Luvara could tell how much of an impact the event had made on her students. “I’m sure it triggered some new interests in coding and science,” she said. “Everyone was so friendly, accommodating and helpful! eBay seems like a great place to work.”

Interested in hosting your own Hour of Code? Click here to learn more. 

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