Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Reactions to Student Programmers


Rachel Labarre, Features Editor

When a British 17-year-old, Nick D’Aloisio, sold an app to Yahoo for $30 million this March, Staples students and teachers questioned the potential that their future may or may not hold.

“I honestly want to start learning how to program now,” said Taylor Jacobs ’14 after hearing about the lucrative sale of D’Aloisio’s Summly news app. “If someone asked me the first step I would have to take to create an app, I would have no idea. Maybe I should.”

In the past, many students have made programs in the class Computer Programming or during their free time. However, the only app to be used by a majority of Staples students is Eric Lubin’s ’12: myStaples. This app gives students the ability to view the schedule for the day, get on Blackboard, see the lunch rotation, and write down homework.

Lubin is motivated by the 17-year-old’s success. “The smartphone market is really becoming a place where anyone, with the right ideas, can innovate and make a huge difference and capture a huge audience, as everyone is constantly on their mobile devices throughout the day,” he said.

David Scrofani, a teacher of Computer Science at Staples, says that although it is unlikely that many students will find as much accomplishment as D’Aloisio, every student should learn how to program.

“This is not because it will provide them with the opportunity to write million dollar apps to sell to Facebook, but because they won’t be literate in this century if they can’t program,” said Scrofani. “In some countries students learn a computer programming curriculum starting in third grade! How can we compete with that if we barely have a few offerings in high school?”

With the 2025 initiative beginning to take action, Scrofani urges students and administration to include programming in the curriculum. What better critical thinking is there than creating an app from scratch and making it applicable to the world?