Homeless Man, Being Taught to Code, Nearly Finished With First App

A homeless man accepts an offer to learn how to code. Now, he is almost finished with his first app.

A couple months ago, a coder named Patrick McConlogue decided to challenge a convention on the homeless being incapable of working.  McConlogue went up to a homeless man, one who was clearly trying to do better for himself, and made him a very specific offer:  Come back the next day, and either take $100, or take a few coding books and a laptop, and learn to code with McConlogue's help.  The next day, the homeless man accepted.  Now, McConlogue and the homeless man are almost finished with their first app.

Patrick McConlogue has been offering progress of the whole project on Facebook.  McConlogue established the experiment because, as a software engineer, he knows that his field is in high demand in the economy, especially when the economy has not recovered to anywhere near the level it needs to.  When seeking out someone, he found his target in a black man named Leo who was doing lifts with giant chains.  After making the offer, Leo accepted, and everyday, McConlogue visits the man and helps him code in JavaScript, an Internet-based code used to run web pages and apps, all off a $300 laptop.

Now, Leo has more familiarity with JavaScript than most computer-literate people in this country.  Leo can even boot up his own remote server, which can be used to test out apps and web servers.  The app project is likely to be completed sometime in October.  The idea for the app seems to center around Leo's passion on climate change and global warming.

This is not to say this idea of teaching the homeless to code is for everyone, or even all the homeless.  Coding, while a great asset to have in today's tech-oriented economy, is very tedious, and requires a certain frame of mind to be able to perform on a regular basis.  Furthermore, Leo is still homeless, and he does not have a bed at any of the local shelters.  It is not exactly helpful if Leo is learning these things without any stability to back him up.  Still, the notion that this man is persevering in spite of his situation is something to remember.

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