A software engineer wants to teach the homeless how to code, namely, a particular man he passes on his way to work every morning.
“It’s that feeling you get when you know the waiter, the cashier, the janitor is in the wrong place — they are smart, brilliant even. This is my attempt to fix one of those lost pieces,” 23-year-0ld Patrick McConlogue wrote this week in a post on Medium.
But his post has caused a lot of backlash yesterday, with many calling McConlogue’s proposal insensitive.
Here’s how McConlogue proposes to make it work: Today, he’ll to talk to the homeless man and give him two options. The first is $US100 in cash. The second is a laptop and some coding books. If the homeless man accepts the laptop and coding books, McConlogue writes that he’ll leave for work an hour early each day and teach the man how to code.
In an interview with Business Insider, McConlogue defended his controversial post. He said there’s a high demand for coders and he believes with two months of training, he can successfully teach this homeless man, who he has dubbed “The Journeyman Hacker” until he learns his real name, the skills necessary to be able to code as a profession.
In response to the backlash, McConlogue said he wishes he chose different words for his post. Currently, he has 139 emails in his inbox about it.
“The point of the post is I want to help this one homeless guy I see on my way to work and here’s how I think I could do it,” he said. “It’s all I have to offer. I can’t give him more than $US100. I can’t give him a house.”
We’ll follow up with McConlogue later today and see how it went.
“I think he’ll take the opportunity, I hope he takes it,” McConlogue said. “After all, he’s got enough of a press following that this could end up being something really great for him.”