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Heartwarming - 11 and 13-year-old programmers help 30 wounded vets learn to code

Brothers Benjamin and William Barkoff helping vets learn to code

There's nothing like a nice feel-good story around the holiday season and 13-year-old William Barkoff and his 11-year-old brother, Benjamin deliver in spades.

First some facts about these awesome brothers:

  • According to Business Insider: William (the 13 year old) is already an accomplished web programmer. With his buddies, he's built a number of apps, including a Chrome browser extension for his school's homework site and an online app called PlanHub(still in beta) that acts as a homework organizer across all classes.
  • The brothers attend hackathons and entered numerous robotics competitions.
  • They have been donating to the wounded worrier project for seven years ever since four-year-old Ben wanted to donate the money in his piggy bank to a cause.
  • Through everything from lemonade stands, to giving up their holiday and birthday presents in lieu of donations, to organizing 5K races, the boys have raised $10,000 for the organization.
  • They are the grandchildren of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey

So what does super coder, do-gooder William do for his Bar Mitzvah? He asks his friends and relatives not to buy him gifts and instead to open their wallets wider and help raise money for the latest idea: teaching vets how to code.

Check out the 11 tools you must have in your DevOps Toolchain.

When the folks at Code School heard the kids' request for discounts on coding classes for vets, they were delighted. And they one-upped their response and gave the boys 30 six-month subscriptions for free to be distributed to vets by Wounded Warriors career retraining program. Each 6-month subscription would normally cost about $170.

Wanting to help even more vets learn to code, the boys also attended the annual Army-Navy football game earlier this month, and handed out free 30-day subscriptions to Code School to all the veterans they met!

No doubt these kids are fantastic. As for me, I'm gonna take this as inspiration to do my little part in the coming year. Happy New Years.

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Yaniv Yehuda is the Co-Founder and CTO of DBmaestro, an Enterprise Software Development Company focusing on database development and deployment technologies. Yaniv is also the Co-Founder and the head of development for Extreme Technology, an IT service provider for the Israeli market. Yaniv was a captain in Mamram, the Israel Defense Forces computer centers where he served as a software engineering manager.