Obama Is First U.S. President To Write Computer Code

You might not have heard of the Hour of Code concept yet, but as it turns out, the U.S. President has, and he has taken part. This makes Barack Obama the first U.S. president to, as far as we know, write a piece of computer code.

The Hour of Code campaign was introduced by Code.org last year. The idea behind the campaign is to convince students of all ages to try following coding tutorials for an hour to show that learning to code isn't as difficult as most people might think.

At the event, Obama did not complete a full hour of the tutorials but rather went around and watched various students work. He did, however, write a couple lines of JavaScript – a programming language that's mostly used in web-based applications.

You could argue that a language like C might do a better job at helping someone figure out how a computer really works, but we'll give credit where credit is due. (I'd be truly impressed, however, if Obama would have taken a crack at an assembly language.)

Have you been curious about coding but scared to give it a shot? Head over to Code.org and have a go at it. It's really not all that hard.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • tom10167
    Hello, world!
  • venym
    "Obama did not complete a full hour of the tutorials"

    Another person giving credit to this guy for half-assing something. How is this even an article?
  • burmese_dude
    Bush actually claimed to be the first president ever to write a computer code.

    Unfortunately, nobody had the heart to tell him he was inputting #s on a calculator, for they fear Cheney will torture them.
  • FlayerSlayer
    He only wrote "...a couple lines of JavaScript" is all? That's pretty weak. So he's NOT the first president to write code. He's just another president showing up at a photo op. This is like a president symbolically breaking ground by shoveling one scoop of dirt getting credit for "doing construction work."
  • tomc100
    Click bait and troll bait.
  • Ninjawithagun
    ...ummm, maybe HE can fix his own Obama Care website... Just saying!
  • Justin Crapola
    "Another person giving credit to this guy for half-assing something. How is this even an article?"

    Ah, the old "I hate Obama" crowd. Not that I think he's a great president. But, you complaint here is irrational. His purpose in even participating is to encourage CHILDREN to participate in the program. You don't think he's actually looking for a new job do you? Thus you don't really expect him to be sitting down at the computer for the entire hour and do the exercises do you really? Hell, if I was doing it, I wouldn't either. I would encourage the children and probably do a little myself so that the children can see I was participating.

    And the point of the article was primarily to show that Obama is encouraging the program. And, the fact that Obama did happen to write a couple of lines of code and be the first President to do so, albeit meager, is something of an attention getting headline. Which is what articles do.

    In other words, instead of just hating Obama, try to actually read the article and understand its purpose. Sheesh.
  • dgingeri
    He probably tried to write a "hello world" program, but had it crash like everything else in his Presidency.
  • In other pictures, he's shown wearing a baseball cap while sitting at the table. How rude.
  • TwoDigital
    Too bad Al Gore didn't win his election bid. He must have written lots and lots of code back when he helped invent the Internet.