Would You Learn To Code At Your Local 7-Eleven?

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

For better or worse, I’ve spent an awful lot of hours inside of various 7-Eleven stores, but I’ve never learned much outside of how to get the right mix of beverages from the Big Gulp dispenser and how to tell if a hot dog has been on the rollers for too long. Yet elsewhere in the world, people are heading to 7-Eleven to hone their coding skills.

The Wall Street Journal has the story of “Coding Mum,” a program operated out of 7-Eleven stores in Jakarta, Indonesia, that teaches tech skills to women looking to update their resume or get into a new line of work.

According to the Journal, the overwhelming majority of students in Indonesian schools want to learn how to code, but many of the schools don’t teach these skills. Similarly, the country’s burgeoning tech industry is in need of quality coders but some have had to seek out and recruit Indonesians living in the U.S. because there wasn’t a sufficient supply locally. Meanwhile, the tech companies in Indonesia pay about double the minimum wage.

That’s the fertile ground out of which coding education programs have emerged, including Coding Mum, which targets the moms who shop and hang around the 7-Eleven stores in Jakarta.

The franchisee who cooked up the idea says he saw potential in his female customers who wanted to make extra money from the new tech economy.

“Some of them graduated from top universities; one of them went to Berkeley,” he explains to the Journal. “But often they end up sitting at home with their kids. That’s not a bad thing, but many of them might need more money, and we thought they could work from home.”

He hopes to expand the Coding Mum program to additional 7-Eleven stores in Indonesia.