HackerTeen is a project created by 4Linux, a company specialized in training and service based on open source software with a focus on computer security. 4Linux has already trained more than twelve thousand students in Linux throughout Brazil.
4Linux has developed some of the best known open source software projects in Brazil, including: the São Paulo Metro System, Brazilian Mint, Ceagesp Agricultural Warehouse, and the Center for the Dissemination of Technology and Culture (CDTC), a partnership between IBM and ITI. This partnership involved, among other activities, the largest Linux training program in Brazil–785 education professionals from the Ministry of Education (MEC) were trained in Linux by 4Linux.
Why Was HackerTeen Created?
The HackerTeen mission is to turn out ethical young hackers
Three social problems–which will grow quite a bit over the coming years–provided the motivation for establishing HackerTeen:
- Excessive time spent by young people playing computer games on the internet;
- Young people committing digital crimes on the internet;
- A lack of professionals who work with networks and computer security.
Many young people spend too much time playing computer games and, despite the fact they do develop strategic and logical reasoning, we feel that it is not necessary to spend hours and hours playing computer games in order to achieve this.
In spite of the amount of time spent in front of the computer, young people end up learning things that are not useful for their future. In fact, they end up learning things that are detrimental to their future.
On the other hand, during the 70s, many companies which are now multinationals were started in the bedrooms and garages of young people who loved technology. HackerTeen wishes to resuscitate this spirit. The beginning of the information age has already begun and the more young people learn to use technology in a positive way, the brighter their future.
For this reason, HackerTeen teaches computer security (an area with good salaries), entrepreneurship and hacker ethics. There are plenty of job openings in the market. But there are not enough qualified young people to fill those positions.
Harvard Business School
The project of creating an educational program with the goal of attracting adolescents to subjects such as Computer Security, Internet Entrepreneurship, and Hacker Ethics attracted the attention of Kerry Herman, a senior researcher at Harvard University. Ms. Herman was in Brazil in May of 2005 conducting research on the progress of open-source software.
Her research focused on the way in which free software, such as Linux, makes digital inclusion possible and how countries may benefit by encouraging entrepreneurship.
Herman believes HackerTeen is an innovative idea and a unique project that has all the necessary content to become economically viable and successful worldwide.