Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke to Hamburg students last week as a part of a computer science tour around the state to encourage students to study computer-science.
Hutchiinson told Hamburg students that they could run the world from their front porch if they had the right education and a high speed internet connection.
The governor said he is very passionate about computer science and has been since he worked in the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration. Hutchinson said he hasn’t always been interested in technology or even politics for that matter.
“If you would have asked me what I wanted to do as a senior or junior in high school, I would have said I don’t know,” he said.
After almost quitting school to pursue a lifetime career in a factory, Hutchinson decided to go to college.
“I was an accounting major and I picked it because it was first in the alphabet,” Hutchinson said. “Don’t pick your major that way.”
Hutchinson told the students how he went from accounting major to small town lawyer to a politician, and he spoke about why computer science is so important to him.
As a member of Congress, Hutchinson found himself in Homeland Security. The assignment came right after the Sept. 11 2011 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
“I had a new responsibility that I didn’t know much about,” Hutchinson said. “I had to protect the United States, and guess who helped? It was that computer geek who knew how to talk to a computer and knew the language of a computer.”
Hutchinson credited people who understood algorithms and could analyze computer data as helping him the most. He told an anecdote about how his team helped create a software program to monitor trashcans. The idea was inspired by the Madrid Bombing, an incident where a bomber left an explosive backpack in a trash can.