Alumni Profile

Alum Encourages Immigrants to Learn Technology Through Code the Dream

Ramiro Rodriguez '03, MS'04

When Ramiro Rodriguez came to the United States from Mexico as a child, he never envisioned he’d receive his undergraduate and master’s degrees in computer science from an Ivy League university. “When I found out Carl Sagan actually taught at Cornell and the university also had a great science and technology education, Cornell became my first choice!” he said.

Since his graduation, Rodriguez has founded his own technology start-up Riivet, which helps clients simplify the complexities of putting up a live Pay Per View event. “In many of my Cornell classes we were taught two important lessons on how to solve problems: break the problem into smaller, solvable pieces and think about first principles. These are important skills to have as an entrepreneur because sometimes problems seem too large to solve at first but once you break them into pieces they become more manageable,” he said.

Rodriguez has also founded Code the Dream, which aims to steer people from immigrant and minority backgrounds into careers as computer programmers. “I feel lucky to have had the opportunities I had to be part of the Cornell computer science program,” he said. “I wanted to give back to my community and teaching programming and software development is something I can help with. This is a form of paying it forward to all the people who helped me at Cornell and before Cornell.” Rodriquez teaches and mentors dozens of young immigrants each year. Students learn to code their first app within the first month of classes.