WhiteHatJr. Is once again in the spotlight because of a Review posted by Dileep Patchigolla, an IIT Alumni on Quora (a question and answer website).
Dileep Patchigolla has a BTech from IIT Madras, MS from Georgia Tech(a top university in the US), and works as an AI Scientist at a Fortune 50 company.
WhiteHatJr. is a unicorn EdTech start-up based in Mumbai, India that claims to teach coding to kids. The platform also advertises it’s courses on their website with the words “Your kids are 40 classes away from Silicon Valley”.Since 2020, it has become an infamous platform after their advertisements were highly criticised and also for exposing its Student Data.
According to Dileep Patchigolla, “The way WhiteHatJr advertises is in very poor taste, and such corporates don’t do any good for you kid. So it is better to stay away from such garbage.”
This comes after a quora user posted a question, “My family wants to enroll my 5-year-old nephew in WhiteHat Jr. coding for children classes. Is it worth it?” and Dileep Patchigolla answered the same.
He further writes, “So I tick off many boxes most Indian parents aspire their kid to be. Take it from me, that it is absolutely not essential for a five-year-old kid to learn coding.”
He believes that career fields change from time to time. Landscapes of companies change from time to time and no one can predict which will be prominent fields in the coming decades. So it doesn’t make much sense to teach children coding at such young age and consider they are on a success path.
But that doesn’t mean coding is not a skill to learn and benefit from. He clearly states that “Don’t get me wrong here, coding is a good skill and probably can be introduced to kids at a young age. But it should be a minor part of their overall skill development which should include playing sports, being curious, showing empathy etc.”
No matter how many people WhiteHatJr. has impressed since it was founded by Karan Baja in 2018; it has become a target for online trollers for about several months now for bombarding users with advertisements across TV and digital platforms, who aren’t even parents, which are their target segment for ads. The ads are over the top, unrealistic and far fetched.
WhiteHatJr. ads have been also been criticised for using pictures of Bill Gates and Sundar Pichai for promotional purposes and creating Imaginary Character “Wolf Gupta” (a 12-year-old kid who apparently is working as an Artificial Intelligence Researcher at Google) for misleading the audience.
Earlier Pradeep Poonia, an IIT alumnus and a software engineer with Cisco emerged as a whistleblower and vocal critic of the company through social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube.