We all know Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sheryl Sandberg can code. After all, these big names are considered A-listers thanks to their accomplishments in the technology space. But tech superstars aren't the only celebrities who can code. Coding is a passion that is being embraced by people all over the world, including a number of celebs in fields that you normally wouldn't wouldn't associate with web and app development. From athletes to actors to models, here are five surprising celebrities that love to code.
1. Chris Bosh
With professional athletes frequently saddled by the stereotype that they're -- well -- dumb, Chris Bosh is doing his best to buck that nasty old trope. The Miami Heat power forward is an avid reader, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and talented coder who, as part of his advocacy work with the non-profit code.org, is pushing for greater computer literacy among North American students.
"Coding is very important when you think about the future, where everything is going," says Bosh. "With more phones and tablets and computers being made, and more people having access to every thing and information being shared, I think it's very important to be able to learn the language of coding and programming."
2. Karlie Kloss
When she isn't kicking butt on the catwalk, this fashion supermodel is also kicking unfair stereotypes to the curb, proving that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive. The face of Lacoste, Christian Dior, Nike, Chanel, Victoria Secret, and Coach campaigns studies computer science and software engineering in her spare time. Most recently, Kloss partnered with the Flatiron School, a New York-based coding bootcamp, to launch the Kode With Karlie scholarship for young women aged 13 to 18.
"Coding is a form of self-expression," says Kloss. "Code is only going to continue to play a major role in defining our future. I think it's crucial that young women learn to code as early as possible to ensure that we, as young women, have a voice and a stake in what the world looks like."
3. Cory Booker
U.S. Senator, New Jersey
"Computer programming is quickly becoming an essential career skill," explains Booker. "Learning to code is a fantastic opportunity equalizer - if you're good at it, it can help you achieve your dreams."
4. J.R. Hildebrand
Race Car Driver
J.R. Hildebrand has made a career out of leaving his competitors in the dust as a driver in the Formula Drift series. But the race track isn't the only environment in which Hildebrand excels: The California native was offered a full scholarship to the School of Engineering at M.I.T. in 2006, but chose to put his academic aspirations on hold as his racing career revved up. His passion for technology and computer science hasn't waned, however, as Hildebrand recently took up coding.
"Computer science is a huge piece of what we do because we collect an incredible amount of data from the race cars," explained Hildebrand when asked about the role that computer science plays in racing. "We collect almost a gigabyte of data per lap at the race track. That's a lot of information that we have to be able to go through. There are hundreds of engineers that work just within one single series like Indy Car or NASCAR or Formula One... and they have to go build programs to be able to analyze that data."
5. Lyndsey Scott
Lyndsey Scott has modeled for Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klein, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Covergirl, and DKNY. Now, in addition to gracing the covers of international fashion magazines, Scott is putting her computer science degree from Amherst College to good use by programming apps as part of her own portfolio and on behalf of clients. Check out her photo-readying app for Instagram, Squarify, in the Apple App Store.
An active member of the coding community, Scott also puts out tutorials to help her fellow computer science enthusiasts learn the ins and outs of coding. Her Tesseract OCR tutorial is free, and guides users through the process of integrating character recognition technology into their very own iPhone app.