by Donte´ Burney, Full Stack Web Developer and Hack the Hood Technical Fellow
reposted from his LinkedIn blog
Walking inside of a tech company can be a rough experience when it comes to breaking cultural barriers in the tech industry. In the Silicon Valley, the presence of black and latino engineers represent less than one percent of employment in most startup companies-- so it is not unusual to feel a bit of awkwardness when a group of young men of color walk in the building. In reason, I had some expectations based on past experiences but this time was different. There was a noticeable change in the atmosphere, a spirit of diversity, a sense of compassion and a realness which most of us had never experienced from a tech company before.
Standing on top of a luxurious rooftop, tech professionals from Wikia, broke down the ins and out of the industry, listened and gave advice on what it really takes to achieve success in the industry. They repeatedly spoke about failure and how we truly learn from these experiences as humans. One employee, told us about how he dropped out of college twice before he finally got his act together and took his work serious. Another lady spoke of her willingness to hustle and go above and beyond expectations. The Wikia community was able to speak the language of the youth and after leaving Wikia, many of the students expressed a willingness to be even more dedicated to learning, expressing their ideas and becoming a professional in the industry.
Bayview-Hack the Hood is a technical training, non-profit, who serve young people of color at the Bayview YMCA in San Francisco, CA. In 6 weeks, they review computer science fundamentals, web design principles and graphic design. If your company is searching for design interns please send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Hack the Hood at http://www.hackthehood.org.
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