Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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32 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N Fa l l 2 0 1 6 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m women in San Francisco, with 90 percent of participants landing a position in the tech industry at an average starting sal- ary of $89,000. Collectively, "I think we can make a difference," says Angie Chang, vice president at Hackbright Academy. ere are caveats. ough they certainly cost less than a computer science degree at a four-year college, the bootcamps are not cheap. On average, tuition costs more than $11,000 per student for 12 weeks, according to Course Report, which moni- tors the growing bootcamp market. And although bootcamps offer an accelerated path into the tech industry, no job is guar- anteed at the end of the program. Admission is also not guaranteed. Prospective students must apply and, in most cases, show that they already have some prior knowledge of programming and that they're willing to dedicate ef- fort to completing the course. But coding bootcamps remove some of the obstacles that have kept more people from joining the tech ranks: it's not so much about pedigree or who you know as it is about being able to do the work. And there is a lot of work. "When they told us this was going to be the hardest thing we had ever done, I thought they were kidding," says Merino. But for 12 weeks, six days a week, more than eight hours a day, Merino and her colleagues learned a suite of programming skills and completed a the- sis project. en the instructors helped the students update their résumés and coached them on their technical interviews. Schools like Telegraph Academy and Hackbright Academy create a safe space for underrepresented students to learn. Shanea King-Roberson took part in Hackbright Academy's introduction to programming class, a three-month, part-time course. A program manager at Google, and for two years the only black woman on her team, King-Roberson wanted a better command of program- ming language. Hackbright Academy offered a nurturing and supportive com- munity. "We need more women in the tech industry. Period. We need more di- versity in the tech industry. Period," says King-Roberson, who until Hackbright Academy had taught herself to code through online tutorials. "If you have a safe entry point, you may make the deci- sion to start. Otherwise, you may not feel comfortable doing it." Mind-sets are changing. "e barri- ers—the stigma of being a bootcamper or a person of color or a woman—are slowly crumbling down," Brown says. "If you're interested in technology, it's the time to look around. e demand is there. e industry is there. ere's support now. A year ago, you couldn't say that. Two years ago, you definitely couldn't say that." N early 18,000 students are expected to enroll in one of 91 coding bootcamps this year, according to Course Report, which tracks the coding bootcamp market. Five that aim to increase the number of women and people of color in the tech industry are highlighted here. After graduating from Telegraph Acad- emy, Merino was offered the job at Ac- centure. Now she hopes to pay it forward, passing along applications from the most recent cohort of Telegraph Academy stu- dents. "at's the biggest reward," she says. "I'm helping to bring in the next generation of female engineers. I'm helping to diversify the tech industry. ere is no excuse now not to hire more people of color in your company." DW Ellen Lee is a business and technology jour- nalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ada Developers Academy, Seattle, WA Named after the 19th-century computer programmer Ada Lovelace, the Ada Developers Academy prepares women to be software devel- opers through a yearlong program: six months of coding school, followed by a five-month internship at a sponsoring company such as Amazon, Microsoft, or Expedia. Code for Progress, Washington, DC Code for Progress fellows—primarily women and people of color interested in social activ- ism—receive a monthly stipend and housing allowance during the five months they spend in Washington, DC, learning to code. They then transition to a full-time tech internship at a nonprofit for seven months. Grace Hopper Academy, New York, NY Women who attend Grace Hopper Academy's 13-week software engineering program don't pay tuition up front. Once they land a job, they're obligated to pay a portion of their salary back during the first year. Note that both the Grace Hopper Academy and the annual Grace Hopper conference were inspired by the same pioneering computer scientist, but the academy is not affiliated with the conference, which is organized by the Anita Borg Institute and draws nearly 12,000 women technologists each year. Hackbright Academy, San Francisco, CA Graduates of Hackbright Academy's flag- ship program, a 12-week full-time software engineering fellowship for women, have gone on to jobs at such high-profile tech companies as Yelp, Uber, and Eventbrite. The school also offers an online course and part-time night classes that introduce students to programming. Sabio, Los Angeles Latino cofounders Liliana Monge and Gregorio Rojas started the Southern California software engineering program to help add more women and people of color to the technology industry. Altogeth- er, the program takes about six months, including 12 weeks of technical training and four weeks of career coaching. Telegraph Academy, San Francisco With a mission to increase the number of underrepresented people of color in the technology industry, Telegraph Academy offers a 12-week full-time software engineering course, as well as a prep class that introduces students to the fundamental programming skills they need to be admitted into the program. We Mean Business > Ready, Set, Code! Coding bootcamps are springing up across the country.

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