Some things really get IT folks riled up. One of them is a recent article in Wired claiming that coding is the next big blue collar job. While it sounds like a sign of hope and opportunity, it’s created a backlash amongst IT professionals -- one that uncovers the “belly of the beast.” As an industry insider, I've heard this blue collar job idea unleash fears, assumptions and what sounds like territorial sandbox whining amongst software developers, as in "Here comes more crappy code" or "These guys won't be experienced enough to do what I do."
White House Welcomes Cleveland’s “We Can Code IT” at Tech Industry Event CLEVELAND, OH (January 5, 2017) Indira Samuels was a recent college graduate and a single mom earning $15,000 a year working for Teach for America in Cleveland. While teaching her students how to do computer coding, she decided to become a coder herself. After a 22-week coding bootcamp with Cleveland’s We Can Code IT, Samuels was offered a role as software engineer and a starting salary of $60,000. This is the kind of success story celebrated at the White House TechHire event in December. The White House invited more than 100 talented technologists, innovators and community leaders – including Cleveland’s own Leslie Evans, the president of We Can Code IT — to celebrate the success of President Obama’s TechHire initiative launched in 2015. We Can Code IT focuses on creating a welcoming environment for women and minorities to learn computer coding and software development skills. “When the White House calls, people answer,” says Evans. “So there were government officials, tech industry leaders and other training providers all working together to create pipelines of tech talent in communities across the country. We now have a much bigger network to collaborate with here in Cleveland.” TechHire is a growing network of 70 cities and more than 500 employers across the country striving to train workers for more than 600,000 IT jobs openings. One concept includes relying not only on universities and community colleges but also nontraditional approaches like coding bootcamps to rapidly train workers for a well-paying IT job. New models for training in the tech industry have the potential to reach underserved communities, women, minorities, veterans, and lower-income workers, who may have the aptitude for tech jobs but haven’t been able to receive training. TechHire’s “100K by 2020” movement aims to help 100,000 diverse workers learn in-demand skills to start new careers in the growing tech industry by 2020. For more information on We Can Code IT contact Leslie Evans at 844-932-2626 ext 709 or email@example.com.
“Hidden Figures” Film Inspires Cleveland’s Next Generation of Women & Minorities in Tech Fields CLEVELAND, OH (January 6, 2017) Most of us know about John Glenn and Neil Armstrong – but few know that a group of brilliant African-American women mathematicians working at NASA helped Glenn become the first American to orbit the earth in the historic 1962 launch in the space race against Russia. That’s the untold story behind the new 21st Century Fox film Hidden Figures, released nationwide on January 6. Here in Cleveland, the film shines a light on the growing need to include women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math – particularly in IT and software development. Leslie Evans is president of We Can Code IT, a leading Cleveland computer coding academy with a unique focus on inviting women and minorities to meet the growing demand for diversity in IT departments. “The story behind ‘Hidden Figures’ is really still happening today,” says Evans. “We provide training and support for minorities and women so they can break into a field where they often feel shut out – and we help employers who crave diversity, with fewer than 18 percent of IT teams including women, African Americans or Hispanics,” says Evans. We Can Code IT partnered with Breakthrough Schools, Cleveland’s highest-performing network of free, public charter schools. Their goal is to inspire their students’ parents and other family members to learn about the IT field and feel comfortable attending a coding bootcamp. Low-income families can apply for generous scholarships toward tuition through Ohio Means Jobs. “Many Cleveland parents didn’t have the opportunity to attend high-performing schools themselves, so this is our way to include the broader community,” says Katie Grootegoed, Breakthrough’s Director of Technology Enhanced Learning. “Working with We Can Code IT, our families see people from diverse backgrounds and begin to believe a career in software development and IT is possible for them. This is how we close the gap in Cleveland.” The film Hidden Figures is based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly and tells the true story of a group of African-American women working at a NASA lab in Hampton, Virginia who helped America dominate aeronautics and space research during a critical time in U.S. history. We Can Code IT hopes the film will inspire the next generation of women and minorities to pursue education in science, math and software development. For more information on We Can Code IT contact Leslie Evans at 844-932-2626 ext 709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiffany Wagner, will share her story as a woman in tech and the journey from software developer to Executive Director at one of America’s leading corporations. Hear her highlights & challenges and learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to advancing women into leadership positions in technology. Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 Time: 4-5:30 p.m. Location: We Can Code IT, 2645 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43202 Details: FREE Parking /Refreshments Provided This event is FREE and open to the public. Invite friends, colleagues and others who are interested in learning why now is the time for women in technology. RSVP https://wecancodeit.org/events/inclusion-in-tech
Join Mel and other women leaders at the International Economic Development Conference on Sunday, September 25th. Mel will be speaking on Navigating a Male Dominated Workforce. Learn more and register here: http://www.iedcevents.org/AnnualConference/Special_Events.html