Community, GHC15

Code Schools and Fostering More Inclusive Workplace Communities


From GHC website (background):


Code schools have the power to change the social fabric of today’s IT industry. Panelists will share experiences on how code schools foster inclusivity and cultural change at their respective workplaces. They will address how code schools are a legitimate alternative to our country’s current model for education and how this style of learning is conducive to lowering the barriers that under-represented communities face when entering IT.

Panelists:
THEO SKOLNIK Consultant Software Developer of ThoughtWorks
CELEEN RUSK Software Engineer of GiveForward

LINDSAY VERSTEGEN Head of Talent & Onboarding of Braintree
MOLLY JONES Talent Acquisition Specialist of Sprout Social

JEFF CASIMIR Executive Director of Turing School of Software & Design

The questions was asked “As far as the number of women graduates, there is a 20% difference coming out of traditional computer science degrees vs. code schools.” Why is that?
LINDSAY: 
  • Bootcamps have been very specific
  • Bootcamps know they should market to everyone
  • Network affect is immense

JEFF:
  • Age demographic

MOLLY:
  • Bootcamps empower you to not only code, but be more empathetic
  • Bootcamps are equipping you to succeed


What are some of the social components that code schools provide
CELEEN:
  • Systemic prejudice (being good in math and science)
  • Support system at bootcamps is incredible
  • Code schools are building tight networks/support systems
  • Emotional Engineering sessions to discuss gender bias, etc.

JEFF:
  • Code Schools functions as start ups and can adjust the rules as they go 

LINDSAY: 
  • Lower barrier to entry
  • Commit Fellowship@Braintree with Dev Bootcamp
  • Full tuition
  • Students are partnered with mentors at Braintree

External entities for financial assistance (amount/% of award, etc.); What is that doing for the coding schools?
JEFF:
  • Scholarships aren’t increasing the numbers/applicants

LINDSAY: 
  • Decided on three full fellowships vs 20 smaller fellowships
  • Statistics for Code Schools finishing rates (per Course Report)
    • 0% Native American
    • 1% Black
    • 63% White
    • 38% women

How can the thought of thinking of DIVERSITY at Code Schools be helping, addressing the needs of companies, etc.:
CELEEN:
  • Alignment of economic class and race

LINDSAY: 
  • The need is there for code schools and they function in startup mode
  • Apprenticeships
  • Code Schools can be given real-time feedback due to organizational maturity

JEFF:
  • 67% of students are referrals (Turing School)


What needs to happen for this new educational model be something that is here to stay
  • TechHire initiative
  • The demand for employees  in tech
  • The gap between code schools and employers
  • What could be done from larger companies, to build the tech base
  • How “impractical” is in-house training, similar to code schools
  • Corporate sponsorships – need to part of the grooming and educational process – real partnership


How to get more students get hired out of code schools?
MOLLY:
  • Company hired two code school alums and “kicked butt”
  • Code schools teach you how to be a well-rounded developer
  • There is a definite difference between comp sci alums and code school alums
  • Gaps (such as data structures, etc.) can be filled in along the way

LINDSAY: 
  • Haven’t had much success hiring coding school alums
  • How much can you really master in a specific amount of time
  • May not be first job out of coding school, but may be your second

JEFF:
  • Hard to help people find jobs
  • At first, it was difficult finding the students
  • Now, it’s the job side

How can companies attract and retain the diversity and code school alums

LINDSAY:
  • Reflect the world that you are truly trying to serve
  • Just call it out
  • You have to be sensitive to what you don’t know

JEFF:
  • A female alum said that Turing was the best environment for women that you’ll have
  • Building the men to be conscience of diversity 

MOLLY:
  • Apprenticeship Program at SproutSocial
  • Two week training to be immersed in the product
  • Mentor is assigned
  • Continued mentorship is EVERYTHING (in and outside of tech)

Dealing with people who aren’t so supportive outside of the training/code school

CELEEN:
  • Kind is not necessarily nice
  • What can companies do to diversify their workforce

LINDSAY:
  • You build products for everyone 
  • It takes an emotional intellect to know that
  • Want to be the mirror of the people we are serving and its not right now


Check http://flatironschool.com/ for the stats/reports on their coding school 

See also https://www.coursereport.com/ for reports and opinions of coding schools alums