The Potential to Improve Diversity in the Tech Industry with Coding Bootcamps, by Frances Coronel

It's no secret that many top tech companies in Silicon Valley struggle with hiring women and minorities with recent events reigniting the ongoing heated debate about representation in Silicon Valley.

Part of the problem is that a lot of these companies limit the majority of their recruiting efforts to the likes of Stanford University, UC Berkley, Carnegie Mellon, and other well-known feeder schools. Given the students at these schools are predominantly affluent whites and Asians, the majority of the employees at these companies end up mirroring their target recruiting pool.

However, over the last few years, numerous venture capital-backed "coding bootcamps" have emerged that offer the opportunity to provide Silicon Valley with a more diverse pool of candidates through affordable tuition plans and blind admission processes that focus on problem-solving skills, collaborativeness, and perseverance.

The impact that these tailored programs are having on the tech industry is extremely evident and has already propagated to cities across the world. Large tech companies are hiring many graduates of these programs and are even partnering with some of them to provide scholarships for high-potential students. By breaking down the pre-existing barriers in becoming a software engineer, these alternative learning programs are expanding the talent pipeline and successfully bringing in a more diverse set of individuals into tech.

This talk will serve to provide a high-level explanation of employee diversity in the current landscape, how coding bootcamps and other alternative learning programs can serve as an alternative to the traditional computer science degree and finally how folks from non-traditional backgrounds have and can immensely benefit from such programs.

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