How to Find and Attract Diverse Tech Talent

Children of color need to be a future resource for tech talent!

In my last blog (link), I shared a summary of two short podcasts about two excellent sources of talent – older adults and veterans. I continue the recruiting theme now discussing a challenge particularly facing tech companies – finding and attracting diverse tech talent.

Having a diverse workforce behind your company is one of the best strategies you could employ to ensure success.

By employing diverse tech talent, your company not only puts forth an image of inclusion and equality but also benefits from a workforce with differing perspectives, allowing it to pool contrasting thoughts to produce the best products that will appeal to a range of customers.

Below we will highlight a few places from which you can source diverse tech talent to advance your company’s success. These organizations are strategically focused on growing the diverse tech talent pipeline at an earlier stage.

Black Girls Code.  This San Francisco-based non-profit organization teaches young African American girls from urban communities how to code.

Through Black Girls Code’s expert instructors, students from Grades 6 through 12 learn how to code using languages like Ruby on the Rails and Scratch.

The program includes close mentorship from current and experienced tech professionals. It also includes a competition where students go head-to-head to  highlight the work the girls have done on apps, games and software tools.

This results in graduates from Black Girls Code being well prepared for a career in tech after finishing high school. Most pursue further studies either at a university or the more popular option these days, a coding bootcamp.

This means if you’re looking to hire top tech talent to fill your diverse ranks, checking if they received training from Black Girls Code is a good standard.

Code 2040. Code 2040 is another nonprofit looking to bolster the ranks of diverse tech professionals. By dismantling obstacles in the way of minorities, the organization is striving to make an impact on the career of at least 150,000 Black and Latina tech professionals.

Code 2040 pairs new tech professionals with more experienced tech mentors in a program that offers guidance for those looking to break into the tech industry, not only as software developers but also as team leaders in management positions.

Code 2040 also offers a fellowship program and internships over the summer that allow students to immerse themselves within a top tech company while on break from their studies.

There are now even coding bootcamps for younger kids. They can start early on the tech career path!

Coding Bootcamps. Many of the students learning through the above mentioned organizations will eventually make their way to coding bootcamps, which have become the go-to alternative in place of traditional college educations.

Coding Bootcamps are short-term, intensive programs designed to teach students everything they need to know to excel within the tech industry at any large company in less than 12 months.

Grads from these programs have become well-known for their skills and work ethic, which often surpass those who went through traditional two- or four-year college programs.

This means coding bootcamp graduates are also more innovative as the education model they follow is unlike the traditional curriculum.  Coding bootcamps are more focused on practice than theory, preparing grads to jump right into the workforce without a steep learning curve.

Coding bootcamps offer training to students looking to become Software Engineers, Web Developers, Designers, and Data Scientists.

Most bootcamp grads also come from a diverse background since many of them likely chose to enroll in a bootcamp after switching careers. This means hiring coding bootcamp graduates is a great way to bring a variety of skills to your company. If you’re looking for top tech talent with diverse backgrounds, coding bootcamps are one great alternative for sourcing tech talent.

Conclusion. In order to discover top tech talent for your diverse workforce, you must look to and support the organizations pushing for change within the industry. Nonprofits like Black Girls Code and Code 2040 are at the forefront of providing tech education to minority groups. Students from these nonprofits often take the tech skills they learned early on in their school days to intensive coding bootcamps, where they master the knowledge needed to propel any tech company forward. Keep nonprofits and coding bootcamps in mind and you’ll surely be able to track down and hire diverse tech talent.