Birth of a New Developer Bootcamp to Catalyze #TechInclusion

By Alberto I. Roca, Ph.D.

On September 14, DiverseScholar was at the first weekend of the Sabio Developer Bootcamp witnessing the birth a new initiative for diversifying the professional technology workforce. The Sabio mission is to train unemployed, underemployed, and underrepresented individuals to enter the technology sector so that they can participate in today’s knowledge-based economy. By using an immersive boot camp environment the Sabio developer team will emulate the exciting and collaborative aspects of a technology startup. The first cohort of Sabio Fellows will be led by Co-Founder and Lead Trainer Gregorio Rojas. Mr. Rojas is passionate about giving everyone a chance to learn programming to improve their job opportunities. He describes how he successfully learned to code even though he had almost no computer skills in college: “When and Why I Learned to Code”.

Over the next 5 months the #SabioFellows will be working weekends to develop prototypes for organizations who need problems solved. Reflecting the Sabio mission, the Fellows are working adults (2 men and 2 women) who will be maintaining their current jobs during the week but also spending at least 16 hours on the weekends with Sabio learning software skills. Currently, organizations are pitching their ideas to Sabio for consideration as a Build project. DiverseScholar Executive Director, Alberto I. Roca, Ph.D., presented an idea to develop a networking tool for diversifying the doctoral workforce (photo). If accepted, this would be the first of two collaborations between DiverseScholar and Sabio. The second activity is an accepted panel proposal for a Diversity in Computing conference on the topic of “New Diversity Interventions for the Tech Workforce & Entrepreneurs”.

Yet another recent example of the sexism prevalent in the technology sector underscores why programs like Sabio are sorely needed. The 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt developer conference showcased sexist programs created during their hackathon weekend that led to an apology by conference organizers. The resulting aftermath was eloquently described in this Medium post “What Women Don’t Want: We know we don’t want Pax Dickinson or TitStare. Let’s hack tech culture, together”. Tech diversity champions such as Adria Richards also suggest ways to address the harassing “bro-grammer” culture.

Alberto I. Roca, Ph.D. is the Founder and Editor of MinorityPostdoc.org. Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

Photo credit: G. Rojas

The citation for this article is:
A.I. Roca (2013) Birth of a New Developer Bootcamp to Catalyze #TechInclusion.
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Published 15-Sep-2013