Most anyone successful in technology has benefited from those who came before them – whether it’s indirect such as opensource code or more specific, like the guidance of a CS professor. Even if you’re just starting out in your career, there’s an opportunity to develop a ‘pay it forward’ mentality.
Code2040 is one of the organizations trying to solve the mentorship gap for Blacks and Latino/as. Each summer they match high performing software engineering students from these underrepresented groups with Mentor and summer internships. I’ve participated as a Mentor in each of their first two years and intend to do so again in 2014 – I’ll put more info at the end of this post if you’d like to join as well.
One additional thought about creating a culture of contribution in tech. “Defaults” are powerful – they convey norms and expectations. I’d love to see LinkedIn standardize the notion of community service as a field in your profile. Not just as a text box but as something where your profile is only 95% complete unless you fill in a charity you volunteer with, a person you mentor or a nonprofit Board you sit on.
[Update: LinkedIn let me know you can add volunteering info to your profile via this link]
Key Dates and Info for Code2040
Round 1 Applications: November 10th
Round 2 Applications: February 9th
Students can apply at apply.code2040.org
Companies can hire a Fellow at hire.code2040.org
Recommend a student: bit.ly/2040REF
Code2040 Stats To Date
15 Host Companies – Etsy, Jawbone, Facebook, Lark, Findery, Klout, Code for America, the City of San Francisco, Foursquare, and 6 other startups
38 Mentors in 2013 and 10 in 2012