The Tech Mentorship Gap: How Code2040 Is Solving. What You Can Do. And How LinkedIn Can Help

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

Companies can hire a Fellow at

Recommend a student:

Code2040 Stats To Date

2012 Class  5 Fellows – CMU, Stanford, MIT and CUNY- Stony Brook
2013 Class 18 Fellows – CMU, Stanford, MIT, University of Maryland- Baltimore County, Virginia Tech, University of Pittsburg, Harvey Mudd College, UCLA, USC, Berkeley, University of Huston, CSU Channel Islands, Notre Dame de Namur
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