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Guest blogger: Aparajitha Vadlamannati, Policy Associate at Hack Reactor
The annual Lesbians Who Tech Summit is a gathering of underrepresented groups and allies working with or in the technology industry. Over four days, thousands of people engaged on issues related to diversity and inclusion, the coolest new technologies taking over the industry, and the role the tech industry plays in our current political atmosphere.
Hack Reactor was invited to participate in a coding bootcamp showcase on Saturday, February 25 along with our peers at DevBootCamp, Make School, Hackbright, Epicodus, Grace Hopper Institute, The Iron Yard, and Coding Dojo. All of Saturday was centered on building technology careers and what better way is there to do that than by going through a bootcamp?
Tech companies tend to say there’s a pipeline problem or that new engineers just aren’t skilled enough whenever they are confronted with their diversity numbers. Bootcamps solve for both issues with curriculums drawing inspiration directly from market demand and graduating best-in-class engineers every few months. Thousands of engineers today are bootcamp graduates and they work everywhere from top firms to startups including starting their their own companies. Hack Reactor is doing its part to increase industry diversity through scholarships and far-reaching community partnerships.
Looking at the bigger picture, my fellow panelists and I realized we all had similar passions that led us to the bootcamp space. We all felt that products made by people that represent what the world really looks like is a boon to everyone and while a four year college degree is nice, it’s impractical for many nontraditional students. The reason bootcamp graduates are amazing is because of their grit, tenacity, and wide-ranging experiences -- the key ingredients for a great engineer who can provide valuable insights for products. In addition we all see how quickly technology is changing the world. Whether it’s a new application or piece of hardware, more people are more tech savvy than ever.
For example, entire portions of the world are leapfrogging past traditional banking to mobile banking. The only way to keep up with this is to ensure we have more engineers that can keep up with these systems. Lastly, trends show a rise in income inequality and the gap between rich and poor. Quickly upskilling with bootcamp style programs provides new opportunities to help people move from lower incomes and inch towards closing that gap.
All in all, immersive education has a big part to play in advancing the economy and helping one of the most important industries today represent more of the world it impacts. Hack Reactor is proud to contribute to this mission and we can’t wait to see what our graduates get up to next.
Aparajitha is an experienced program and events manager skilled in policy and compliance analysis. She is driven by her desire to work at the intersection of various fields and has pursued a career that has her working at the nexus of Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. Aparajitha thrives in a fast-paced environment where she can investigate new subjects, pitch and sell novel concepts, and engage communities with varying interests to find middle ground.