Thank you to Al Dia for bringing light to the very real struggle of minorities and women attempting to break into the many fields of technology.  Additionally, Al Dia spotlighted a few organizations trying to usher our new generation of girls and minorities into this new technologically-saturated world. I have been involved with Coded by Kids for a few years now. This non-profit was founded by Sylvester Mobley, and Iraq war veteran ,  who returned to ,and  is giving back to, his birthtown, Philadelphia.

Excerpt 1 from the article Coding Philly

“Even if companies intend to hire more minorities and more women, these people are not graduating from school with the skills they need to be employable in the tech industry,” Mobley argues. In this way, from Coded by Kids, he states that “we wish to provide children with the skills so that later, no matter what happens, no one can say that they are not ready to qualify for a job.” “Technology is one of the few industries in which one can opt for a good job simply by graduating from high-school,” and where a “college degree is not necessary.”

I witness, first-hand, the difficulties in bringing technology into minority neighborhoods but also in bringing the children to the technology. Our goal and our hope is that Coded by Kids and similar organizations chip at this barrier to technology collectively,  bit by bit, one child at at time .

Excerpt 2 from the article Coding Philly

“It is important having some sort of basic grasp on coding”

For Cassandra King, a Boricua programmer residing in Philadelphia, the importance of coding knowledge is not limited to the field of professional developers. “Today, the language at the workplace is wrapped up in technology. If you want to grow and ensure you have a successful, enjoyable, fruitful future, it is important that you have some sort of basic grasp on coding.” Therefore, for this project collaborator who promotes education on programming such as Coded by Kids or Girl Develop It, which invests in the greater integration of women in this field, “it is our call to duty to usher this new generation of kids, specifically minority kids who always get left behind in the tech world.”

Different organizations in Philly are currently dedicated to the mission of opening programming languages up to a broader and more diverse part of the community. All of them in this way enable access to programming lessons, through both live and online courses, both at a low price and even free of charge. If lack of resources was, at one time, a limiting factor in learning how to be a programmer, thanks to these projects in the City of Brotherly Love, this problem is a thing of the past. However, if you, the reader, are already a technology professional, note that all these entities are also looking for you. As important as those who decide to take their first coding lessons are those who share their knowledge with them. This is quite clear to Cassandra King: “It is our duty to be sure they have the skills, tech language and ability to be competitive in their young adult lives. This is something I believe in passionately. We, as minority tech professionals owe it to the next generation … they are our future…”

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