/dev/color Welcomes Largest Cohort of Black Software Engineers to Date

The nonprofit has expanded its reach with new programming and the addition of two new chapters in Atlanta and Seattle

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today /dev/color, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders, inducted the largest cohort into its flagship A* Program. Entering its fourth year, /dev/color welcomes 370+ Black software engineers from across each of the organization's four chapters, located in New York, Seattle, Atlanta, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Founded in 2015 by Makinde Adeagbo, a senior software engineer and Facebook, Dropbox, and Pinterest alum, /dev/color aims to address career challenges engineers face head-on through career development, networking opportunities, and a highly-structured peer exchange model. In 2018, Lajuanda M. Asemota was appointed as the organization's Interim Executive Director to advance this mission. The women-led organization remains committed to increasing representation for people of color in the tech sector.

"It is no secret that software engineers, in particular, represent the 'movers and shakers' of the digital age. This means /dev/color's work extends beyond creating access and parity. In fact, the engineers' design and technological innovation has the potential to change the world as we know it. So it's important that people of color emerge as key stakeholders in these creative processes to ensure we are creating a world that works for everyone," said Asemota. "This belief  anchors /dev/color's commitment to Black software engineers and drives our expansion efforts."

To help companies transform into environments where Black software engineers can thrive, /dev/color has assembled The Guild, a community of corporate partners that convene monthly to share best practices, exchange new ideas, and discuss challenges pertaining to diversifying the tech industry. The Guild brings together leaders within Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Recruitment, and Engineering from across various companies, including Airbnb, Asana, Bank of America, Capital One, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Ebay, Mailchimp, Quip, Reddit, Remix, Sequoia, Twitter, and returning Gold partners Facebook, Google, Netflix, Pinterest, Square and Uber.

"I am so grateful to /dev/color, not only for our partnership, but for the work they're doing to elevate and advance the professional lives of Black software engineers across the country," said Sydney Brunson, Diversity Programs Manager at Pinterest. "It is integral, as a tech company that continuously promotes and fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace, to have partners like /dev/color to help us learn more, apply that knowledge, and relentlessly innovate."

For more information about opportunities to partner with /dev/color, visit devcolor.org.

About /dev/color
/dev/color is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders. /dev/color executes this mission by offering career development and networking opportunities, using a highly structured peer exchange model called the A* Program, which equips each member with the tools necessary to excel in their career. As of 2019, /dev/color will have 350+ members across four cities: the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Atlanta, and Seattle. For more information about /dev/color, visit devcolor.org, follow @devcolororg on Twitter and Instagram, or connect on Facebook.

SOURCE /dev/color

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Open Sourcing the Diversity Conversation: /dev/color Launches The Guild

In programming, there’s rarely a reason to start completely from scratch. Every project I’ve managed has had a code base to start from – or, at the very least, open source software to use. Building on the collective hard work and expertise of engineers around the globe is how we give ourselves more time to design elegant solutions to complex problems.

It’s always puzzled me that the diversity conversations in tech industry aren’t approached in the same way. This is an industry that values collaboration – we hold open source conferences, discuss programming challenges in online communities, and use tools to optimize our internal teams’ productivity. But when it comes to addressing the work that companies are doing to diversify their engineering teams, we go it alone. 

Today, /dev/color is launching The Guild to change that. We’re joining forces with Airbnb, Asana, Capital One, Clover, GitHub, Google, Pinterest, Quip, Reddit, Remix, Square, Sequoia Capital, Twitter and Uber to host roundtable discussions throughout the year. At these gatherings, our partners will have an open conversation about the challenges they’re facing, and will share new ideas and best practices for tackling them. After the event takes place, /dev/color will disseminate key learnings publicly so that companies everywhere can benefit from our findings. 

While some of the topics that The Guild will address are straightforward, others may not be so obvious. For example, exploring how engineering and diversity teams can work better together may not seem critical on the surface. But if these stakeholders aren't communicating and providing feedback, nothing of substance can get done. 

Additionally, we’ll be connecting engineering leaders from our partner companies with senior members of /dev/color for regular dinners. The goal of this initiative is to foster an open dialogue between these two groups, bridging the divide and enabling our partners to hear firsthand about the unique challenges that Black software engineers face. These dinners are a huge win-win for diversifying the networks of engineering leadership across the industry, as well as elevating the contacts accessible to talented Black software engineers.

Just as engineers shouldn’t build a database from scratch, neither should companies have to experiment with ways to attract and retain diverse talent. While this will undoubtedly require problem solving on many fronts, we know there are proven initiatives that work. Now is the time to start sharing them.


For inquiries about partnership opportunities with /dev/color, contact our partnerships team at partners@devcolor.org