Jul. 22nd, 2016

I feel like a total jerk for forgetting to post about this until the deadline (aka TODAY Fri Jul 22), but if you are seeing this and are or know anyone who meets the following criteria...
- Lives in the Boston area
- Is a woman, racial minority, or veteran
- Has a college degree
- Is not currently working in tech
- Is interested in working in tech

...then read on, and if you're interested fill out the application NOW (and again, sorry for the short notice! stupid distracting vacation).

So, everyone knows there's a shortage of women and people of color in tech (I don't know about the stats for veterans, but they're included in what I'm going to talk about here as well). A big part of the problem is that even if a company is totally on-board with hiring from a broader demographic, the qualified applicants we'd need just aren't there. We call this "the pipeline problem", and it's at that point that the industry usually sighs, shrugs, and moves on.

I am immensely proud that the company I work for (even though I'll only be working there myself for another week or so, but that's another story), Akamai, has been taking imaginative, proactive steps to address the pipeline problem directly. Earlier this year, they partnered with a company called UST, which specializes in training and placing contract IT workers, to pilot a program called the Akamai Technical Academy. This program sought out women, people of color, and veterans who were college graduates with demonstrated ambition and skill from fields other than IT, and who wanted to change careers. They spent six months (paid) doing intensive training with UST, basically a crash course on the minimum you need for an entry-level job in the industry.

After the training, the class is split up between various roles within Akamai where they work for six months as paid interns doing real work, with the option to come on full time pending good performance during the internship.

I was skeptical about this at first, and I should say that our first group of graduates have only just started their internships, so there is still room for the permanent jobs to fail to appear, but I know there is a lot of enthusiasm for this program within Akamai, and having observed some of the UST training, and then personally led the new-hire training for those interning in our NOCC, I can say that these people came in knowing their stuff, able to operate at the same level as interns we had coming out of college CS programs, and I think they're going to do quite well here.

So, the purpose of this post is to say that we're already planning a second wave! If you meet the criteria and are interested, you can apply here:
https://docs.google.com/a/akamai.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc2q7G0Kzq88XEKi9kRe5UavjPFh_a_HjIr2IIsUm0yb2OqmA/viewform?c=0&w=1

And there's a FAQ with more details here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_Zo8hfBY9aZLTZDRkZNLWVINGc/view

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