Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Diversity in tech, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
(soft digital music) - So I think one of the things that we're seeing now is that the whole world is getting together and literally, go to any major city and we're see a lot of diversity. And for some reasons, it looks like there's a lack of diversity in tech. Mostly because they take an example as someone like me starting, at that time it was very hard to even envision tech being that big. So someone like me going in the 90s taking tech, versus my friends taking finance.
You know, they're black, I'll go for finance. So now that thing is gone, right? Everyone knows that tech is the most blooming thing in the world. I mean, this is where you really wanna be. So in order to address diversity, I think there's so many easier ways to learn tech. We've got libraries like LinkedIn Learning, there's concrete ways to help you get there, there's a lot of mentors out there, there's meet-ups, there's conferences, and there's a lot of free stuff out there. Open-source projects, that did not exist 20 years ago.
So it's become so much easier, I think it's all about going out and getting the people into it. And one thing to keep in mind is that it is not hard at all. I remember my first program writing a button, it took me 50 lines. Now, you drag-drop a button. So that one thing that we thought was like, "tech is not for everyone", that's not true anymore. It isn't like you have to be a genius to be in tech. All you have to be is passionate and with perseverance. Have some perseverance and you will be successful.
- So, I go to these classes because I'm a college professor and I teach mainly computer science or information technology related types of courses. And I see very few female students. First of all, I think by having half of population out there more engaged in this very exciting field of technologies, we will be able to do much, much more.
So we have this forgotten population who somehow is not able to contribute to all these interesting and exciting developments in our technology world. - So one of the things women can do to advance themselves in their careers, is start to ask to do things, ask first. Don't wait to be asked, you actually have to go out and ask on your own. And accept the fact that the other person might say no, but if you never ask, and you sit around and wait to be asked, it may not necessarily ever happen for you.
And what's the worst that can happen if you ask for more responsibility, or to speak at a conference, or to do some traveling and present your company product on the road? What is the worst thing that would happen? They say no. Okay, have you lost anything in that process? Probably not, so there's no downside to asking and showing interest, and it may actually take you somewhere if you do. But this is a big thing for women, that we tend to wait for someone to come to us and ask, that our work is self-evident, that of course we're doing great work, and if they would just notice that thing that we're doing, of course they're gonna ask us to do this next thing.
You cannot rely on that. You've absolutely gotta market yourself, you have to push your own product, and then you have to ask for the next step. - First thing that I think should happen, is I think the internet should be free for all. I think that there's no reason it shouldn't be accessible to everyone. Think about the history of ARPANET and the World Wide Web and its roots in Open Source. There's no reason the internet shouldn't be free for everybody. If we're talking about a lack in diversity, socio-economic backgrounds go hand-in-hand with diversity.
And I'm sitting here as a white male iOS developer which means I am as privileged as it can possibly be. I need a MACBook to do my job, I need an iPhone to do my job. Some people cannot afford those things and I could end up taking those things for granted because those are just my tools, but not everybody is gonna have access to those tools. You need to make sure there's a way for everybody to get involved. - One suggestion that I have for people who are hiring developers is that do not be reserved about who you want to hire.
Oftentimes I have seen people who are not related to tech give me solutions that are simply brilliant and mind-blowing and are completely from a different perspective. So maybe when you're hiring developers, don't only look for people with development experience. Look for people with different kinds of experiences which could be with respect to age, with respect to gender, with respect to profession, with any kind of experiences that could be relevant to development, or could be applied in development.
So be open while you're looking for developers. (soft digital music)