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Behind the Scenes at Tech Companies: Employees Teach Each Other How to Code

Successful, thriving company culture becomes evident in its employees. Specifically, employees will be empowered to find ways to give back and empower others — and there’s no better place to start than with your co-workers.

By Angie Chang (Director of Growth, Hackbright Academy)

Online petition website Change.org is committed to empowering people everywhere to create change.

“This requires bringing a diverse set of skills and perspectives to age-old problems,” said Warren Colbert, a director of product management at Change. He also mentors at CODE2040, where top minority engineering students nab lucrative internships and mentorship at Silicon Valley tech companies.

It’s no secret that technology startups lack women in engineering (industry average is 10-15 percent), but change happens from within when a company’s leaders prioritize hiring from a diverse pool of candidates.

The tech company’s efforts to change the gender ratio in the engineering department included partnering with women’s engineering school Hackbright Academy earlier this year.

By providing mentorship and support from senior engineering leaders, Change.org successfully recruited and onboarded Jasmine Tsai after she graduated from Hackbright Academy, an accelerated women’s engineering school in San Francisco.

Giving Back And Making Change

“Even though I am a junior engineer, there is still stuff I can teach,” says Jasmine.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post – filed under “Girls in STEM”.

Hackbright Directors Talk to Girls Who Code

Hackbright Academy directors Liz Howard and Angie Chang visited the Girls Who Code class at Twitter’s downtown San Francisco office.

The Hackbright Academy directors explained to the GWC girls what the program is (“we’re teaching women 10-15 years older than you to code, too”) and shared ideas on the biggest challenges for women in tech (mutual agreement on “confidence”).

Then, the Girls Who Code students listened as Hackbright staff gave advice to girl hackers! Liz talked about hacking the system, and Angie gave advice to her younger self and talked about social media.

Here are the slides for Liz Howard’s talk about hacking the system:



Here are the slides for Angie Chang’s talk on “What I’d Tell My Younger Self”:


Complete version with speaker notes here.

Thanks to Natalie Bonifede of Girls Who Code San Francisco for inviting us to speak to speak to the summer 2013 class on 8/8 – we had a great time meeting each other over lunch at Twitter!