The tech industry has created more companies, jobs, and wealth than ever before. But not everyone is benefitting from those opportunities. Because of financial and structural barriers, people without college degrees or professional experience can struggle to find careers in the tech industry. This has contributed to a growing prosperity gap between white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers. Pursuit, a social impact organization, is working to bridge that divide. Through its four-year intensive program, Pursuit transforms the lives of adults by helping those with the most need and potential to become professional software developers, get their first tech jobs, and become leaders in the tech industry.
As we continue to work on making Stack Overflow more welcoming and inclusive, we are excited to have Pursuit—the only software developer training organization committed to serving talent from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds—for support. This partnership reflects our and Pursuit’s shared commitment to creating a tech community that is truly representative of people from all backgrounds. “We want Pursuit’s cohorts—a group of talented software developers from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds—to feel welcomed at Stack Overflow,” Khalid El Khatib, VP, Marketing and Communications for Stack Overflow, says. “Their engagement is paramount to our mission of helping developers write the script of the future. We’re excited about creating partnerships with Pursuit to not only better reach diverse engineering communities, but also the tech industry more broadly.” As part of this engagement, we recently invited Pursuit Fellows to Stack Overflow’s New York offices to meet with members of our engineering team. They talked about the typical day of an engineering lead and the key qualities needed to succeed in their roles. Pursuit staff members praised Stack Overflow for their efforts to build a more inclusive tech community and provide critical resources to rising developers like their Fellows. “Like Pursuit, Stack Overflow creates opportunities for people from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds to be a part of a professional network, which is key to their success as software developers,” says Pursuit Chief Programs Officer Rey Fernandez. “Stack Overflow isn’t only an important technical resource, but also a supportive and welcoming community that enables our Fellows to break into and become part of the tech community.” Pursuit Fellows—individuals with high need and potential who raise their average annual salaries from $18,000 to $85,000 pre to post program and work at leading tech companies—echoed that sentiment.
“As a budding Android developer, Stack Overflow has been essential in offering me approachable explanations of higher concepts,” says Pursuit Fellow Ashley Lewis. “I like that Stack Overflow fosters connections throughout the broader tech community in spite of any particular programmers experience or skill level. I can ask experts questions that I would normally be too embarrassed to ask.” “As a member of a tech fellowship like Pursuit,” she adds, “I am especially excited and motivated by the collaborative approach Stack Overflow strives for. It allows programmers, regardless of experience and skill level, to be a part of a community that works together to learn and problem solve.”