Podcast – From Prison to Programming with the Code Cooperative
Our guest this week is Alex Qin, founder and CEO of the Code Cooperative.
Alex graduated from NYU with a degree in computer science and worked as a developer and engineer at several startups in New York City, eventually assuming senior roles like engineering team lead and director of technology.
Along the way, however, she found herself faced with discrimination and harassment. In 2016, she dramatically altered her appearance, an experience she discusses in a humorous and poignant talk – Shaving My Head Made me a Better Developer.
In 2016 she read the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and was inspired to do more to help people impacted by the justice system. She began organizing donations of unused laptops, and then moved on to help found the Code Cooperative in October of 2016. The group describes itself as a community of people who learn, use, and build technology to create life-changing possibilities for individuals and communities impacted by incarceration.
If you want to get involved, you can donate a laptop or make a financial contribution here. If you would like to volunteer as a mentor, you can apply here.Tags: bulletin, stackoverflow, the stack overflow podcast
A self-contained offline version of Stack Overflow is a great idea.
It could also serve as a sandbox for how to improve Stack Overflow’s own search.
However, the sheer size (what size is it now (compressed) – 30 GB?) could be a problem. Distribution, whether online or offline could be a problem. For offline, perhaps use micro SD cards that could go into normal letters?
If I’m not mistaken the Idea here, why not buy one 1 TB of a hard disk to a had copy of the stack overflow. And make a network that wouldn’t be connected to the internet (just local file servers)s that is able in prison? So people could just plug the LAN in and download file share file there? Or no maybe.
This is a great podcast.. It gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas.
I am a coder.
I would love to set up a non profit that would teach prisoners to code. I think that that would do as much for coders who are so very deprived of normal human contact as for the prisoners who are probably just dying to do something productive with their time
Awesome episode. For me two things stood out.
We need more women in the industry.
And there is a large part of the population which is underserved in terms of opportunities and access to education, and overrepresented in the prison-system. Living in Norway this is so obvious. Being the norm in US, not good.
“people impacted by the justice system”
Again and again there are new funny euphemisms appearing.
I have a friend that went to prison (2yrs) when he was in his early 20’s for drug charges. He learned networking online in prison and and moved up to VP of a local networking / web design company. He made a mistake when he was young but fixed it and finally found a job after he got out and kept moving up the ladder.
I’m a full stack developer and I’ve been denied jobs myself because I had a misdemeanor DUI 20 years ago. Lots of companies don’t understand that people can change but they have that mark on their permanent record.
I’ve worked in IT for Banks and other things that trusted me. But some bigger companies run a crazy background check on people.
(I know, I’m very late here, but chiming in in case this helps anyone in the future)
https://github.com/openzim/sotoki is a StackOverflow scraper that makes a ZIM file (an offline archive standard also used for things like Wikipedia).