Entering its fourth year, /dev/color— a nonprofit with a mission to empower black developers and engineers—recently announced its largest cohort to date. The group welcomed over 370 black software engineers from across each of the organization’s four chapters, located in New York, Seattle, Atlanta, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The engineers joined /dev/color’s A* Program “which provides them with mentorship, advice, and a community to help them grow into industry leaders.”
Members will participant in a one-year commitment where they must attend a monthly, two-hour squad meeting. Squads are groups of 6 –10 A* members at similar stages in their careers. These meetings are the bedrock of A* membership and attendance is strictly required and enforced. Additionally, they will set and share goals with their fellow members.
The organization was founded in 2015 by Makinde Adeagbo, a senior software engineer and Facebook, Dropbox, and Pinterest alum. It aims to address career challenges engineers face head-on through career development, networking opportunities, and a highly-structured peer exchange model. According to a recent press release, Lajuanda M. Asemota was appointed as the organization’s Interim executive director to advance this mission in 2018. The women-led organization remains committed to increasing representation for people of color in the tech sector.
“It is no secret that software engineers, in particular, represent the ‘movers and shakers’ of the digital age,” said Asemota. “This means /dev/color’s work extends beyond creating access and parity. In fact, the engineers’ design and technological innovation has the potential to change the world as we know it. So it’s important that people of color emerge as key stakeholders in these creative processes to ensure we are creating a world that works for everyone,” she continued, “This belief anchors /dev/color’s commitment to black software engineers and drives our expansion efforts.”
In addition to the *A Program, /dev/color has assembled The Guild, a community of corporate partners that convene monthly to share best practices, exchange new ideas, and discuss challenges pertaining to diversifying the tech industry. The role of the Guild is to bring together leaders within Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Recruitment, and Engineering from across various companies, including Airbnb, Asana, Bank of America, Capital One, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Ebay, Mailchimp, Quip, Reddit, Remix, Sequoia, Twitter, and returning Gold partners Facebook, Google, Netflix, Pinterest, Square, and Uber.
“I am so grateful to /dev/color not only for our partnership, but for the work they’re doing to elevate and advance the professional lives of black software engineers across the country,” said Sydney Brunson, diversity programs manager at Pinterest. “It is integral, as a tech company that continuously promotes and fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace, to have partners like /dev/color to help us learn more, apply that knowledge, and relentlessly innovate.”