Facebook Invests $1 Million in Program for Underrepresented Engineers

Facebook Invests $1 Million in Program for Underrepresented Engineers

CodePath.org, an organization that provides free, accelerated mobile engineering classes for professional developers, recently announced that Facebook has invested $1 million to help expand their reach. Prior to Facebook’s contribution, CodePath.org served 400 students per semester. Their new goal is to target 1000 students per semester in the next year.

Additionally, the funding will allow them to create courses that target underrepresented minorities, and women during their freshman year, and expand their number of college partners. In the past three years, over 1700 students from over 30 colleges and universities have taken CodePath.org courses. In the next year, Facebook will enable CodePath.org to quadruple the number of students taught per semester.

Other funding goals include decreasing attrition for underrepresented students who enter the major, bridging the gap between traditional computer science curriculum and practical software engineering job responsibilities, and cultivating a bigger pipeline of underrepresented software engineers.

So far the organization has had the support of over 23 universities, including Mississippi State, Howard, and Purdue. These campuses now host CodePath.org courses for academic credit to expose students to real-world coding challenges. This gives students the relevant skills that major tech companies and other CodePath.org hiring partners are looking for.

Coding (Image: Nesa By Makers)

When taught on-campus the students are required to complete a 12-week intensive program that consists of 150+ hours. The students are shown videos, given guides, and receive 24/7 online support and grading from CodePath.org. After the course is complete, students are matched to internships based on their course performance. In addition to their current curriculum, CodePath.org offers multi-year course series that include iOS, Cybersecurity, and several other specialties.

The overarching goal of the organization is to help to diversify the tech workforce. Outside of technical skills, they help the students prepare for the technical interview process in addition to focusing their curriculum on how to land internships at larger tech companies, which has typically been known to be extremely competitive.

The move also come in the wake of a black former Facebook manager’s public complaint about the social media giant’s treatment of its black employees.

Writing in a Facebook post, Mark S. Luckie said, “Facebook’s disenfranchisement of black people on the platform mirrors the marginalization of its black employees. In my time at the company, I’ve heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them “hostile” or “aggressive” for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their non-Black team members.”

To learn more about CodePath.org, click here.