In today’s show we interview the incredible Sarah Cooper, Executive Director for the League of Amazing Programmers. Sarah speaks with a combination of passion, experience and knowledge that makes this one of our best episodes yet. These show notes really don't do this convo any justice, so hit the play button and enjoy!
Companies that struggle to find diverse talent need to look at their set up to identify what challenges and barriers they have to attract the right people. Be explicit of what you are looking for and state “we would love to have more x or y in our company to make us strong”. Sarah believes we should remove CS degree requirements for entry-level software dev jobs. As it is, we are not pushing out enough graduates to fill all the roles that are coming. So we have to address that requirement to produce more tech workers to sustain the SD / local economy. In Britain and America, there is a myth that without a 4 yr degree you won't be successful, however, most 18-year-olds do not have a good vantage point to decide what their pathway to success will be. Apprenticeship programs would work well in the tech sector because it allows people to learn on the job, in the role, from mentors and role models. Sarah recognizes that employee retention is key to the long term success of any business. She advises companies to build a culture where employees are allowed to express their identity, to self create, to be heard, and not feel intimidated.
Sarah Cooper is the Executive Director of The League of Amazing Programmers an organization aimed to create a positive impact on students by helping them develop critical thinking skills and self-confidence through learning computer programming. She is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of work in education, nonprofit, and marketing. Skilled in Operations, Coaching, Communication, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Team Building.
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