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by Ruth Mesfun (@pocintech, @ruthmesfun)   This is my first month learning officially how to code like a programmer.  I was so excited that Flatiron School created the online Learn-Verified program because I loved the atmosphere of their in-person immersive courses but I knew there was no way I could take off three months to take their immersive course. You see, I am a middle school teacher and work around 60 hours a week. The online course provides everything from their Web Development Immersive program but it’s a self-paced course. An in-person immersive

by Aaron Russell (Check out his interview here)   When I was kid, I remember my youth pastor sharing a verse with me that states “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Each year, this verse resonates with me just a little bit more than the previous. I feel the weight of these words and have really begun to grasp their meaning as I reflect on my life experiences and those individuals who have edified and invested in me. I have found that there is a pattern that

This past year has brought along so much change in my life, mindset, plans, and goals–to the point where I decided I would change my major. I made the decision to change my major from art to a science last year, and it was an incredibly bold and spontaneous one at that. I remember walking out of the advisor meeting like, What the hell did I just get myself into? I decided I would become a computer programmer, software developer, web designer, etc. I want to be all of those

Outside of coding, who are you?   I am a writer. Earlier this year, I finally gave myself permission to call myself a writer. Not because I got paid for it, not because I wrote a book, but because I decided that writing was a form of art that was essential to my life. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been perusing job and internship descriptions related to User Experience, Web Design, Product Development, etc. etc. I copy and paste the parts of the job description that excite me, and

By Nkem Nwankwo   (@NkemNwan)   Tech needs diversity as much as diversity needs tech. These days, it seems like new articles covering the topic are published every week, yet there is little progress made. One major reason is the fact that it is difficult to quantify the effect of having a highly homogenous technical workforce. The million dollar question is, does it actually benefit tech companies to have “diverse” technical talent? Marketing is starting to get it. How many times have you seen a powerful, seemingly competent company launch

In March, I got the opportunity to speak at Urban Prep Academy, a preparatory school for students of color in Chicago. I talked to the senior class about pursuing a degree in computer science and entering the technology field. After the talk, a handful of students came to ask me follow up questions. Additionally, after my presentation, a number of the students expressed an increased interest in majoring in computer science and engineering. Through my conversations with high school students, it became clear to me that one of the reasons

‘Just saw POCIT on product hunt, this is getting out of hand…’ A friend from university texted me. POCIT had previously been featured in a few other tech publications, but there’s something about being featured in Product Hunt’s top 10 that gives legitimacy to your project/business/venture that’s hard to replicate. Hence the flabbergasted text from a friend shocked to see POCIT catapulted to the top 10 of Product Hunt’s daily list. We stayed in the top 10 all day, gaining hundreds of votes, a massive surge of interest, and an outpouring of valuable

“Black people get PhDs?” I remember thinking this to myself as the guest speaker was introduced for our National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter meeting. Sure, I was a student at Vanderbilt University and a declared Computer Science major. However, I was shocked. I really had no idea black people got PhDs. I know this sounds crazy. But literally, I had never known or heard of anyone having a PhD in my circles. Most were content to finish a bachelor’s degree, if anything at all. For me, a PhD

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