Race in Tech | Reducing Isolation

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Status Go Podcast: Episode 1

“Of all of the leaders out there in all of our industries a full 85% don’t get beyond the self authoring stage.” – Ron West

Episode 82: Race in Tech | Reducing Isolation

In this episode, we are highlighting the organization /dev/color where the overall mission is to empower Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders.  Cynthia Billops, Director of Programs, sits down with Jeff Ton to give us the history of /dev/color, their unique model of peer to peer networking and the pillars in which the organization was built upon.  The foundation of the group boils down to the simple, yet so powerful idea of helping one another, leaning on each other for support.  Cynthia walks through the isolation under-represented groups often feel, describing, “the  sense of otherness that takes away from you as an individual.” Our organizations and teams will only reach optimal strength when everyone feels seen and supported; Cynthia gives us a window into how /dev/color is accomplishing this for Black software engineers.  If you or someone you know would benefit from the support, networking and passion for helping each other /dev/color provides, they are accepting applications through 10.06.20!  Visit: www.devcolor.org/astar

Time Stamped Table of Contents

1:57 The history of /dev/color

6:48 The Peer to Peer model

8:18 The “work from home” impact

11:07 The financial model

14:17 The pillars of /dev/color

19:06 The struggle with guilt and expectations

22:30 The intersection of being Female and Black and an Engineer

26:17 Letter from the /dev/color CEO

33:00 The value of connection

38:24 Action items

42:25 Hiring practices

Cynthia Billops is an IT veteran with 20+ years experience building sustainable practices and the teams that implement them. She has guided large and small organizations through strategic growth phases and is uniquely equipped to find the “right” path forward in order to keep things moving.

As the Director of Programs at /dev/color, Cynthia is designing strategies to overcome the limitations imposed by the myriad of catastrophes impacting Black and Brown communities in general and Black Software engineers specifically. /dev/color is a non-profit that creates environments where Black software engineers can learn from one another and hold one another accountable for reaching ambitious career goals. While she acknowledges that much of what is impacting all of us right now is beyond our control, the Team at dev/color is committed to providing a program and network that is resilient, valuable, and flexible enough to support their members as they continue to move into more influential positions of tech leadership.

In addition to all of this fantastic-ness, Cynthia is creative, well-rounded, fun (and funny) with a passion for helping individuals and organizations grow capacity while cultivating authentic, reliable connections with their members, communities and each other.

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