Amazon has committed over 700 million dollars to train 100,000 of its non-tech workforce into coding and security positions. M&T Bank is developing a 330,000-square-foot space to start training over 1000 people in tech. Wegmans is hosting a PRO-AM Hackathon connecting IT talent with Rochester businesses. Why are these industry leaders putting forth time, attention, and money to do this?
THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO CAN CODE.
This is not a new issue. Those of us in the tech industry have heard this from the start – there are a lot of programming / coding jobs out there. The US has imported a lot of its coding talent and with new immigration politics, we are also exporting our limited talent to manage programmers overseas.
I would quote statistics, but you can find them yourself with a quick Google search (be sure to check the dates on the actual research being quoted). Amazon, M&T Bank, and Wegmans recognize the crisis and have decided to spend their own time and energy attracting and educating tech talent. While these initiatives are very progressive compared to others who stay in their own lane, it only addresses the current state and does nothing to prevent this from being a perpetual issue in the future.
To solve this issue now, and prevent it from being a problem in the future, we need to do more than train the current workforce.
I think about my experience as a soccer coach. Even though there are very few people who will ever be paid to play soccer, we have year-round opportunities for people of all ages to play soccer. There is an opportunity for everyone to be involved, even if they don’t play soccer. Soccer moms have bumper stickers showing their support, soccer dads wear the swag with the number of their favorite player, grandparents can help drive kids places and run the concession stands. Why don’t we have this for technology considering everyone uses tech in every job out there and jobs will be even more technically oriented in the future?
Instead of relying on overwhelmed school systems which we need to teach kids the essentials of reading, writing, and arithmetic, I’ve been working on a more comprehensive solution. A solution that breaks down the barriers which keep people from engaging with technology. Instead of relying on colleges and universities to create a pipeline of talent, I’m working on developing a community of people who are engaged and excited about the future.
Consider this an invitation. If you are interested in developing and retaining tech talent, or are ready to invest time and money in a comprehensive solution to this growing crisis, connect with me here.