Navigating Discussions about Race in the Tech Workplace

Navigating Discussions about Race in the Tech Workplace

As discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to be at the forefront of science and tech workplaces, Black and non-White professionals carry the heavy burden of educating others about race—with or without being asked.

Now more than ever, workplaces are taking significant steps to diversify their teams and alleviate the systematic barriers to entry that Black and Latino professionals face in the job market.

Despite the educational strides that are being taken, Black and non-White Latino professionals are still tasked with the heavy burden of having to educate others about race or ethnicity—especially during fraught times of racial tension such as those that arose in the wake of the George Floyd killing. 

 

If you are a minority working as a professional in the tech space, you may feel a range of unpleasant or uncomfortable emotions in these situations. However, there are ways that you can engage in fruitful dialogue about race with your co-workers without it being at the expense of your mental, physical, and professional health.

Here are a few ways that you can approach this as a minority in the workplace:

1. Set Boundaries

If you find that the discussions being held around you are harmful to your mental or professional well-being, do not be afraid to set clear boundaries in the workplace. As allies, non-Black co-workers or team members must be prepared to do their own work first, which includes being mindful of the language and actions they display that can be harmful or offensive to oppressed groups.

2. Engage Leadership

It is critical that workplaces have the resources to host diversity and inclusion training workshops, onboard employee assistance groups, and hire workplace therapists so that no one individual or group in the company feels responsible for leading these difficult conversations.

As a valued member of your organization, you have the right to engage your leadership or senior members about the need for the aforementioned resources. In doing so, you are creating opportunities for yourself and other minority professionals in your workplace to have access to a support network.

3. Acknowledge the Gaps

Understand that one conversation will not solve all the challenges you will likely face as a minority in the workplace. However, the most difficult conversations in the workplace can often lead to greater understanding and empathy for one another, as both team members and human beings. Be patient with yourself and your co-workers and continue to stay alert for areas of growth or discussion that you can bring up with leadership or human resources (HR). 

For more tips about navigating the STEM workplace, professional development, and networking, follow the MinTech Agency blog HERE.

 

 

Three Things to Know Before Joining a Startup

Three Things to Know Before Joining a Startup

Working at a startup in tech or STEM can be an exciting place for professional growth and development. However, the startup working environment is unique. Continue reading to learn about the key things to know before joining a startup.

Startups are known for being the movers and shakers of their industries. Innovative ideas and products are often formed at startups, and are then backed by investors through funding rounds that support the company’s mission, idea, or products.

 

If joining a hard-working team in a fast-paced environment is something that interests you, the startup environment may be right for you. But before you send of your applications to startups far and wide, here are a few key things that prospective applicants should know before joining a startup:

1. You Will Get to Know Your Team Closely

Startups can range from small to midsize organizations. While there is ample time for independent work at a startup, close collaboration with your team members is often a necessary part of the job. 

In addition, it is not unusual for you to work closely with or know your startup’s founders. Thus, it is important that you believe in and are motivated by the company’s value proposition or mission statement, as you’ll play a key role in spearheading it. 

Before accepting a job offer at a startup, do your homework on the founders, the company’s mission, and its culture to make sure these critical elements are a fit for you.

2. Be Prepared to Work Unusual Hours

The unpredictable nature of startups, especially within a highly changeable and unpredictable market like technology or STEM, will likely result in you working long or odd hours. 

There may be nights when you and your team members are burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline or a client’s revision. If work life integration is important to you, carefully consider whether a startup’s unstructured working style is right for you.

3. You Will Wear Multiple Hats

If you want to work at a startup, be prepared to take on projects or responsibilities that may not have been mentioned in the job description. Unlike at a larger organization, where there are different departments handling different sections of the work, the long-term success of the startup often depends heavily on the individual or joint contributions of its team members. 

Before joining a startup, assess whether or not the unique level of dedication and commitment needed to achieve long-term success at a startup is right for you.

Learn more about the roles we have open at some hot new startups HERE.

 

 

3 Questions To Ask During A Remote Technical  Job Interview

3 Questions To Ask During A Remote Technical Job Interview

Following the onset of the global coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the United States was forced to embrace remote work. Interestingly, despite no longer being in the office, employees remained productive. Increased employee productivity levels, combined with the reported higher levels of job satisfaction, have made the possibility of long-term remote work attractive to the American workforce. 

Is Remote Work Right for Me? 

According to ZDNet.com, “almost two-thirds (63%) of tech professionals said they expected to continue to work remotely.” Perhaps the most important factor that is driving the possibility of long-term remote working strategies is that employees’ productivity has actually increased. For example, findings from a leading study revealed a 13% performance increase in the productivity of employees at a NASDAQ-listed company. 

As a remote worker, you have the ability to apply for technical job positions anywhere in the country without having to pay for living and housing costs in the chosen area. In addition, a large part of technical professionals’ work can be completed via a computer or smart device. 

If remote work is the best long-term strategy for you and your lifestyle, here are the top 3 questions to ask your hiring manager in your next interview to land your remote technical job.  

feb-blog-remote-work-stat-performance

Question #1: How Do You Measure Success in this Role?

As a remote worker, it is imperative that you are clear on the methods the company or organization uses to measure success for their remote workforce. When you identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re expected to meet from the onset of the working relationship, you will be able to work independently (and confidently) with the outlined performance goals in mind.  

Question #2: What Are The Expectations for Overtime Work?

As a remote worker, you may be more likely to continue working past your contracted or salaried hours due to the convenience of not having to physically leave the office. If a work-life balance is important to you, understand the company’s expectations for overtime work so that you incorporate non-work related activities (such as personal time or family time) into your life accordingly. 

Question #3: What Networking Events are Offered to Remote Employees?

With a mass shift to remote work, many employees are missing the traditional perks and benefits that come with being in the office. Happy hour or after work events were once optimal places to build professional and personal connections. If a key part of your professional experience includes bonding with your team members or office mates, ask your potential employer about the initiatives they have in place which encourage social networking. 

Top Software Engineering Courses to Take in 2021

Top Software Engineering Courses to Take in 2021

With the advent of the unprecedented global pandemic (COVID-19), students and career professionals alike are re-imagining the way they pursue education through the adoption of self-paced learning. EasyLMS.com defines self-paced learning as learning on your own time and schedule, with benefits such as reduced pressure to adhere to a strict timeline, the ability to set your own schedule, and an accommodation of different learning styles. Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned tech professional, or just simply looking to expand upon your already acquired skill sets, these self-paced online courses in software engineering may be right for you. 

Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization

Offered by Duke University through Coursera, this course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of Java — one of the most in-demand programming languages and the foundation of the Android operating system. The course consists of 5 specializations and a compilation of projects, specifically a capstone project. With this course, students will learn how to understand core programming concepts and solve complex problems.

  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Certification: Yes (students can also audit the class for free)
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 5 months

Statistics and R

Offered by Harvard University through edX, this course teaches the R programming language in the context of statistical data and statistical analysis in the life sciences. The course consists of 7 parts, which can be taken individually or all at once. Through the use of R scripts to analyze data, students will learn the basics of conducting reproducible research.

  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Certification: Yes (students can also audit the class for free)
  • Financial Aid Available: N/A
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 4 weeks

Building Modern Python Applications on AWS

For software developers looking to expand their cloud platform knowledge, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a certified course that teaches students how to build applications on AWS using Python. This course is offered through the Coursera platform. For tech professionals interested in receiving certifications for their cloud platform development skills, Amazon Web Services also offers a bevy of certifications to bolster your professional resume. 

  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Certification: Yes (students can also audit the class for free)
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 22 hrs.

Cloud Architecture with Google Cloud Professional Certificate

Offered by Google Cloud through Coursera, this certification teaches students the fundamentals of cloud architecture, specifically how to deploy solution elements, including infrastructure components such as networks, systems and applications services on the Google Cloud platform. According to Global Knowledge, the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification was ranked one of the top paying IT certifications of 2019.

  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Certification: Yes (students can also audit the class for free)
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 3 months

Ready to apply the skills you’ve acquired through self-paced online courses to your professional career? Apply HERE to work with a dedicated MinTech agent.