Facebook TechPrep Emphasizes Computer Science, Programming, Diversity - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
10/22/2015
10:05 AM
50%
50%

Facebook TechPrep Emphasizes Computer Science, Programming, Diversity

Facebook is turning its skills at connecting people in a new direction with the launch of a TechPrep, a website designed to get kids invested in computer science, while promoting diversity.

15 Hottest IT Jobs for 2016
15 Hottest IT Jobs for 2016
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Facebook is looking to reach out to minorities with the launch of TechPrep, a resource hub where aspiring STEM students, as well as their parents or guardians, can learn more about computer science and programming and find resources to get them started.

The landing page for the TechPrep website features a video and two major portals to help potential future programmers understand why they might like a career in that field, and how they can start on that path.

The site is also designed to appeal to parents and those who are researching STEM careers for themselves. There's also a Spanish language version.

TechPrep helps connect people to resources that include games, books, in-person opportunities, and community events to help teachers and parents guide kids to computer science and programming. It includes profiles of real people pursuing these careers.

(Image: Anatolii Babii/iStockphoto)

(Image: Anatolii Babii/iStockphoto)

"By exposing people to computer science and programming and guiding them to the resources they need to get started, we hope to reduce some of the barriers that block potential from meeting opportunity," Maxine Williams, Facebook's global director of diversity, wrote in an Oct. 20 blog post.

The Facebook-led initiative, supported by McKinsey & Company, is the result of a study the company commissioned about the participation of underrepresented minorities in programming careers.

The study found a majority of parents say they do not know how to help their child pursue computer science.

The report also revealed that lower awareness of computer science among African American and Hispanic communities is driven by lesser access to both people and programs, compared with white and Asian communities, and it is a major driver of black and Hispanic drop-off when people are pursuing programming as a career path.

"Diversity is central to Facebook's mission of creating a more open and connected world -- both because it's the right thing to do and because it's good for our product and business," Williams wrote. "Cognitive diversity matters because bringing together people of different characteristics enables us to build better products that serve nearly 1.5 billion people around the world."

Facebook isn't the only company looking to expand diversity in the technology and computer science industries. In May, search giant Google issued a promise to do more to improve the diversity of its employees, and released holistic plan based on a four-point strategy.

[Read more about women in technology.]

The specific objectives of Google's plan center on: Hiring diverse employees, fostering a fair and inclusive culture, expanding the pool of technologists, and reaching out to underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, through the Accelerate With Google Academy.

While the overwhelming lack of women and minorities in the tech workforce has become a critical concern across the country, specifically in Silicon Valley, major players like Apple and Intel have been making progress.

Apple's second annual report notes the company has hired more than 11,000 women around the world over the past 12 months, a 65% jump from the amount of women it hired the year prior.

Intel also boasted a more diverse workforce in its mid-year diversity report. The company set a 40% diversity hiring goal for 2015, which it surpassed within the first six months of 2015.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/2/2015 | 3:01:29 PM
Re: Really?
@yalanand, I see the same trend - in Canada... sad reality of new IT... - how I see it...
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/2/2015 | 3:00:28 PM
Re: Really?
@yalanand, I would say things do change... but we will see.... as everyone want best people on board...
yalanand
50%
50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
10/28/2015 | 3:26:47 PM
Re: Really?
I don't know about the rest of the world, but in India there are certain companies who recruit like crazy, only to discard them after a project. *cough* InfoSys *cough*.
yalanand
50%
50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
10/28/2015 | 3:25:15 PM
Really?
Really? Every 2 in 7 engineers know coding to an extent in this world, and that is a very high number. Competition in CS is already sky high. The cut off in some of the best schools are impossible to think about, but they are being achieved. I entered IBM without a good GPA. And now their CS cutoff GPA is 6.0 out of 10.0 that is insane.
Commentary
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
Slideshows
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
News
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll