You can break into tech from any background, but the first product you build is yourself.
The problem is that there is no centralized resource to show you how to do this and employers are still focused on hiring people with traditional backgrounds.
We intend to show you that it doesn’t matter what school you went to, how high your GPA is, or what struggle you’ve been through. All that matters is what you can do.
Education teaches you skills, skills give you power, and the balance of power between personal liberty and job security will depend on your mastery of technology.
We believe that our current education system cannot keep up with advances in technology and will not be able to adequately prepare us for the jobs of the future. Furthermore, we understand something that goes relatively unnoticed — millions of jobs are created, while millions of others are quietly destroyed by automation every year.
Learning a new skill takes deliberate practice, but once learned, no one can take that skill away from you but yourself. They can take away your job, they can take away your house, they can throw you in jail, but if it’s in you, they can’t take it out of you.
If you have the skills and are from a non-traditional background…don’t worry about imposter syndrome. Your unique experience will be what sets you apart in the interview. If you’re doing your best to break in and things don’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be or it wasn’t the right time. What’s most important, is for you to trust your struggle, keep going and when you look back, everything will make sense. Sometimes rejection is your destiny helper.
We would argue that the talent pool of people with non-traditional backgrounds is significantly larger than what is generally believed. Often these hidden geniuses are not aware of the roles that exist and many employers don’t know how to identify them even if they wanted to hire them.
Many employers refuse to believe that there is a pipeline problem. The fact of the matter is, there is a pipeline problem because no one has figured out a way to show people with non-traditional backgrounds about the opportunities that exist and no one has built a fast way to train people with non-traditional backgrounds who want to break into tech and get away from industries that are dying.
We want to live in a world where employers understand that great minds don’t think alike, and what you see or experience on the road less traveled brings a different perspective to people on the traditional path.
Here’s what we know:
- In 2016, the American Economy will create ~24.5 million jobs and destroy ~ 21 million jobs, for a net add of ~3.5 million jobs.
- There are alternative forms of education like coding bootcamps and resources online that teach people the skills they need in order to navigate in this new world without having to pay student loans for the rest of their lives — other models will emerge in the future.
- The United States of America will be majority-minority by 2040, and it is very hard to identify talent from non-traditional backgrounds if you’re not from those communities or if you don’t spend time in those communities.
- We are committed to creating a podcast to provide a platform for people with non-traditional backgrounds to share their stories so that we can break existing stereotypes through education, mentorship, and resources.
- Our goal is to build a viable pipeline for people with non-traditional backgrounds by consolidating existing information on www.breakingintostartups.com, crowdsourcing the best advice, and embracing partners that care deeply about solving this problem.
- We pledge to work tirelessly to continue building a community that will demonstrate that it is possible to break into tech from any background.
We are confident that we can succeed because history tells us that with hard work, the barriers of a disadvantaged background can be overcome.
- We know that an immigrant from Bolivia could go on to become one of the most famous educators in American history by teaching troubled and allegedly unteachable Hispanic students at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles how to achieve high placement scores on AP Calculus tests.
- We know that a teacher in Philadelphia’s Frederick Douglas Elementary School could take a classroom of virtually all black inner-city school kids from not knowing what chess was to winning the National Elementary School Chess Championship.
- We know that a small group of black students from Wiley College in the American South during the 1930’s could overcome Jim Crow laws and lynch mobs to be declared winners of the first collegiate inter-racial debate in the United States.
To be clear, the concept of non-traditional backgrounds is not limited to race or ethnicity, but encompasses people from all walks of life.
To put it another way, a pair of twin brothers from the Ukraine and a Spanish-speaking cellist from Atlanta who happens to be black make an unlikely trio to take on this challenge, but that is exactly what we plan to do.
We truly believe that life is about relationships and this Podcast is a product of every individual who supported us along the way. We are grateful to our parents and our loved ones who have helped us refine this message.
Remember, if you have a compelling story, complete strangers will go out of their way to help you.
With deepest respect and great anticipation,
Ruben, Artur, and Timur
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