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Resilient Coders: Social Justice Through Economic Empowerment

10.26.2021

Resilient Coders, a nonprofit coding bootcamp, strives for social justice through economic empowerment —specifically through high-tech jobs. What does it take to turn that vision into real-world change? David Delmar Senties, Founder and Executive Director of the Boston-based organization, says it’s about making bootcamp graduates “impossible to ignore” and also establishing a graduate-to-jobs pipeline.

“Through our free coding bootcamp, we teach more than the technical skills they need to be impossible to ignore in the workforce – we present a path to economic resiliency. We work with populations that have been systematically marginalized because we see in these communities an untapped talent pool with the potential to drive the 21st-century economy.”, David Delmar Senties, Founder and Executive Director, Resilient Coders

The bootcamps train individuals from historically underrepresented populations for high-growth careers like software engineering, and connect them with jobs. Next year, the non-profit is expecting to have around 130 students.

The goal is to give these individuals the skills necessary to become indispensable members of the tech ecosystem. According to Delmar Sentíes, “We believe in the raw economic potential of an untapped talent pool.” 

Closing the High-Tech Gap

An equitable economy equates to more readily available opportunities that enable upwards mobility for a greater range of people. Unfortunately, this level of economic evenness is hardly being achieved in today’s economy. The income gap is consistently increasing; since 1980, after accounting for inflation, pre-tax wages for the bottom 50% of earners have not budged. Meanwhile, wages for the top 1% has tripled. Resilient Coders is standing its ground on the front line of this battle, and is helping build a solution for the ever-growing conundrum.

“Communities of color face an uncertain economic future, creating an urgent need for equitable job opportunities that are resilient to changes in the labor market. National studies show that Black and Brown workers are overrepresented in low-paying, high-risk jobs that are most likely to be automated and are underrepresented in well-compensated, stable, and automation-resilient roles that White workers are ~50% more likely to hold. Jobs for Latinx workers face a 28% greater automation risk than those of White workers, and jobs for Black workers face an 18% higher risk.”  David Delmar Senties, Founder and Executive Director

Delmar Sentíes is a professional designer and interface developer with experience working for a multitude of award-winning startups, as well as established brands such as Starbucks, Coke, FedEx, and Pepsi.

Impressive Final Projects

Through their 20-week Resilient Coder bootcamps, the organization prepares students for pitching their final projects to prospective employers. The select cohort of young working adults, typically between the ages of 18-30, learn to code their own games and applications. Students come away with solid proficiency in HTML, well-crafted and responsive CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, React, Node, and MongoDB. In order to meet graduation requirements, students must build an application in JavaScript. Additionally, every student  needs to have procured, serviced, and invoiced their own freelance client. 

These bootcamps are designed to build and hone skills that directly translate to positions in tech. Almost all of the Resilient Coder’s alumni find work within weeks of having presented their final projects. Demo day, as it is called, is an opportunity for graduating students to showcase their skills for employee partner companies hiring software engineers. Here is the final project of Dashlin Sermeil, a recent graduate, who’s code encourages and improves communication between children and their caretakers using interactive design and data collection. 

Demo day isn’t the only way students find work, as the boot camp gives them the skills to find jobs on their own. 

Armored Things has been a proud supporter and partner of Resilient Coders. As a Boston-based startup, we appreciate the impact they continue to have on our local and global communities and share their vision for a high-tech community that prospers from the most diverse contributors and skill sets possible. We’re committed to building an inclusive community within our space. 

If you are looking to hire any of these positions, check out some of Resilient Coders recent graduates.