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Stephen Belovarich
Stephen Belovarich

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Coding Is About People Too... Ya Know?

We are experiencing an inflection point in American society. Gubernatorial orders to shelter in place have kept us indoors. Those of us fortunate enough to have a job despite 25% unemployment are working from home. We blasted off astronauts in a corporate engineered capsule to the International Space Station while Black Lives Matter protestors flee blasts of flash bang grenades. 2020 is an election year where the President is facing the highest disapproval rating of any President in the history of America. We must fill the void left by our leaders with the voices of the community.

With so much going on, I beg web developers to take some time away from coding and consider how their words and actions affect other people. So much of the time we are downright myopic, focusing only on syntax, frameworks, and tooling. I truly believe our silence concerning the welfare of fellow Americans makes us complicit in their misfortune. Black people have endured far too many atrocities to bare. Black mothers have to fear their children are next to be murdered facing the lens of an iPhone camera.

Will the legacy of tech in the lives of black people be the devices that record their murder?

Black Lives Matter is about gaining equity for black people. Why are we creating barriers to entry in tech for people of color? How can we change hiring practices to reverse this?

What happens when leaders in technology don't recognize they are part of the problem?

Coding is about people. Coding provides upward mobility for those who participate. Code is for the benefit of people!

I'm a teacher. One of my students came up to me after graduation a few years back almost in tears. I asked what was wrong but it turns out these were tears of joy. He explained how he just received a job offer, the first in his family to make over $100,000 salary. This remains a profound moment in my life when I realized there is more to coding.

How we use the power of the hire is up to us. We have an opportunity to change lives and I fear we'll squander it.

How can we change hiring practices to be more inclusive of minorities in America? How do we effectively challenge our leaders to enact change? What do you have to contribute to the discussion?

The system is broken. What are you going to do about it?

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