Last June, leading web development firm, This Dot Labs, formally announced their Open Source Apprentice Program. This program provides a pathway for companies to invest in diversifying the demographic ratio of tech professionals. Despite data on tech bootcamp enrollment, which has shown significant interest from prospective developers from underrepresented groups, a large proportion of graduates are not able to find employment within a timely manner.
This leaves a massive pool of talent that will remain unutilized unless companies step up to give these rising developers opportunities to apply what they already know and learn more about what they don’t. Many companies realize that creating culturally diverse workspaces is not only an ethical obligation, but also has the potential to enhance quality-of-work, as well as offer numerous financial benefits.
One of these companies is Applitools.
Its revolutionary titular product, a visual UI testing and monitoring software, leverages the power of AI to replicate the function and preferences of the human eye. This provides users with a zero-calibration testing software that immediately troubleshoots and enhances web and mobile app user interfaces. However, A/B testing is not the only area of the tech world that Applitools is committed to improving.
During the pre-publicized development phase of This Dot’s Open Source Apprentice Program, Applitools partnered with the tech consultancy to sponsor thirteen talented women who joined the program as apprentice engineers. Applitools' support provided a pipeline of meaningful, paid, open source projects for the participants to complete with the support of This Dot’s seasoned senior developers.
One of these apprentices was Blessing Mbonu, who didn’t know how to go about contributing to open source projects prior to her apprenticeship. Over the three months she spent in the program, she contributed three pull requests to Applitools' project, and learned, “how to work with contributors in the open source community."
Other participants, including Taryn Li, felt most empowered by the mentorship offered by the host company, This Dot Labs. Many bootcamp graduates find themselves having to bridge the gaps in their knowledge by themselves, before feeling confident enough to apply to their first junior level position. As Li stated, “Being able to get answers that googling couldn’t provide was super beneficial.”
The future success of the tech industry, as well as companies that benefit from developer talent, relies on the push toward democratizing access to the enterprise-level labor pipeline. As of now, the supply of quality developer talent is not meeting the demand presented by rapidly transforming digital technology, and this disparity will only grow worse with each passing day. It is up to forward thinking companies, such as Applitools and This Dot, to recognize the vastly underestimated pool of talent that lies within the bridge between education and paid experience, and utilizing that talent in a responsible, symbiotic manner.
This Dot Inc. is a consulting company which contains two branches : the media stream and labs stream. This Dot Media is the portion responsible for keeping developers up to date with advancements in the web platform. In order to inform authors of new releases or changes made to frameworks/libraries, events are hosted, and videos, articles, & podcasts are published. Meanwhile, This Dot Labs provides teams with web platform expertise using methods such as mentoring and training.