In tech, some minorities are too minor. This group wants to change that.


Before Randi Williams spent last summer in San Francisco, the 19-year-old computer-engineering student from Maryland had only one idea on how to break into the tech industry: Get a bachelor’s degree, get a master’s degree, then start applying for jobs. It’s a formula that seems routine except, perhaps, in Silicon Valley, where internships, connections, and even dropping out of college can be a means to a job at a tech startup.

But a fellowship program with Code2040, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, flipped her script. Through it Williams found a paid internship at wearable tech company Jawbone just after her freshman year. Over 10 weeks, she took a self-directed crash course in web programming, augmenting her coding knowledge by adding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to her existing repertoire of Java and Python skills, as well as knowledge gleaned from building the Careers page on Jawbone’s website. She…

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