Ada has a commitment to changing diversity in the Tech industry. With that comes a set of challenges because everyone comes from various starting places and brings a unique story, background, and skill set to the table. As an organization, we are committed to getting better at addressing our students’ broad set of needs, supporting women of color through our program, and successfully training those with little to no programming experience. We are extremely proud of our 37 graduates, over a third of which are women of color (WoC).
We will be the first to admit that meeting these needs is sometimes tough. We are a work in progress, and we want to be open about it.
We want every student we admit to succeed and are committed to supporting them in their journey to becoming a software developer. We do not want to exclude those who have some programming background – yet not enough to make it without Ada. We also don’t want to exclude those with little to no background who can find it challenging to keep up. We want to be sure we’re doing everything in our power to ensure all students feel supported towards success. In a continued effort to strike a balance that best meets our wide range of student needs, we have and will continue to evolve the Ada Developers Academy program:
– We adjust the pace of each cohort’s curriculum as we get more familiar with the experience and exposure our students have. We also augment our curriculum and add support systems like tutoring and personalized learning. We have a living curriculum because every group of students has a different set of needs that we want to cater to while getting each student to their goal of becoming a software developer.
– We are starting a WoC community at Ada that will include our students, board, and staff members of color as well as selected engineers in the industry who are passionate about mentoring and coaching. Alexandra Holien, our Sponsorship & Engagement Manager, will take the lead in forming this community, which will provide support, mentorship, and guidance to our students of color, and actively advise staff on our efforts in this area.
– We established a diversity committee to focus on our expanding mission around inclusion beyond the gender gap. We are currently working with a Cultural Consultant to inform and assess Ada as an organization and how we can grow as an org. We are continuously iterating on a new curriculum (which includes topics like micro-aggressions, uncovering our implicit biases, and privilege) that focuses on creating a healthy environment where all students can feel heard and accepted.
– To address the wide span of programming and technology exposure we see in every class, we’re launching an Ada Bootcamp ahead of our next cohort in January. Those who have little to no coding background will be encouraged to attend a set of classes before their first day with the cohort. During this bootcamp they will learn basic concepts, hone in on their learning style, and preview the pace of learning at Ada.
– We believe an organization that wants to be diverse must build diversity into its very fabric. At every turn, we are always aiming to increase the diversity of our staff, board, volunteers, and alumnae:
- We’ve added to our board a senior WoC in tech, Tammarrian Rogers, who actively advises us.
- Our latest two additions to the Ada staff are extremely passionate and talented African American women who are committed to supporting our mission.
- We have an Ada alumnae on our Board of Directors to represent the student voice and will be adding another soon.
- We have started hosting a quarterly fireside chat with our Ada alumnae to facilitate discussions on how as an Ada community, we can continue to move forward in the areas of inclusion and diversity.
We strive to be a part of the solution to one of the greatest challenges facing our industry–diversity in tech. You can expect we will continue to grow from our experiences with students and the feedback we receive. We remain committed to making Ada an inclusive place that supports the success of students from diverse backgrounds as this is critical to our mission.
Ada by the Numbers:
37 graduates since Ada started
13 are WoC (non-white), 4 of which are African American or Latina
48 students are in session currently
14 are WoC (non-white), 4 of which are African American or Latina
3 students did not complete the program; they are WoC, specifically African American and Latina.