Ada Developers Academy Interview featuring new advisory board member Dr. Lisa Chin
Welcome to the Ada Developers Community! What was it about Ada that drew you to the board?
I am pleased to say that I have known about Ada from even before the program launched. Scott Case, one of Ada’s founders, reached out for guidance and advice when I was serving as the Founding Executive Director at Year Up Puget Sound. We talked about career training and professional development programs for under-represented people in our community. We shared a common vision of building programs and successful career pathways for community members who were overlooked or otherwise not invested in.
Ada’s focus on developing competency and skillsets is extraordinary. The community is vibrant and engaging. and I’m thrilled to bring my full skillsets in service to Ada’s mission.
How do you see your role on the board helping to move Ada forward?
I am excited to bring my experience as a nonprofit CEO and a leader in technology training to Ada. I believe my on-the-ground insights from Year Up and my board work at Bellevue College, along with my belief in what gender diverse people and women can do is a great fit for Ada’s board
Please share with the community aspects of your background that tie into the Ada community.
My personal journey – from education, technical, and immigrant experiences have become tools I use to help build access and successful pathways for people who are not historically represented in technology.
With a Ph.D. in Education, I can provide my perspective on Ada’s structure at a foundational level. Prior to my work in nonprofits, I also served as a technical program lead at Amazon.
I support a number of education and access-focused organizations. Like Ada, these organizations are focused on serving and supporting people who have been traditionally shut out from opportunities. Under-represented people often need a different avenue to access the American dream.
What are your primary objectives during your Ada board term?
My objective is to partner with my board colleagues to support the Executive Director and the staff and provide strategic guidance that helps ensure that Ada is successful. Ada’s success is judged by the successes of its students we serve. My hope is that one day, there is no need for Ada because everyone will have the access they need to be able to pursue their American dream.
What gender diverse person or woman in STEM inspires you, and why?
The amazing women from the book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016) are inspiring — so much grit and passion! There are more stories still yet to be told. As more women, people of color and gender diverse folks join the tech community, we are creating new stories each day. They are using their voices, their opinions, and their creativity be at the forefront. Ada is designed to stand alongside these folks. They need time and encouragement regardless of whether or not they reach celebrity status in their careers. They have a right to pursue their dreams. They need to know and see that they are good enough.
Where would you like to see Ada in a year or so?
I would love to see Ada be able to accommodate more students. The demand for our work far exceeds the space we have for current cohorts, so I want to see the floodgates open, with a much larger group of gender diverse people and women being served and taking those software engineer roles. That means we need to scale the operations to take on more students.
Do you have an initial message to the Ada community you’d like to share?
I can’t say enough how much I love this program and how excited I am to get started. I share Ada’s goals to help gender diverse people and women become more prominent as software developers, and see themselves as the incredible people they are.