Sabio sets sights on creating Latino, women developers

Sabio is a developer program run by two Latinos aiming to create more women and minority web developers. What’s the best way to get more women and minorities great tech jobs? Train them yourself.

So goes the logic of Sabio co-founders Liliana Monge and Gregorio Rojas, who are set to graduate their first class of four trained web developers in February. Sabio was created in 2012 and the first class was in session in September of 2013.

The 20-week class includes training in a variety of development specialties. Specifically: front end development (HTML5, CCS3, JavaScript); back end development; database development; source control; native mobile development, and more. Plus, mentoring and assistance finding a job, for a cost of $10,000 that participants pay up front.

The idea for Sabio first arose when Rojas and Monge were discussing the need for more women and minorities in the tech industry. Rojas has been working in the Los Angeles tech scene since 2000, and knew from experience that diversity was an issue.

So, with Sabio, Rojas decided to make a dent in the tech industry’s diversity problem and train women and minorities in web development himself.

“It is a win-win,” said Monge. “It is a win to have an underemployed, or unemployed young adult empower themselves with high-tech skill-set. They can literally create a multi-million dollar application with their bare hands.”

Sabio’s two Latino co-founders are proud to be graduating two women and two African-American developers in their inaugural class. The tech industry is dominated by white men, and different people and organizations have many different reasons for why this needs to change.

For Sabio, the main reason is economic.

“The USA must keep its competitive edge,” said Monge. “To do this, it must harness the expertise, and talents of all its citizens: black, white, Latino, male and female. So that we, as a nation, can continue to lead the tech revolution, that is creating an unprecedented amount of wealth and opportunity.”

Ultimately, the tech industry can benefit from all types of creators — not just “young, affluent Caucasian men,” said Monge, noting that one of the most important lessons she’s learned teaching the first cohort is that tech companies will hire people without a formal Computer Science degree. What they want are people who can code, who are willing to learn, work hard, be motivated and do the work.

And people who don’t come from a tech background and work as entry-level programmers if they are dedicated and willing to learn, she said.

Sabio’s first cohort is already being hired as full-time developers, and the organization is gearing up for its next cohort. In the future, Sabio is hoping to create a weekday, and weekend, course to help accelerate the learning process for people who are unemployed, or looking to transition more quickly.

For more information visit Sabio’s website here.

Mas Wired