Strange Loop

The Truth About Mentoring Minorities

One of the most effective ways to battle our industry's lack of inclusion, diversity, and job retention is developing quality mentors to help aid minorities throughout their careers. In the tech industry, we currently lack the ability to produce mentors who are able to effectively teach and connect with their minority protégés. It's because of this that minorities are feeling excluded at work and are unable to climb up the corporate ladder at the same pace as their non-minority protégés. This results in minorities feeling alienated, and often leaving their respective companies.

In this talk, we discuss what changes we can make in the way we mentor to give our minority protégés the best chance to succeed. We will take a look at some of the struggles that I faced throughout my software developer apprenticeship, and pinpoint the sources of my success. In conjunction, we will also look at various case studies of other minority professionals who were both successful and unsuccessful in their attempts to climb the corporate ladder.

Byron Woodfork

Byron Woodfork

8th Light

Byron is from Chicago, IL and has been developing software for 3 years. Byron's path to software development was that of a non-traditional student. Having dropped out of college, he spent a few years working retail before realizing this was not where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. As a result, he began pursuing his passion of software development. And through a friend, was given the opportunity to pursue a career in software development through an apprenticeship program. Byron would eventually complete the program and accept a job offer from his respective company. Byron enjoys teaching people about both the technical & personal aspects of what it means to be both a software developer and a quality mentor.