Tech Trek 2018: A Look Inside Code2040’s Accelerated Student Program

It’s Tech Trek week at Code2040! This student program is an accelerated, immersive career-prep experience for Black and Latinx Computer Science majors. 50 students from around the US gather in the San Francisco Bay Area to foster community with other technologists of color, make industry connections, and cultivate the confidence needed to thrive in the tech sector.

Over the course of the next week, students will engage with industry leaders and innovators at Code2040 Company Partners: SAP, Intuit, Asana, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GM/Cruise. During onsite visits, they’ll have access to workshops, panels, and product demos designed to provide a window into the tech workforce and offer exposure for early career resources. Today, students will tour SAP headquarters and participate in learning experiences such as a Design Thinking Workshop and a tech talk with Bjoern Goerke, CTO & President of SAP Cloud Platform.

Students also take on the role of observer through pre- and post-company visit surveys. As champions for Racial Equity and Inclusion in tech, they’ll offer Company Partners robust feedback and valuable insights on workplace culture, Racial Equity and Inclusion efforts, brand awareness in communities of color, and more.

In addition to their work with our partners, students will participate in Code2040 curriculum aimed at supporting emerging tech talent and targeting retention of Black & Latinx talent in tech. This includes sessions on Imposter Syndrome and Stereotype Threat as well as development sessions on identity and leadership. We know that breaking into the tech sector requires not only skills, but also experience, confidence, and meaningful connections.

Joseph Sieger, Computer Science Major

Along with the Fellows Program, Tech Trek is an opportunity for students to grow as technologists and racial equity advocates in an environment surrounded by peers. Joseph Sieger, a Junior CS major, says, “I’m excited to network with a group of talented and diverse individuals. I was finalist for the Fellows Program in 2018. I didn’t end up getting an internship, so I applied to Tech Trek because it’s another great opportunity to be surrounded by a diverse group of technologists.”

Jennifer Nino Tapia, Computer Science Major

Jennifer Nino Tapia, also a Junior CS major, highlights the Tech Trek application process as the reason why the program felt like the right fit. “As someone who’s very passionate about diversity, the questions were really engaging,” she explains. “Going through the process, the biggest realization I had is that most programs are just about getting internships, but we miss out on the greater conversations about racial equity, how to navigate spaces that are majority white, and how to face micro-aggressions. I’m excited to bring that back to my campus.”

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