How we Choose Volunteers and Newcomers

Out of Office Hours’ mission is to connect newcomers with people working in the tech industry. We see a lack of diversity in tech. Out of Office Hours is our ongoing attempt to make tech an inclusive and a rewarding career for as many people as possible. We pride ourselves on being inclusive and strive to provide value for everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion (or lack thereof), national origin, or citizenship.

Our Medium publication, Twitter account, and upcoming monthly email list are publically accessible. When it comes to connecting volunteers and newcomers for one-on-one meetings, we prefer to elevate underrepresented voices in the technology industry. This also includes people who do not live in tech-hubs and people who do not have access to other mentorship programs. Our selection criteria is not perfect and we don’t pretend it is. We welcome and listen to feedback. As we iterate and improve the process we’ll update this post and share our learnings.

Please note, Out of Office Hours receives more applications than we have available spots; meeting the assessment criteria does not guarantee your acceptance.

Volunteer Assessment Criteria

Volunteers offer their time to meet with newcomers to the tech industry. Every month we publish a new batch of volunteers on our website. If you’d like to be a volunteer, please fill out our brief form. To provide as much value to newcomers as possible, we look for volunteers who demonstrate the following:

  • Accept and publicly display the values we share in our Community Code of Conduct (required)
  • Have worked professionally for at least three years in the technology industry
  • Are willing to provide at least two hours to talking with newcomers (ideally, a 30 minute slot each week for the month they’re volunteering)
  • Have answered the short form with meaningful and thoughtful answers

Each month we randomly select a number of volunteers who meet the criteria. We aim to have at least a 4:1 ratio of newcomers to volunteers.

Newcomer Assessment Criteria

Out of Office newcomers are new to the technology industry. They may be students or professionals looking to change careers. If you’d like to be a newcomer, please fill out our brief questionnaire. In an attempt to achieve our goals, we look for newcomers who demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Accept and publicly display the values we share in our Community Code of Conduct (required)
  • Have worked for less than two years in the technology industry
  • Are not looking to pitch their idea or startup
  • Are not a founder / CEO of a funded startup asking for professional consulting for their company
  • Are not looking to only network with Out of Office Hours volunteers
  • Special awareness is paid to those who identify with underrepresented groups in the technology industry
  • Special awareness is paid to those outside of tech-hubs where mentorship opportunities are limited
  • Have answered the questionnaire with meaningful and thoughtful answers

We realize not everyone meets all of the criteria above—that’s totally fine. We look over every newcomer application, and do our absolute best to be accept as many people as possible. The criteria exists because we have a limited number of volunteers and need a method to choose the newcomers in a way that aligns with our goals.

Each month we randomly select a number of newcomers who meet the criteria. We aim to have a 4:1 ratio of newcomers to volunteers.


We realize this system is not perfect. We realize our system can be more inclusive and enable more people to connect and get value from Out of Office Hours. We welcome feedback on Medium or privately (yourfriendsatoutofofficehours@gmail.com) on any aspects you’d like to discuss.

Thank you ❤