black engineers

Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?


Pratt began teaching computer science classes, helping to revamp the department’s curriculum, and preparing students for Google’s idiosyncratic application process.


Pratt also noticed that many advanced classes at Howard and other black colleges weren’t as rigorous or up-to-date as they were at Carnegie Mellon or Stanford. By senior year, students risked falling behind their peers from other institutions.


Silicon Valley is rife with Stanford and MIT graduates who started coding during childhood, won programming competitions in their spare time, and spent their summers interning at startups. At Howard, few of Pratt’s students fit that profile. They’d begun studying computer science in college, and many had never visited the Bay Area. One senior, Sarah Jones, says she’d assumed for years that Silicon Valley was the name of a city. When she finally visited during college, it struck her as a startlingly homogeneous culture, made up of white and Asian people who “like Star Wars and stuff like Pokémon.” When companies began to visit Howard, they’d boast about having on-site playground equipment and volleyball courts—not the kind of thing Jones or her friends got excited about. “Slides are not really appealing,” she says. “There are not a lot of people of color in the Valley—and that, by itself, makes it kind of unwelcoming.”

“Someone like Hallie showing up in Silicon Valley expecting the reception that someone like Mark Zuckerberg would get—it doesn’t surprise me that she wasn’t met with open arms,” he says. “She doesn’t fit the profile of what people think of when they think of engineers. Even though people think of Silicon Valley as a big meritocracy, I don’t think that’s how it works.”

wtf.  why would anyone expect to be treated anything like zuckerberg?

I don’t really get it.  You want the $125k salary or not?  What were you expecting?  I’ve never really cared that much about “Si Valley culture.”


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