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I feel very privileged to lead the life I lead. I live in a good neighborhood. I can change jobs if I don’t like the one I have. I haven’t worried about how to pay for groceries since 2013. If I were to list all my blessings, I could go on forever—but in short, I lead a far better life than I deserve and I’m anything but self-made. It’s humbling to look back and see how many opportunities I’ve had access to because of where I was born and who I was born to.

I know that other people don’t have the same opportunities, and every time I think about it I feel selfish for having so much. Unfortunately, I can’t put some of my privilege in an envelope and mail it to an inner-city kid. But I believe I can do something.

I want to commit to do better and give more in 2018. So, for your consideration, I submit:


THE “PRIVILEGE BY MAIL” PLEDGE

I am a software developer. This is a privileged profession with a high barrier to entry. As such, opportunities to enter it are not evenly distributed. I pledge to use my time and talents to help others who are trying to make their way in this field in the face of exceptional challenges.

I am especially interested in helping beginners who identify with any of the following:

  • A minority because of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.
  • Grew up in poverty.
  • A refugee.
  • Speaks Spanish natively and has limited English skills.

Circumstances allowing, I will dedicate two or more hours per month to this cause, and I will invite others to do the same.

I specialize in these areas:

  • Website and web app development with JavaScript, CSS, HTML and various frameworks such as Vue, jQuery, and Angular.
  • QA engineering, including unit and browser integration tests.
  • Server-side development with C#, ASP.NET MVC, and Node.js.
  • Database development with Transact-SQL.
  • Asynchronous programming, including Promises, callbacks, and async/await.
  • Career development, such as building a resume and practicing for in-person interviews.

I can help in these ways:

  • Explaining difficult concepts.
  • Recommending resources and communities.
  • Suggesting ways to solve programming problems.
  • Proofreading and improving resumes.
  • Doing mock interviews.
  • Explaining the different roles and career paths available to software developers.

The text of this pledge is released under the MIT License as though it were software. Feel free to remix it and post it on your own blog or social media channel.

END OF PLEDGE


I will respond to messages sent via Twitter (@isaacandsuch) or email (mentoring {at} isaaclyman {dot} com). Feel free to get in touch. Be sure to introduce yourself: describe your background and the specific problem you’re trying to solve.

If you have any suggestions for how this pledge could be better, or if you’d like to join me in taking it (please do!), you can comment below.

And if you’re new to the field and struggling a little, don’t give up! You can do it. Stick with it, and drop me a line sometime—I’d love to get to know you.

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