Back in the early days of 2020, when the world became a very different place, SADA was experiencing record-breaking growth. As if overnight, companies across all industries had a renewed sense of urgency to migrate to the cloud. And with exponential growth came an exponential need for talent. This, coupled with a renewed focus on corporate responsibility that flooded the hearts and minds of executives everywhere, challenged us (as a company) to come up with creative solutions. That’s when we decided to launch a unique training program to open doors for a new generation of tech talent,
When SADA CEO Tony Safoian, CTO Miles Ward, Managing Director Bob Bae, and I launched SADA U in the summer of 2020, we had two primary goals:
- Create a technical (cloud) enablement program to bring underrepresented folks into the tech industry in meaningful, economic, and sustainable ways
- Grow insanely talented cloud engineers in-house to ease some of the recruitment pressure around tech skill scarcity
To date, we’ve successfully launched and completed five SADA U cohorts, most of whom are working as data engineers in various departments. Sounds great, right? But how does it all work?
I’m glad you asked! First, we identify areas on the engineering side of the house that need junior-genius talent. Once that’s all figured out, recruiting kicks in, with our recruiting team working tirelessly to find and interview candidates specifically for the SADA U program. Then:
- Candidates take a skills assessment quiz, where they choose one question to answer. We do this to ensure candidates answer the question they can truly geek out on.
- Then, they’re interviewed by Bob Bae, our resident computer science guru and Managing Director of SADA U. Bob also curates the curriculum, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
- After this, candidates interview with the department leaders, whom they will ultimately be reporting to.
- Once we have candidates identified and hired, they begin a comprehensive, 8-week cloud/data engineering/professional development training program.
- Finally, each cohort ends with a presentation demonstrating applied knowledge. Final presentations provide a wonderful opportunity for the entire company to meet our graduates, and for our graduates to showcase their training with real SADA business use cases.
In honor of Women’s History Month, our most recent commencement project focused on the progress of women in tech using the data analytics tools, BigQuery and Looker. To analyze trends in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the tech workplace for women, they used datasets comparing the population of women working in tech at Google against the population of women working in tech in the broader U.S. from 2014 to 2021.
Using the Looker data analytics platform, connected to BigQuery, the team built dashboards and visualizations to capture a data narrative of women’s growth in representation and leadership within the tech industry. Why did they use Looker and BigQuery? Well, both happen to be fan faves and key applications used in our Google Cloud Platform (GCP)Data Science/Engineering practice.
From these business insights, we learned the population of women technologists continues to grow. We learned that companies like Google continue to make strides in changing the cultural and ethnic landscape. Most importantly, we learned how the power and necessity of data can inform business decisions and what we want the future of our workplaces to look like.
Ultimately, SADA U is where innovation and diversity happen at SADA. This is where we broker the best minds and mentorship at the company with curiosity and new talent. At the end of the day, SADA U isn’t just a learning platform. It’s technical enablement through technical empowerment, and we continue to do our part in diversifying the tech ecosystem one cohort at a time.