It's a few weeks later... but that's what the weeds can do to a guy. Here's a report from the first Tech Meetup at the White House! Foremost, this experience was amazingly inspiring and amazingly surreal. I did not meet POTUS but we came close. Megan Smith (CTO, USA) was a ball of amazing energy and her enthusiasm was infectious. Scott Heiferman (CEO of Meetup) did a great job reminding us that we are in the unique position of “opening doors that open doors for people”, which is so true.
The day was broken into two parts: in the morning we learned how different tech groups from around the nation served their communities, and in the afternoon over lunch we held ‘unconference’ where we broke into groups to try to hone in on problems and how to fix them.
Overall, the big take-away was how we, as one of the leading tech communities in the world, need to do a better job onboarding younger generations and those who are disadvantaged into our industry. Presently there are some 500k IT jobs that need to be filled and there are plenty of people who can learn to do these jobs… we just need to help them get there. We learned about TechHire, the White House initiative designed lower the barriers to jumping into our world, and were prompted to share. I hope to leverage my post to drive interest to TechHire and welcome your help. Please ping me if you’d like to get involved on this stuff.
An outcome that’s a bit closer to home that I’m happy to report, is how SF New Tech is in the formative stages of banding together with other tech groups and meetups to share resources and provide a common platform that can help serve our collective and respective communities. Stay tuned on more info on this as it develops!
If you’re curious about how things looked, please check out this nifty “Story” Google+ automagically put together from my camera roll.
Check out these links for more info:
Tech Meetup at the White Househttps://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2015/04/17/tech-meetup-white-house
First Ever White House Tech Meetup Connects Community Leaders to Drive Innovationhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/brett-greene/first-ever-white-house-te_b_7105430.html
This pot business leader crashed the White House’s first Tech Meetup (It wasn’t me!)https://www.yahoo.com/politics/this-pot-business-leader-crashed-the-white-houses-117187038681.html