RALEIGH – When it comes to the tech industry, it’s no secret that women are underrepresented.

However, a boutique development company based out of Cary and Silicon Valley is hoping to change that.

Introducing This Dot, a woman-owned company founded by Tracy Lee in 2016, which has recently launched its Open Source Apprentice Program.

Its aim: to train and mentor female junior developers in open source, creating a pipeline of talent and changing the ratio in tech.

For the record, open source is a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, opening it up to modification and public collaboration.

“This is a great way for companies to invest into open source projects. Tell us your objectives, and we will work with open source maintainers to get the work done with our apprentices,” Lee said in a statement.

“Our hope is companies see this as a solution to their business needs and also a way to change their diversity ratios now.”

This Dot co-founder Tracy Lee. Source: LinkedIn

While boot camps have helped underrepresented minorities get into tech — averaging a 43 percent female and 25 percent black/latino demographiconly half of those who graduate are able to find employment in a reasonable time.

Lee believes this program will help address that challenge.

This Dot will interview and hire junior developer apprentices and pair them with a senior developer mentor. The apprentice will then come to work at a participating company for 40 hours a week.

“You get the added bonus of a the senior developer mentor to check their work and help them through problems 20 hours a week,” explained This Dot’s Eva Howe.

This Dot already has partnerships with multiple open source projects associated with Airbnb, Preact, Vue, NgRx, NativeScript, Angular, VMWare, Treebo Hotels, Applitools, and more.

But why specifically open source?

“It makes business sense,” the firm said in its release. “The money companies like Google and Microsoft spend on development in open source grows exponentially: Data points being Google’s open source framework Angular, averaging over 1.5 million users monthly and Facebook’s open source library React which supports over 20 million monthly downloads.”

However, the bottom line is simple: “Having a diverse development team is the right thing to do. In order to increase diversity, companies need to hire more junior developers to create a pipeline for senior women developers,” said Lee.

This Dot is asking companies and junior developers to enroll is in this much needed program. To do so please, contact eva@thisdot.co or visit here.

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