New Relic’s commitment to removing barriers that keep young people from pursuing careers in tech is a pledge that makes sense on multiple levels: as a solution to the industry’s talent crunch; as a tactic for promoting opportunity and inclusion within communities that have often been under-represented in the tech field; and as an issue that many Relics feel strongly about—perhaps because they, too, once viewed working at a company like New Relic as an impossible dream.
Tech Trips: tearing down barriers to IT careers
Last week, in support of our first NewRelic.org Global Impact Campaign, Relics from around the world partnered with local charities and schools to host Tech Trips. These trips are opportunities to bring groups of students into New Relic offices and also for Relics to visit students on-site at their schools or other meeting places. Our goal was to tear down those barriers, turning the idea of a tech career into a realistic and reachable option for young people from many different backgrounds and walks of life. Above all, we wanted to connect students with adults who look like them and who have already built successful careers in tech—powerful and relatable role models for their own career journeys.
This was truly a global campaign: Over the last 10 days, Relics in eight offices held a total of nine Tech Trip events, during which more than 100 Relics showed up in support of more than 240 students worldwide. Many offices hosted visiting groups of students for Tech Trip events. In other cases, we took our show on the road, visiting schools the share our stories and to facilitate creative, hands-on activities with students.
Snapshots from a global event
- In Barcelona, Relics from our European engineering center and elsewhere visited with students at School Montserrat’s secondary school. The visit included hands-on activities highlighting the problem-solving and teamwork skills that are so important to modern software teams, including an opportunity for the students to do a retro exercise that gave them a feel for how cutting-edge software companies like New Relic build and sustain a DevOps culture.
- Relics at our European HQ in Dublin hosted a group of students from FIT, a public-private tech training and placement initiative in the Republic of Ireland. Students in the FIT program include many from disadvantaged communities where “old economy” jobs are in decline, but where workers with marketable technical skills are still scarce. Firms such as New Relic can help to bridge that gap by engaging with and inspiring students, and offering practical advice about navigating their new career paths.
- At our fast-growing East Coast HQ in Atlanta, Relics hosted students from Decatur High School as part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)—Georgia program. Over more than three decades, JAG has worked to prevent dropouts among students “who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment.” During 2018 alone, 96% of the students involved with JAG graduated with their classes, and partnering with companies like New Relic is an important way to show students what’s possible on a career path where graduating from high school is a pivotal first step.
- Relics at our Phoenix, Ariz. field office also got in on the action, visiting with a group of students affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. It was a great first encounter with an organization whose programs touch the lives of more than 27,000 young people in the Phoenix area alone, including many students who might have never considered a tech career as something that’s within their reach.
- Relics at our San Francisco HQ and Portland, Ore. engineering HQ turned out in force for their own Tech Trip events:
- In San Francisco, New Relic partnered with Ignite Worldwide—a group playing a leading role in closing the gender gap in software development and other STEM-related fields—to bring students from Everett Middle School to meet with Relics in a variety of job roles to learn what it’s like to work at a cutting-edge tech company.
- Our PDX Relics rolled out the welcome mat for students affiliated with Girls Inc. and Portland Youth Builders. Both groups exemplify facets of a bigger effort to open up tech-industry careers to young people from communities where talent and potential are often amazingly abundant, but, unfortunately, where opportunities often are not.
- Relics from our APAC region offices in Sydney and Tokyo helped to make the Tech Trip a truly global effort with their own contributions at both ends of the education journey:
- New Relic’s Sydney office hosted a group of students from University of New South Wales, helping them to decide how best to put their new skillsets to work as they prepare for their post-graduation careers.
- A group of Tokyo relics visited Daiba elementary school, seeking to inspire students just beginning their education journeys, ensuring that they understand the possibilities of learning about and working with technology.
Many Relics—many roles
Our Relic volunteers played a huge role in making every Tech Trip a success. Each year, Relics get 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer—part of our Pledge 1% commitment of employee time—and this was a great way for them to put some of that time to work! Some participated in panel career discussions, or they helped with career development activities like resume reviews and mock interviewing. Others helped simply by being present and accessible, giving students the opportunity to ask questions, to chat about their career aspirations, to ask for advice, or simply to come away with a mental picture of a career in tech that has a place for people like them.
Leadership that leads the way on diversity and inclusion
For New Relic, our Tech Trip campaigns are just the first chapter in what we hope will be a long and interesting story—one where we hope to have lots of company writing future chapters. Building a more diverse and inclusive tech industry is truly an effort where everybody stands to win, but it’s also one where everyone’s contribution is important and urgently needed.
One way to get that level of involvement is by having a leadership team that loves what they do and that wants to share the excitement and opportunities that can come with a career in tech. And New Relic’s leadership team certainly shares a passion for innovation and for what’s possible with technology. Listen in here for their stories and advice for folks who want to pursue a career in tech.
A second way is to remember that truly global companies have a unique opportunity—and an obligation—to act upon the concept of thinking globally and acting locally. Our Tech Trips, and future Global Impact Campaigns, have been successful because they focus a global team, with global resources, on serving and engaging their local communities in ways that resonate for them and for the communities they serve. Bigger may not always be better, but at New Relic we’re excited at the ways our growth and success can empower us to keep acting locally in support of our strategic impact areas; STEAM Education; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Tech Sector; and Technology access and enablement for nonprofits.
Click here to read more about the NewRelic.org programs and to get involved through our product donations, employee volunteer programs, and community events!