The Solution to NYC’s Tech Talent Woes
The NY Tech Meetup is electing two new members to its board. It’s now up to us to choose who will drive the most positive change in our community over the next several years.
Let’s start off by asking, how can we make the most positive change over the next several years?
Only one answer comes to my mind: increase the pool of startup-oriented technical talent in NYC.
So there’s two ways to go about fixing this, an easy way and a hard way.
The hard (or impossible) way is for startups in NYC to pay big bonuses and “import” talent. This isn’t sustainable long-term.
The other (easy) way is to change our universities. We have plenty of CS graduates, but only a minority are startup-oriented and have the relevant skills.
Blame the Wall Street career path that’s deeply ingrained in the fabric of our universities. Starting on the first day of classes, companies like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley lure students to informational sessions with free pizza (trust me, it works). They persuade them to apply with promises of prestige and giant paychecks. Many students aren’t even aware of other options.
It’s a no brainer that having the NYTM work closely with our city’s computer science professors can change this and facilitate more student exposure and involvement. Yet currently, there is not a single faculty member from any NYC university on the NYTM board.
These reasons are why I strongly support Evan Korth for the NYTM board.
If you attended the November NYTM, you already know Evan - he was the MC who rallied together some of the most impressive student-created projects from around the city. As co-founder of HackNY with Chris Wiggins (Columbia U) and Hilary Mason (Bit.ly), Evan’s created a program that places student engineers from a dozens different schools into internships at NYC startups.
In addition to being an outstanding educator, Evan invests a significant amount of his time and heart mentoring students outside the classroom. He advises both Tech@NYU and the Association for Computing Machinery. It’s not unusual for you to find Evan up with students until 3am eating pizza helping them put together a MakerBot (actually, it’s how we met). I’m lucky enough to have had Evan as a mentor; despite never taken a CS class at NYU, his influence has had one of the most significant impacts on me and my future.
I believe if elected to NYTM’s board Evan will drive the greatest positive change and be able to lead efforts to make a difference at other NYC universities, not just NYU. Let’s not miss this opportunity to make our universities more startup-oriented and fix NYC’s tech talent woes.
If you already voted for someone else, please consider the importance of what I’ve written here and change your vote.
The polls close Friday at 3pm.