by Nortal cloud team, December 16, 2020
In alignment with one of Nortal’s core values, meaningful impact, and our employees’ drive to have a positive contribution in the technology community, our Kirkland team kicked-off a skills-based volunteer pilot program this year. We partnered with two organizations, Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and Black Girls Code (BGC), to put our development skills to work for projects that would benefit underrepresented communities.
In October, Malia Jorgensen, Director of Talent Acquisition, and Michelle Miller, Software Engineer Lead, spoke at the first ever TAF virtual College and Career fair. In our first event with TAF, Nortal furthered their mission of supporting public school districts to use STEM as a tool for realizing social change and educational equality in low income and underrepresented communities.
The virtual event hosted by TAF was filled with presentations to grade schoolers, led by professionals in STEM industries, to ensure the students have direct, meaningful connections with professionals and postsecondary institutions. Malia presented on “Interviewing 101” with best practices for the technology industry. She discussed interview techniques and what recruiters look for in potential candidates. Students were able to take away tangible strategies for starting their career in software development. Michelle spoke about her experience as a software consultant and gave students an inside look at the day-to-day in her projects. Through her presentation on “Tech Coaching”, she was able to give tangible steps that listeners could take to get started in software development.
Nortal is a General Alliance partner with TAF, working to organize continued engagements in support of their mission to bring technology and software development expertise to low income and underrepresented communities.
In November, a team of software engineers including Josh Buchacher, Michelle Miller, Ian Davey, and Josh Goodrich, developed and led a virtual workshop in partnership with BGC on “How to Build a Webpage”. This engagement began our support in BGC’s mission of introducing computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities through workshops and after school programs.
In our last engagement of 2020, Tim Condit, a software Developer, donated his time to being a virtual classroom volunteer for BGC’s Computational Thinking Workshop. The four-day long workshop introduced computational thinking designed to bridge the gap between those interested in computer science and beginner coders looking for a fun and facilitated coding experience using the programming language, Python. Tim spent his time answering students’ questions around the curriculum and partnering activities during the workshop.
With the success of these virtual events, our Kirkland office will be launching a more extensive skills-based volunteer program to serve our technology and software development community. Stay tuned for our follow-up programs and projects with both BGC and TAF. To learn more about the benefits of working at Nortal, visit our career page.