New "Bloom In Tech" Meetup Helps People Succeed In The #3 Tech Hub Ann Arbor
By Laura Cowan
Laura K. Cowan is a tech editor and journalist whose work has focused on promoting sustainability initiatives for automotive, green tech, and conscious living media outlets.
Dana Foley, Jacquelyn Olson, and Mohammed Abouzahr left to right, standing in front of a mural in downtown Ann Arbor by Jonathan Wright of the Fairy Doors.
There's a new tech meetup in recently Bloomberg-named #3 tech hub in the U.S. Ann Arbor, organized by engineers who have seen the need to support people getting into the growing tech industry. Web app developer Mohammed Abouzahr of ITHAKA, Soar Technology software engineer Dana Foley, and front-end web developer Jacquelyn Aimee Olson have organized a new meetup in Ann Arbor for people getting into tech when they don't have a background in the industry, or even a degree. It's called Bloom In Tech, and the first one is 6 pm tonight Thursday December 5th in northeast Ann Arbor.
"We even ran into each other at the Saline Celtic Festival," the founders laugh when explaining how they brought the group together. Abouzahr has a background in teaching abstract logic. Fellow co-founder Olson says she has a real passion for "helping people who don't have a traditional background in tech." Together, they realized there was a gap in the meetup scene in Ann Arbor tech's quickly growing roster of events, even on top of the good work tech-inclusive is doing.
This group is a bit different from tech-inclusive of which Foley is also a member, though there is some overlap in the potential offering of coding classes. Tech-inclusive is more of a support group for issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in the tech industry combined with coding classes to help beginners get started and overcome barriers of entry to joining the tech industry. Bloom In Tech, Abouzahr says, "is about how to think like the tech industry. How to succeed in the culture." So, there may be coding classes involved as a survey finds out what people find most valuable, but the group is also about job hunting skills, how to interview in tech, and so on.
"We're doing teaching for the first session coming up," Olson says. "This is a group for people trying to plug in to Ann Arbor tech and build up extra skills."
Foley adds that the group may mentor people on resume building, and how to really connect with the industry--a perennial problem for young talent coming out of the University of Michigan where abundant resources are internal more than connected to helping new talent connect with jobs in Ann Arbor. Abouzahr insists the group is not a code camp, because there are already plenty of those around (try Tech Elevator or GrandCircus for that).
The description of the group is below, along with a few links to get you started. If you can't make the meeting tonight, you can find the next event on the Bloom In Tech Meetup page. You can also follow Bloom In Tech on Twitter and LinkedIn to find out when the group covers a topic you'd like to check out. The survey linked below allows you to be part of the conversation on what the group will cover.
Bloom In Tech Meetup
We are a nonprofit dedicated to helping people from non-traditional educational backgrounds get jobs in the tech industry. If you're looking to become a programmer but don't know where to start, or if you're struggling to find a job in the field due to lack of education or experience, come sign up for some of our workshops and classes!
We'll be running classes where we will teach you programming concepts and languages, host workshops covering interview prep, and help you build up your LinkedIn page and résumé. Come join us!
While we work on getting started, please fill out this very short survey to help us understand how we can better tailor the group to meet your needs (only 4 questions, we promise!):
And join our Slack group to keep up to date with the latest updates.