1 week ago
Thursday, March 8, 2012
The next chapter of New Beginnings has been posted.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Bon Jovi Teams Up With NY Tech to Create Summer Jobs
SummerQAmp will give young adults without technical training a chance to create a career in the tech world. By encouraging companies to create 1,000 summer internships focused around the task of Quality Assurance (QA) – testing software before releasing it to the public – the program hopes to attract even those marginally curious about web and smartphone applications to a fast growing industry. The initiative is led by former White House CTO Aneesh Chopra, GroupMe co-founder Steve Martocci, Gilt Groupe VP of Quality Engineering Kevin Haggard, Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste, and yes, rock star Jon Bon Jovi.
“There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the apps economy alone,” said Chopra on a conference call this morning. “We think this program will help people to see tech as a path for everyone. It’s a great starting point for kids to feel connected.”
As part of the White House’s Summer Jobs+ initiative to create 250,000 summer internships for young adults in 2012, the SummerQAmp effort will include online courses that introduce programming concepts to participants. Although restricted to those aged 18-24, there are no income or educational requirements to apply to the jobs created through the program. In addition to the founding team’s companies, eBay and Boxee have also committed to hosting interns.
According to Martocci, SummerQAmp’s genesis came at a dinner with Bon Jovi earlier in the year. After Martocci broached the subject of QA as a source of quality entry-level jobs, Bon Jovi, a member of the White House’s Council for Community Solutions, connected the GroupMe founder with Chopra. The program made an easy fit with the White House’s Summer Jobs+ initiative.
Having spent long hours doing QA for my old startup, I can attest to two things: 1.) It’s hard, detail-oriented work and 2.) It’s a fantastic way for non-technical people to gain insight into the process of creating and managing software applications. For our company, the task consisted of walking through every possible user scenario in each major browser to make sure new features worked as planned. Any glitches, no matter how minor, were then meticulously documented so our development team could go in and make fixes.
Although I didn’t end up going any further into a technical career path, the QA process really helps to solidify the connection between what you see on a web page and what goes on in the back end. Since the job requires absolutely no technical background, it’s a really useful entry point for attracting capable, non-technical young adults into the startup community. As Haggard noted during the conference call, lot of QA work is done offshore. If companies can transfer that work to cheap domestic interns instead, it seems like a no-brainer to me.