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Etsy Sponsoring Hacker Grants for Fall

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A few months ago, Etsy announced a partnership with Hacker School and a set of grant awards to foster women in engineering — both at Etsy and throughout the industry. The collaboration generated a huge response, with over 650 women applying and 23 women attending the program. We’re very happy to announce that we’ll be running the same partnership this fall. There will be a larger class size, 10 new Hacker Grants of $7,000 each provided by Etsy to women who need financial support to attend, and continued hosting in our Brooklyn offices. And a new element has been added to the program: Hacker School is inviting prominent developers to become Hackers in Residence for a week or two. Etsy’s own Peter Seibel, author of Coders at Work and Practical Common Lisp, will be working directly with the students for the first residency.

Please apply or encourage someone you know to do so. Hacker School, which independently selects the students and runs the full program, has posted the application. The volume of interest in the first sponsored class was directly related to you all helping us find the best candidates.

Jeremy Perez-Cruz

The sponsorship has been a big success for us, even though the summer Hacker School program has not yet finished (and, as a result, we haven’t yet hired anyone yet). It’s been an amazing program to watch — we feel hugely comfortable backing the founders and facilitators and we hope to see many other companies do so as well. The students have enjoyed being in the group, and Etsy’s employees have loved hanging out with Hacker Schoolers during our company lunches, Eatsy. In addition, Etsy has received many job applications from female engineers across the industry who point to the program as a reason to want to join us. Overall, Hacker School and Etsy have received a huge amount of community support (as well as generous media coverage of the program).

We know full well that none of these efforts “solve” the problem of a lack of women in engineering at Internet companies throughout the industry. This is a positive but small step. We are signing up again as a sponsor because no one-time project will ever make real headway, and we’re in this for the long haul. We’re so grateful to have had such a strong partner and amazing support in helping make what progress we can. We hope you’ll help us reach more women for the fall batch, so we can take a good start and make it into great momentum.

Marc Hedlund is VP of Engineering at Etsy. He has managed engineers in Internet companies from coast to coast, and is currently writing a book for O’Reilly Media on engineering management.