Phil Holberton fireside chat about Betty Holberton, leadership & diversity

Holberton School was named after Frances Elizabeth “Betty” Snyder Holberton who was one of the six programmers of the ENIAC, which was the first programmable, general-purpose electronic digital computer. Betty Holberton helped create what would later become modern-day software engineering.

We recently had the honor to welcome Phil Holberton, who is Betty’s nephew, for a fireside chat with our students. Former CPA, Phil Holberton delivers executive-level excellence via his consulting firm, the Holberton Group, and publishes a periodic online bulletin, Speaking of Leadership.

Below is a highlight & edited version of some of the Q&As that happened during the fireside chat. The discussion covered Betty Holberton, leadership, and diversity.

Would you mind telling us about Betty Holberton and what made her such a great problem solver? 

Betty Holberton had a very strong analytical brain. Believe it or not, when she went to school at the University of Pennsylvania she wanted to join the math department. A profession in the math department said “uh uh” you’ve got to go to Home Economics, Political Science, Journalism or some other department. That began her career in saying, “I am not going to take no for an answer”. She was a very intelligent woman and she had a very strong voice in what she believed in and she just went about it and her problem-solving skills, which I am sure we will get to a little bit further down the line of conversation here, she got to use them quite a bit.   

Is it true that in the beginning due to ENIAC projects being classified, Betty and other computers could only work from diagrams and blueprints? 

True. As I understand the story, six of the best and the brightest we call to program computers for artillery during World War II. Computers were as big as most rooms are these days. They handed the plans to Betty and her five cohorts and they say, “All we do is have the wiring diagrams and you have to go and figure and help us program this”. And those women, as smart as they were, they figured it out. We are grateful for her past because that was the first computer basically in the United States, the Antioch. 

Is it true that Betty solved more problems while sleeping?

All the people in psychology and social sciences would say [that] more stuff is done at the subconscious level than any conscious level. Whatever she did at the conscious level was worked over 2 or 3 times in the unconscious level. I don’t know it for fact, but I’m following what goes on in science, but probably presumably so.

When is it necessary to sacrifice individual needs to fulfill team goals and how do you reconcile these differences afterward?

The most important attribute of any company or any organization is to have a vision and a mission statement and you have some culture to help you get there. The interest of the company proceeds the interest of any individual and any team. I am often reminded of the event [with] Johnson & Johnson [about] twenty years ago when they tampered with Tylenol and put poison in it. I can’t remember how many people were killed but it was devastating to America. The CEO at that point in time says, “I don’t care how much it costs. We are taking all of the product off of the shelf and we are all going to start over on Tylenol”. Tylenol was the biggest brand in the world but no one person trumped the ideal mission. “Our customers come first and we protect our patients and out users of our product”. I read somewhere that it may have cost them 250 million or a half a billion dollars to do that and where they probably could have done something different, but that showed integrity. You have to live, I don’t want to say a higher power but you have to have a higher North Star which is usually organizationally driven. 

How should leaders best motivate their employees and try to build a sense of community? 

The most important thing about leadership is to think of it in two dimensions: Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership. Transactional Leadership is when you have control of their paycheck, bonus, and time off, so someone is working for the transaction. The best type of leadership is transformational when they work for you because they want to work for you and they aspire because you are a really good human being. Granted, it is hard for a lot of leaders to behave that way because they were brought up to be A-Types and command and control. When I work with CEOs today, we spend a lot about putting water and sunshine on their executive team and the people inside their organization because If they grow they will be able to grow themselves. I turn it around. If you ever heard the concept of Servant Leadership- it’s like flipping the leadership chart around where the leader is always serving the organization- that’s their higher power. If you can inspire an organization to reach for that North Star and achieve things that otherwise don’t appear attainable, you’ve done a really good job. During this COVID period some of our CEOs rose to the occasion more than I would ever imagine. They are less about command and control and they are more about how they can inspire their entire team to come with me and help us get through this COVID period.

How can one become smarter, more adaptable, and emotionally intelligent?

There are diagnostic tests that help you get a baseline on your emotional intelligence. I advocate a test called Mindsets by a professor in California, Ryan Gottfredson. It is free and it will help you understand whether you have a defensive posture or an offensive posture in the four different dimensions. 

When I was teaching at Brandeis my students would ask if leaders were born or were they made. What do you think my answer was? I would say “Yes”. Some had more natural talent than others but like anything, in life, you have got to keep practicing. Some people may have zero knowledge of what the word emotional intelligence means and they may have absolutely incredible natural talent and don’t have to worry about it as much as people that it’s more awkward for. From my perspective, if you want to navigate and get the best out of life, learning this skill is really important for you to learn over time. It will help you in your marriage, in your community, and in your business. I would say to learn that early and often. Practice it.

Why has there been more focus on emotional intelligence separately from IQ recently?

Most hiring practices in North America look at two things: your prodigy and where you grew and they try to assess intellectually your intelligence, particularly if they are trying to hire someone on the inbound side to help them grow within the company. 

IQ has always been an important barometer for any hiring organization. I would say companies are now getting more sophisticated in understanding people’s emotional intelligence because they are beginning to recognize that this is a more important attribute as people move up the ladder. I’ve seen statistics that say 75% of the people that work in the company say that they like the company but they don’t like their boss. That says something about your boss in terms of emotional intelligence and if your boss is oppressive, it is going to make it very hard to work for. That being said, emotional intelligence together, we as a society can get much further.

How can those of us in STEM help support diversity? 

One thing I am inspired by at the Holberton is it’s a diverse organization and prides itself on admitting students of diverse backgrounds, nationality, color, and ethnicity. The Holberton school within itself is the living practice of what needs to go on in this world. One of my CEOs says “It’s our behaviors that count. It’s not our talk”. Holberton invites people of different nationalities to come in different stages of their career-which is a wonderful attribute. I would opine that the more you get to know people that are not of the same ethnicity as yourself build those friendships and those strengths. Make sure to include time in your schedule every day to build those relationships. When you go work for and they have a couple of hundred programmers, get to know the people first. That’s more important than all the technical skills. Having those relationships is really important. I encourage every man, woman, Black, Asian, American, Indian, regardless of nationality, get to know the people first; get to know your peers and your bosses. We are all human beings. Even though they might be a boss…

When a leader makes a mistake, how do they apologize and make things better for everyone?

First of all, an “I’m sorry” goes a long way. I am learning a lot about communications in my job now working with CEOs. There is a difference between communication that comes from the head and communication that comes from the heart. If you say I’m sorry from the head, forget it, nobody will see it and nobody will believe it. If you come and you talk from the heart, and a lot of CEOs find that hard because they are on defense and want to have a strong view of themselves and not vulnerable. I encourage you to follow Brene’ Brown and her work on vulnerability. She is one of the sought after forefront of thinkers in terms of emotional intelligence, vulnerability, and how to behave as a leader. You have to say it from your heart. If you are not programmed that way, to speak from the heart, one activity you can try is to turn up your music and microphone and speak or write like you are journaling and journal from the heart and usually, you will have something that will start to work there. I have had several CEOs in the last week give me communications they want to share with staff, they were all fine but they did not come from the heart. You will be far more effective if it comes from the heart. Everyone needs to develop these skills.

We are very grateful for Phil for sharing his time, wisdom, and knowledge with our community and for his support of the Holberton School since its inception. The full chat recording is available below.

Holberton School is coming to France!

We are thrilled to announce that Holberton School is opening in France! The opening has been fast-tracked as Julien and I (Holberton founders), both French, wanted to help our country. Unemployment rates in France rose to 22 percent due to COVID-19, and one of the biggest software engineering schools, SUPINFO, is in liquidation.

Director of operations Julien Cyr and I are both alumni of SUPINFO, one of the largest software engineering schools in France. Due to SUPINFO’s liquidation, a thousand students who already paid for their education – some of whom already paid for several years of school in advance of completing it – may suddenly find themselves out of school and unable to recoup their costs, beginning in September. To support our community, Holberton School France will cover the cost of the first year of our program for any SUPINFO students who wish to enroll, making the first year completely tuition-free.

In addition to helping SUPINFO students, we also wanted to help people impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic and resulting unemployment rate. As such, Holberton School France will cover the first-year tuition–valued at €6,120–for the first 165 admitted students, the equivalent of €1,000,000 of scholarship value.

Holberton School France’s first student cohort will begin online on September 7th in synchronization with Holberton’s 12 other campuses spanning 6 additional countries.

From bartending to software engineer at Lockheed Martin

Rory Fahy’s journey to becoming a Software Engineer started like many of our students: his background has nothing to do with Tech. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Biophysics and was bouncing between diverse jobs, from bartending, catering, and door-to-door sales. As he was intrigued by tech, he tried a Udemy Python course and loved it, that’s when he decided to give a shot at changing his career.

Rory was convinced by Holberton’s 2-year curriculum and more specifically the second year where he could select Machine Learning as a specialization. That’s definitely a good pick! Artificial intelligence is growing rapidly, in 2019, the demand for Computer Vision Engineers and Machine Learning Engineers grew respectively by 146% and 89%. The Wall Street Journal reports that the strong need for AI talent is expected to continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rory also chose Holberton because he could manage his tuition payment by enrolling in an ISA. “Not having to pay the tuition upfront was what made it possible for me to attend the school” said Rory. Without the ISA program, “I wouldn’t be on the career path I am now.”

Rory also stresses the importance of Holberton’s “very specific framework for learning and problem solving that relies heavily on students collaborating with each other.” This is at the core of Holberton’s education, we want our students to become lifelong self-learners, which is very different from what traditional education does. The Framework is helping students to leverage all the resources that are directly available to them, to solve a problem, and to find an answer to a question. The last step of this framework is to ask the Software Engineer in Residence, which in traditional education would be the teacher and in the workplace would be the Manager.

Rory reckons that the Holberton program is not only about learning to be a good software engineer, but also to be prepared for job interviews. Sharing that “We had mock interview days with our cohort where we would switch roles acting as an interviewer or interviewee for a few hours” and how these mock interview workshops helped to improve his communication skills, also known as soft-skills. Google recently analyzed its workforce and found out that the similarity between all its top-performing employees was that they had amazing soft-skills, coding is not enough.

Fast forward, Rory was accepted into the Lockheed Martin Software Engineer apprenticeship program along with two other students from his cohort and is starting as a full-time employee on Monday. The company has a partnership with Holberton School New Haven to hire their students. While a small part of the technologies Rory is working with was covered in Holberton’s curriculum, most were not. But that did not prevent him from being successful at navigating them, “more importantly they [Holberton] taught me how to figure out what I don’t know,”, Rory said.

Now that Rory has finished the Holberton Foundation part of the curriculum, completed his internships, and has since been hired as a full-time software engineer at Lockheed Martin, he has three pieces of advice to share.

  • First learn to be comfortable with the feeling of being stuck on something, the feeling of not knowing how to solve a problem, and to doubt your ability to succeed, also known as the imposter syndrome. It, unfortunately, affects many professionals and even the best software engineers of their generation. This feeling, on top of being very unpleasant, is also taking up a lot of energy that could be invested in a more positive outcome. That’s why Rory thinks all software engineer wannabes should know about imposter syndrome, and that it is absolutely not unusual to experience it. Rory said that “it is extremely important to develop methods for managing this imposter syndrome and overcoming it. This is a skill that gets developed over time and is just as important as technical skills”
  • The second is about asking for help. While he believes in the importance of being an independent engineer and being able to learn on your own, he also thinks that one should not hesitate to ask for help when needed.
  • The third is that while he is delighted about his career in tech, he also thinks it’s not for everyone. The financial outcomes and the type of work that can be done are attractive, but a lot of hard work needs to be invested to reach that goal. And one needs to find the right balance between working hard and not burning out. After Holberton’s Foundations and before taking a position at Lockheed Martin, Rory took on 2 internships and was building a website for his cousin’s business on the side and realized that it might have been a little too much. He urges people to also take care of themselves while working hard, a fine balance must be found.

Thank you Rory for sharing these wise advices! 🙏

Code review: string concatenation in C

Today, we are going to go through the following code.

The very interesting thing about this code, is that when compiled and ran, it seems it is working just fine. But actually it is not working properly and there is a big problem with it 🙂 And by going through it we are going to learn a ton of things.

At Holberton, we have a strict coding style for each programming language we are using. Let’s start by applying our coding style for C.
main() should be written main(void). Is that a huge mistake? No. But this forces us to be more structured, and always explicitly write everything.
– We don’t want to initialize our variables at the same time as we are declaring them (Exceptions can apply for arrays.)
– Also we want to group our variable declarations together.
– No empty lines within the code. Only one empty line between declaration and code.
So the code should look like this:

It’s cleaner, more professional, follows the style of the school (remember that in any company we have to follow the coding style of the company, so it’s important that we get into the habit of following strictly one particular style).

We are using the function printf without including its prototype. So when we will compile, we will get a warning from the compiler, even without additional flags.

In order to know the prototype of a function, we can always look at its man page. In this case, man 3 printf.

The man page gives us the prototype and what header to include. We can use either to indicate to the compiler what is the prototype of the function printf (and make the warning go away). We don’t strictly have to include the header, we can simply include the prototype itself. Like so:

But it’s a good habit to include the header (which includes the prototype).

Now let’s see what is happening in the program and why it is working but not really. We will go step by step through the code and look at what happens in memory. Let’s start with the declarations:

At this point, this is what the virtual memory looks like (we are going to assume we are working on a 64-bit, Linux machine):

Note: In the value line, I do show the letters for each byte of the arrays aa and bb, but what is actually stored in the virtual memory is the ascii code of this letter. (man ascii).
I also added some colors to make sure we can see the limit of each space reserved in the memory by each variable.

– The string literals are copied into the addresses of the arrays. The arrays have been automatically sized (the compiler can do that because it knows the size of the string literals to copy).
a and b are pointers so on a 64-bit machine they take 8 bytes in memory.
– The variable aa, is an array of chars of size 14 bytes (14 chars, so 14 * sizeof(char) = 14 bytes).
– At this point the variables a and b have a value but we do not know what it is. The next two lines of code will initialize them.

After these two lines of code, a points to the first letter of the array aa (so it contains the address of the first letter of the array aa, which is also the address of the array aa) and b points to the first letter of the array bb. This is what the virtual memory looks like:

So far so good. With the next lines of code we are going at the end of the “string” (remember there is no type string in C). This code is correct. So at the end of the while loop, a points to the \0 of the array aa.

At the end of this while loop, the virtual memory looks like this:

The next lines of code are the following:

The above loop copies the content of the array bb (remember, b points to the first char contained in bb) at the end of the array aa (as the variable a, at the beginning of the loop, points to the last char (\0) of the array aa). And that is both what we wanted the code to do, AND the problem 🙂

The content of bb is copied, one char at a time, starting from the memory address 19 (in our example). But, our variable aa ENDS at 19 too. That means that we are writing the content of bb AFTER the variable aa, not inside. After 12 iterations, the virtual memory (in our example) looks like this:

In red, we have written 11 bytes outside of the memory reserved for aa, and will continue to do so via the loop for another 10 bytes. The problem of course, is that we are probably replacing the values of other variables, or writing in a memory address that we do not have write access (and will get a beautiful Segmentation Fault). In this particular case, the program still runs “properly” and without warning (because we are unlucky), and as a result, we don’t realize that we are making a mistake.

In fact, in this example, we are actually “destroying” our array bb. Let’s modify a bit the program in order to check that out:

It seems like we changed bb by concatenating it to aa. But bb is not 1 char “shorter”, it still takes the same size in memory, but its content has changed. It is happening, because in the actual virtual memory of our running process the two arrays are next to each other, like so:

I removed the vars a and b for clarity.

So when we are concatenating bb to aa, we are doing this (concatenated letters in pink):

After this concatenation, bb size doesn’t change, but now the content has changed, and it “seems” it was shifted to the left by 1 char. But that’s because the - of the beginning is now part of aa as the last letter in the reserved memory for aa. Note that bb now has two \0, the one copied, and the initial one.

THE END 🙂 If you would like to learn more about the virtual memory, you can read these articles:

To finish with, I would like to thank the author of this code, because thanks to them we learn a ton of things!

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde

Happy coding!

Live coding sessions ++

Students love them – we listened and are bringing more live coding sessions!

While the COVID19 pandemic has been easing in some Holberton communities, the trend isn’t going in the right direction for most of them. Many of our students have been sheltering and studying from home, for months.

We were able to quickly move Holberton education online, without any interruptions for students, and have been adding features to make Holberton online education better. Among many features and initiatives, one is particularly adored by our student community: the weekly live-coding session.

These sessions were historically done by San Francisco Resident Software Engineer Kristen Loyd and I. For 1 to 4 hours, we would whiteboard and code live 1 or more projects that students had worked on, streaming it to our students in all campuses across the world.

Live coding sessions allow students to witness the thought-process of a senior software engineer solving a problem and how it is then implemented into code. Students can ask questions at any time and clarify concepts they may be unsure of. Students enjoy the learning benefits, but they also get to hang out with fellow students from all across the world – which can be a mood booster – in a time where we are all far from one another.

Given the success of these live coding sessions, we came together as a community and are now very happy to bring this to the next level. Starting next week, we will offer even more live sessions every week, with more formats!  These live coding sessions will be given by software engineers in residence from Holberton campuses around the world.

As an example, here is next week schedule:

  • Monday: printf concepts review with 🇨🇴Holberton Medellín SWE Fredy Mena Andrade (this is a project where students get to code their own version of printf)
  • Tuesday: SQL JOINs with 🇺🇾Holberton Montevideo SWE Javier Valenzani
  • Wednesday: Binary trees with 🇺🇸Holberton San Francisco SWE Kristen Loyd
  • Thursday: Introduction to assembly with 🇨🇴Holberton Bogotá SWE Nicolaz Pérez
  • Friday: Singly-linked lists with Holberton 🇺🇸Tulsa SWE Derek Webb

With at least one software engineer in residence for every Holberton campus, more campuses will mean more live coding sessions! With locations all across the world, it also means that students can learn from different points of view, ways of thinking, with more diversity of background, culture, and experience!

These live coding sessions are extracurricular. They are following our belief of helping one another and learning from each other – live-coding sessions are an embodiment of what our education is: project and peer-based learning.

If you are a software developer and want to do a live coding session with Holberton folks from all across the world, please reach out to me! Keep coding!

Welcoming the legendary songwriter Savan Kotecha to our Board of Trustees

As reported in Forbes, we are thrilled to welcome Savan Kotecha to Holberton Board of Trustees! Savan has written musical hits for many of the world’s best artists. His songs, performed by Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Madonna, Justin Bieber,  The Weeknd, and numerous other headliner artists, have earned 17 Grammy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

Savan and his wife founded The MyLeo Foundation in 2017 with the mission to provide college study and vocational training scholarships to students from impoverished backgrounds.

The Holberton Board of Trustees is helping us to achieve our core mission of providing high-quality education for the many. Trustees meet multiple times a year to discuss successes and to provide advice on how to address the challenges facing the organization. Trustees also leverage their large public platforms to make the tech industry more accessible and diverse by encouraging a broader swath of the population to continue their educations beyond high school.

“Pop culture has shown me the importance of representation. It’s important that the people shaping the world via music, art, visual media, and technology come from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds so that everyone feels represented. Holberton’s focus on that is very inspiring and is why I wanted to be involved. During this ‘new normal’ we’re experiencing during the pandemic, we’re seeing just how important software engineering is with regards to shaping our new world. Software engineers’ creativity and vision will be key in helping us all move forward,” said Kotecha.

Songwriter Savan Kotecha with Holberton co-founder Sylvain Kalache.

Savan joins the board which currently includes Grammy award-winning artist NE-YO, actor and social activist Priyanka Chopra, CEO of CloudNOW Jocelyn DeGance Graham, Avasant Foundation Executive Director Chitra Rajeshwari, Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel, legendary Educator Esther Wojcicki and Docker co-founder Solomon Hykes.

Join us in welcoming Savan to the Holberton community!

A breakdancer’s journey to becoming a software engineer

Sergio Rueda is a breakdancer turned software engineer for the machine learning division of Mercado Libre, Latin America’s $50B e-commerce and auction site. Getting there was not easy, he had to balance a heavy workload in Holberton while trying to make extra cash doing translations and whatever he could get together from his dance shows.

Photo: Karen Daza (@dazita_sbc)

Originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, he moved to Bucaramanga to study mechanical engineering but his prospects and initial work experience after graduating had left him disillusioned. Sergio’s passion for breakdancing brought him to Medellín to join a dance crew with his friends. In Medellín, he discovered Holberton School and with it, his second passion: software engineering. 

Sergio decided to go through the admissions process as a challenge to himself and considered it sort of a game, but as he delved deeper into Holberton he decided becoming a software engineer is what he really wanted to do. 

After being admitted and just three months into the program, Sergio had to relocate from Holberton Medellín to Holberton Bogotá so he could live with his family, as he could no longer make ends meet. 

At first, Sergio would get frustrated because he could not finish the projects as fast as some of his peers, but he quickly learned to put his ego aside and developed the most important skill: learning how to learn. Even in the most trying times, he never thought about quitting and realized that no matter what personal challenges he was facing, starting a new programming project for Holberton always brought him happiness. 

I found a lot of support from the staff and my peers, they are now my family”, said Sergio.

Finding a job

Sergio says that being a programmer and a dancer make him very happy, each discipline compliments the other and brings about a balance, dancing helps his programming and programming helps his dancing. 

When Sergio began his job search after finishing foundations, he discovered that it was his soft skills, not just his technical skills, that made him stand out as a candidate. Rejections were common, so he narrowed his search to companies that valued soft skills as much as technical skills, and that is where he found the match with Mercado Libre. 

They were looking for a senior developer, so I told them: Let me solve the technical test, then you could know if we can work together now or in the future”, said. 

After a battery of soft skills and technical skills interviews, Mercado Libre made the offer and despite the fact that the job opening was for a senior candidate, the hiring manager in Mercado Libre told Sergio that they wanted to work with him because they saw his potential. 

Join me in congratulating Sergio on his accomplishments, all the hard work he put into going through the Holberton program and getting the job of his dream. Well done!

Holberton opening in Mexico City!

We’re excited to welcome a new campus in the Holberton network by opening in Mexico City! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Holberton School Mexico City will initially open as a remote program providing its education fully online. The school will begin enrolling its first cohort of students in September 2020. Also known as CDMX, the city is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America.

Holberton School comes in alliance with Inteligencia México, a business community that seeks to promote digital transformation in Mexico founded by Philippe and Alexandre Surman.

The program is open to anyone above 18, living in the State of Mexico. No degree or diploma is required to apply and following its mission of accessibility, the campus will offer students multiple ways to finance their education: upfront, monthly payment, loan, or income share agreement.

“Mexico has an untapped talent potential that needs to be realized. I am thrilled that Holberton will be bringing their high quality and accessible educational program to our country,” says Mastercard Mexico CEO Laura Cruz. “Holberton will train the next generation of Mexicans – including under-represented groups like women – with the skills they need to secure lucrative, interesting careers in software engineering while boosting our country’s talent pool and fueling our economy.”

The local digital economy is growing and the tech talent gap is widening. Even COVID-19 hasn’t slowed the appetite of venture investing for technology-based startups, it has grown by 132% compared to last year.

“E-commerce has been steadily increasing in recent years in Mexico but the recent pandemic has drastically accelerated the trend,” says Pierre-Claude BLAISE, Director General at AMVO, “This acceleration is not limited to retail; all industries are impacted, whether you are in finance, healthcare, education or entertainment, companies will need to hire software developers to build your online presence. Holberton is arriving at the perfect time!”

Mexico has the largest Spanish speaking population in the world. Our ambition is to open 10 additional campuses and to train a total of 10,000 students in the country over the next five years. 

Check out the Holberton School Mexico City campus page to learn more about it!

Celebrating Pride

June is Pride Month for Holberton. For many, it’s a synonym with amazing parades, love, and colors, but also a reminder of the progress and challenges we still have to solve. Pride is about celebrating equality, and we can thank the LBGTQ+ community for being a force behind it. This same community has faced so many challenges, and are still facing so many. Pride month is when we come together, and we celebrate that we are at the end, one big community.

This year is also special as it is the 50th anniversary of the first-ever pride parade and the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots where black transgender women continuously harassed by the police fought back for their rights.

For the opportunity, Holberton Colombia students decided to build an application, BeSafe, that allows reporting cases of violence against the LGBTQ+ community, informing and receiving legal advice and counseling. The idea came up as one of their classmates who is gender transitioning shared how hard their experience was.

The goal of the team was to create an application that could collect data in real-time and that had a friendly and intuitive user interface since in many cases reporting a case of violence is a very difficult experience. You can learn more about their projects here, and access the code on Github.

Our Checker to the color of pride

The Holberton Product team customized our Checker to the color of Pride. As a school, one of our main missions is to educate. The Checker, is the tool students use to review their Holberton-related code – sort of unit test-like but also checking proper code documentation, code styling, code efficiency – is displaying one of the 12 LGBTQ+ flags at every run. For every flag, we provide a description of the flag’s meaning and its history.

Finally, because sometimes, you don’t know, what you just don’t know, the Holberton staff and Professional Advisors have put together a list of resources to learn more about Pride and the LGBTQ+ community. The list contains books, podcasts, movies, and people to follow so that you can learn with the media that works best for you! It’s on Github, so feel free to make pull requests to make the list even better!

With love ❤️

Students building apps for Colombia’s top tech companies

As part of their first-year curriculum, Holberton Colombia Cohort 10 students will work on their final projects with Colombia’s top tech companies under the mentorship of their leading CTOs and engineering managers. Participating companies include Colombia’s unicorn Rappi, robot delivery company Kiwi, learning platform Skillshare, IoT platform Ubidots, and remote talent marketplace Torre. Each company is coming to the program with a real-world product request to serve their business needs. Students will build the product or feature on top of each company’s tech stack.

“There are two objectives for the company capstone projects. One is to let leading employers access the best technical talent for their recruiting needs. The second objective is that these multi-week, hands-on projects will give Cohort 10 programmers real-world projects completed for top-tier companies to include in their portfolios,” said Jessica Mercedes, Country Manager of Holberton Colombia.

The projects include developing the following: 

  • Crowdlending for Rappi delivery couriers so that they can finance the purchase of a motorcycle
  • An algorithm to detect the distance of moving objects for Kiwi’s autonomous vehicles while using only one camera 
  • A picture-based class recommendation engine for Skillshare
  • A computer vision solution to maintain COVID-safe distances among factory workers using the Ubidots platform
  • A web service that centralizes job opportunities and applicants across many job boards for Torre.

Students will work for six weeks under the leadership of each company’s technical management and will be expected to deliver on the same level of technical excellency as their full-time employees. Each project will be presented during the demo day taking place on June 19th. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook, so be sure to follow our page to watch!