Meet Daniel Adeyemi!

Daniel moved to Oregon from Russia four years ago. He’s been a university chemistry instructor, a P.E. teacher, and currently works as an NCAA basketball referee. And recently, he finished a three-month development internship with our team at Roboboogie.

Daniel decided to learn to code after working on his own refereeing website. When he applied to Epicodus, he checked a box for scholarships for underrepresented groups. Not long after, he found out he had gotten a scholarship for the Epicodus training program from Blacks in Technology and the paid internship with Roboboogie.

“My main goal,” he said, “was just don’t quit.”

So far, he’s stuck to that goal and gone above and beyond “just don’t quit.”

In his time with us, he’s worked on building A/B tests for clients, as well as putting the work of his fellow developers through the QA process to ensure their work looks great and functions on a wide range of computers, tablets, and mobile devices. In his words, he’s “learning how to do the job of a developer”, and we think he’s done a fantastic job! 

“The biggest thing I learned was how to work on code that was in production,” Daniel said. 

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Code written by Daniel as part of his internship for a shopping cart test.

He said he appreciated the pressure and challenges of working on live projects. He also loved the collaboration of working with a team on websites for real-world clients.

Jeremy Sell, director of technology, said Daniel has been an ideal intern. 

“He’s great. He’s fantastic to work with. His code is now being seen by millions of people, which is pretty cool!”

Now, Daniel turns his attention to finding the next step in his development journey while he also continues his work as a referee. Finding a company with a culture to match his experience at Roboboogie is high on his list. As is finding a place that is diverse and supportive, with interesting and challenging projects to work on. We were incredibly impressed by Daniel and are excited to see what his next chapter looks like.

Building an internship partnership

Daniel was the first Roboboogie intern that came to the company as part of a partnership the company formed with the nonprofit Blacks in Technology and coding school Epicodus.

Tech, like many industries, has a history and perception of being white and male. Roboboogie is part of that industry — as with all companies, it is run by human beings with implicit biases who can sometimes have trouble separating out what those biases even are.

Roboboogie decided we wanted to do better. How could we make the company a more inclusive workplace and what would it take to actually remove implicit bias from the equation?

We looked at our hiring processes and could see that we needed to do better when it came to hiring historically excluded people.

That’s when we focused on moving forward with a partnership with two groups — Epicodus and Blacks in Technology, to create a paid internship with a student from Epicodus and picked by Blacks in Technology. We realized our own biases would come into play if we picked the intern candidate, so they turned that process over to Blacks in Technology.

“They were on board,” Jeremy said. “They asked us some hard questions about ourselves, which I was excited about.” 

Daniel won’t be the last intern to come through a program like this, and we’re excited about helping ourselves and other companies come up with ways to remove implicit bias from hiring.

“We have visions for this to be something that we do more often,” Jeremy said. “Maybe we can make this happen for more people and with more companies, and make it easier for companies to bring on people from all groups and to change the way tech looks and make it more representative of what our communities actually look like.”

We’d like to again thank Daniel for joining us for his internship and Blacks in Technology and Epicodus for their partnership.

Blacks In Technology is a global platform for Black people in technology. We are “Stomping the Divide” by establishing standards for world-class technical excellence. BIT serves members through community, media, and mentorship. We provide resources, guidance and challenge members to establish new standards of innovation.

Epicodus’s mission is to help people learn the skills they need to get great jobs. For us, “great jobs” means jobs in growing industries that pay well and provide rewarding work. Beyond the particular skills needed to get these jobs, we aim to help our students become confident self-teachers who can adapt to changing job markets, and great communicators who will work well in teams. We focus on serving people who, by birth or circumstance, don’t have easy access to learning the skills they need to get great jobs.