How Etsy and Hacker School helped Bethany Macri move from legal to engineering
As a follow-on to this interview with Etsy’s Marc Hedlund, I spoke with Bethany Macri, a software engineer on Etsy’s core platform team, to get the student perspective on this initiative. Bethany was making a career transition from law to coding and applied for one of Etsy’s grants to attend Hacker School last summer.
Bethany is an example of a growing trend of engineers who choose an unconventional learning path. In her case, she built on her self-taught foundation with a very self-directed training program that was much different than a college degree.
In this interview, Bethany discusses her decision to change careers, what it was like to be a part of Hacker School, and the Etsy recruiting process.
How did you learn to code? Will the emergence of online and in-person training resources such as Codecademy, Skillcrush, Hackbright Academy, and volunteer study groups such as RailsBridge ever replace formal CS education? Tell us in the comments section below.
Etsy's Marc Hedlund shares the tactics he's using to boost the diversity of his engineering team
You’ve probably heard of Etsy, the bustling online marketplace for crafters and artists. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of its customers are women, both buyers and sellers. Ditto that the Etsy team is a pretty good representation of the Earth’s gender ratio.
Yet when Marc Hedlund took the helm of Etsy’s Product Development & Engineering department, 97% of the engineering department were men. Hedlund realized that in his nearly two decades in IT, he’s hired no more than 20 women for engineering positions. This began to bother him. Especially after his daughter was born.
“You’re in a position of authority. What have you done to make it better?”
While she’s only four, Hedlund imagines this is the pointed question his daughter will ask him when she’s old enough to follow in his footsteps in the computing industry.
Impatient to change the gender ratio before his daughter enters the workforce, Hedlund decided to take action. Last year, he partnered with Hacker School to create a training program to address the engineering shortage in general and the lack of gender parity in particular.
The result: women now make up 15% of Etsy’s engineering team.
How did he do it? In his video interview, Hedlund offers concrete advice for companies who want to hire more women in technical roles.