At GitHub, we try to show our ongoing commitment to positive change and take steps towards significant social impact (SI)—this year is no exception. GitHub is now a proud sponsor of HackYourFuture, an organization doing fantastic work in a city where we also happen to have a local office: Amsterdam.
As an employee at GitHub, we’re encouraged to volunteer and devote our time as well as skill sets with organizations that we care about. In Amsterdam, some Hubbers started volunteering with HackYourFuture: a not-for-profit coding school for refugees and those with limited access to education and the labor market.
It’s often overlooked how powerful code can be. But code is a complex, yet universal language that can unlock new opportunities and it can be someone’s passion, career, or even their future. To emphasize code and how life-changing it can be, HackYourFuture and 72andSunny created a campaign that honors the stories of talented people with refugee pasts who turned into coders. These stories are real examples of how code can help to change someone’s life, beyond borders.
The Behind the Source campaign reframes the conversation around refugees and the contributions they give to the countries they move to and decide to call home. Their stories are celebrated through seven portraits of graduates of the HackYourFuture program who found their vocation and voice through coding. These graduates just so happen to have helped build some of the world’s most-used websites and applications.
To discover these exceptional life stories, the campaign invites us to go behind the source, literally. The seven portraits are hidden in the source code of several company websites, such as eBay and Accenture, where the graduates now work. Other partner companies participating include Backbase, Exact, Marktplaats, and Zivver.
Visit any of the participating websites and view the source code to discover the beautiful portraits of each of the exceptional human beings who went from refugees to becoming qualified web developers. Even more impressive, each portrait is entirely built with code.
The seven graduates have taken part in the HackYourFuture program, a seven-month web-development course that has helped 120 people in the Netherlands and more than 200 globally in finding a job as a developer. In the Netherlands, over 85 percent of HackYourFuture’s graduates found and retained a high-quality position as a developer—after all, the industry needs more qualified developers.
By training newcomers in web-development, HackYourFuture boosts newcomers’ chances of employment significantly and increases the number of developers on the job market and further integration—it’s a win-win situation. To further set students up for success, HackYourFuture also provides guidance with their CVs and interview training to help them find jobs with their partner companies.
Behind the Source aims to celebrate the successes of the people portrayed, and the sense of community that HackYourFuture provides. Through it, we hope to encourage more companies to meet and employ their graduates.