As the global home for all developers, we firmly believe that everyone should be able to contribute to the future of software development. Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DI&B) are core to who we are, what we do, and how we can change the world. Lowering barriers to becoming a developer is key for promoting socio-economic inclusion and increasing the diversity of developers building on GitHub. To this end, I’m excited to share a pilot program we recently launched called Git Commit Uruguay.

Executed by GitHub Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (CELA) Diversity and Inclusion Committee, in partnership with Microsoft, we set out to introduce GitHub and open source to over 60 high school students and recent graduates in the lowest-income neighborhood of Montevideo, Uruguay. We created two different courses specifically designed to help these students learn how to use GitHub and understand the value of open source. We brought in two excellent Spanish-speaking teachers–Luis Sanchez, an education and community manager based in Mexico, and Gustavo Lizarraga, a University Champion from Bolivia–to remove language barriers and ensure students could communicate easily with their instructors. The courses covered several critical topics, including how to use Git commands, create repositories and check repository status, structure a Git project, send commits, create branches, and much more.

Upon graduating from the program, every student was able to build their own website in the cloud. Gaining these skills and creating a portfolio of their work and a GitHub profile gives these wonderful students something tangible to point to when searching for and applying for jobs in the tech sector.

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We closed the program with a beautiful ceremony at the Uruguayan Laboratory of Technology–one of the most prestigious institutions in Uruguay–with over 200 attendees showing their support for the students. Our own Mario Rodriguez, VP of Product, delivered an inspiring speech about the importance of courage and perseverance, drawing from his own personal experiences, which moved everyone to tears.

The entire program was extremely gratifying, and I can confidently say these students taught us more than we taught them. We’re so incredibly thankful to the students and their families, and our work to create more opportunities for these deserving students doesn’t end here. We’re working to secure internships at the new AI and IoT Insider Lab in Montevideo–the first lab of its kind in Latin America and just the third outside of the US–as soon as it opens.