Volunteers from Toptal’s Elite Software Development Network to Mentor General Assembly Students and Alumni Remotely, Addressing Both Lack of Diversity and Gap in Software Talent in the Tech Industry.
San Francisco, CA – August 4, 2015 – Toptal, the world’s leading network of elite freelance software developers, today announced that it has signed an agreement with global education institution General Assembly to create the Toptal Global Mentors Program, a large-scale initiative to provide support through tutoring and mentorship to help students overcome barriers of hardship, underprivilege, and low income to become professional software engineers. As part of the donation, Toptal developers from 93 countries around the world will donate approximately $1,000,000 worth of in-kind tutoring and mentorship support to General Assembly students and graduates over the next two years. In addition, Toptal will donate $100,000 to fund fellowships to the General Assembly Opportunity Fund, which provides scholarships and support to members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the technology industry.
Toptal supports over 2,000 clients ranging from Fortune 500s to startups with its distributed network of elite freelance developers who are based in 93 countries around the world and who work 100% remotely. This global network forms the backbone of the Toptal Global Mentors Program. Toptal volunteers will mentor students and graduates of the General Assembly Opportunity Fund exactly the same way Toptal engineers work with clients like Zendesk, J.P. Morgan, Airbnb, and thousands of others every day.
Speaking at the 5th Annual Nexus Summit at the United Nations on July 24, 2015, Taso Du Val, co-founder and CEO of Toptal, announced Toptal’s commitment to initiatives aimed at supporting the technical education needs of disadvantaged students who seek careers as software engineers in the tech industry.
“It’s no secret that the tech industry suffers from a severe lack of diversity, and that is a direct result of the lack of equal access to quality education and mentorship. Without significant investment, there will be no improvement in the future,” said Du Val. “At Toptal, we know that teams from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, experiences, and ideas, can stimulate creativity and drive results. Our partnership with General Assembly and the establishment of the Toptal Global Mentors Program will mean new opportunities for talented individuals who face significant barriers to entry in the tech industry. Our mentors from around the world are very excited to participate in this program and make a positive impact on improving diversity in a new generation of engineers.”
“There are vast opportunities in today’s economy to build robust and satisfying careers, and we aim to equip as many people as possible with the skills to succeed in the tech workforce,” said Matt Brimer, co-founder of General Assembly. “Toptal is an ideal partner – their team of world-class engineers are in the field every day and are among the most talented in the world – and the addition of the Global Mentors Program will provide an invaluable resource for our students and alumni. We welcome Toptal’s support of the Opportunity Fund and look forward to making sure even more students are equipped with the in-demand, 21st century skills that tech companies are looking for in their employees.”
Toptal developers bring extensive expertise in a wide variety of in-demand technologies to the Toptal Global Mentors Program, making it a tremendous resource for General Assembly students and graduates. It also means that for any specialized skill that a participant wishes to acquire, a best-in-class Toptal expert will be available, no matter where in the world that expert resides. A Toptal web design expert in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for example, can mentor a General Assembly web design student from the Bronx, NY, USA – almost as if face-to-face.
“Being a 100% virtual company and working with our widely-dispersed development team, we’re inundated with interactions and creativity from people in different countries and cultures, the developing world and the developed world, 24/7,” added Du Val. “Great ideas are generated and relationships sparked across our global network every minute, and now General Assembly students can tap into it through this new program. To us, the ability to teach, inspire, and learn across any border in the world is not only gratifying, but we feel this is the right way technology should be deployed when hardship, low-income, and a variety of other factors stand in the way of success and achievement in an industry that is hungry for talent.”
When the program was announced internally to Toptal developers, volunteers flooded in from around the world. Seva Safris, a Ukrainian-American software engineer who has volunteered, puts it this way: “Having grown up in an immigrant minority family, I am myself a product of the opportunities extended to me by the generous teachers and givers of my life – mentors who have empowered me to achieve and succeed in spite of disadvantages. In gratitude to those who helped me in my life, I am thrilled and honored to give back to the minority community.”
Founded in 2010, Toptal is one the most innovative and rapidly-growing companies to emerge from Silicon Valley. With backing from Andreessen Horowitz, Adam D’Angelo of Quora, and others, Toptal connects thousands of elite freelance software engineers from around the world to over 2,000 clients including large enterprise companies such as J.P. Morgan and Pfizer; tech companies such as Airbnb and Zendesk; and numerous startups, providing world-class software solutions that meet the most complex and challenging requirements. On track to hit an $80,000,000 annual run rate (ARR) in less than five years since its founding, Toptal’s rapid growth is a testimony to exploding client demand and the unmatched quality and reliability of the company’s services. For more information about Toptal, visit: www.toptal.com.
About General Assembly
General Assembly is a global educational institution that is building a community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love through instruction and opportunity in technology, design, and business. General Assembly offers full-time immersive programs, classes, workshops, and online educational programming on the most relevant skills of the 21st century economy, including web development, user experience design, product management, digital marketing, and data science. Headquartered in New York, General Assembly was established in early 2011 and has 14 campuses worldwide in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Seattle, Sydney, and Washington, D.C.
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