Diversity Over Experience – Meeting Uber’s Apprentices

I recently read an article by Ginny Fahs about Uber’s Apprentices called Meet Uber’s Software Engineer Apprentices. The reader is given short bio information on each of Uber’s newest apprentices. It’s easy to see that none of the apprentices had the traditional background of computer science, IT or other technology-based degrees.

I think the most interesting part of the article was the different life experiences of each person. Uber seems to value the diverse backgrounds that the apprentices can bring to the company. I can understand how this would be appealing. If all of the employees had the same programming background, it might be hard to think out of the box to inspire creativity and innovation.

For example, some of the past work experiences for the new team members included a science teacher, a psychotherapist, photographer, and a psychologist.  Some of the commonalities in the apprentices is that they were looking for a career change and took on a coding boot camp to provide them with the introductory experience that helped them land the apprenticeship.

In the bios, most made mention of how passionate and supportive their team members were. The company culture at Uber seemed very inclusive. Companies like Uber can really benefit from hiring outside of the “normal” technical fields and bring people in that prove to be self-motivated and life-long learners. I think ambitious employees can bring value to a company that wants to be at the forefront of innovation, regardless of their educational background.