Hopeworks and Linode, a Philadelphia-based cloud-hosting company, were recently recognized with a Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2021 “Faces of Philanthropy award for an innovative partnership that opens up a new pathway for Middle-Skill technology jobs for young people. The annual “Faces of Philanthropy”award recognizes collaborations between for-profit and nonprofit organizations that benefit the greater Philadelphia region, and create positive change in the lives of others.
This Hopeworks-Linode venture, now in the pilot phase, will ultimately provide young people with the opportunity to prepare for careers in cloud computing, using Linux servers. These jobs typically offer a starting salary of $55-$65K. That’s significantly higher than the less than $800 average annual salary youth earn before coming to Hopeworks.
The idea for the venture came from Rick Myers, Vice President of Customer Support and Success at Linode. (Myers is on Hopeworks’ Board of Directors). Myers has a full-scale, sophisticated training program in place for new hires in his department at Linode. One of the modules in that training program forms the basis for this collaboration. Myers worked with Erich Smith, Hopeworks Training Room Manager, to customize the curriculum for Hopeworks youth and adapt it to Hopework's own training model. In its present form, the training requires 25 hours, spread out over five weeks.
Significantly, the key trainers will be two Hopeworks interns: Rhys Basov and Kevin Sanchez. They will be fully supported by the Linode training team. Both underwent the training earlier, and are very excited about the prospect of deepening their own expertise with Linux, even as they help train peers.
Rhys said they became interested in Linux because their uncle is a long-time Linux user. They identify themselves as a “designer” and appreciate the myriad of possibilities that Linux opens to them. They are interested in using it to create Magic Mirrors, and in following the lead of Chinese DIY maker Naomi Wu, and experimenting with creating wearable tech.
Kevin pursued the training because Linux sounded “interesting.” Kevin was always aware of it but never knew anyone who had experience with it. Now that they are much more familiar, they are impressed by how secure the Linux operating system is.
“Since Linux is an open-source software, it allows others to constantly update it so that there are no bugs or back doors,” says Kevin. “Since most of the people who use Linux are already very into the tech world, you can only imagine that by having that much oversight, there are fewer chances for there to be weaknesses, bugs, and security breaches. One of the main reasons Linux is primarily used in servers is for that security.”