Linux for Ladies Course Gives New Meaning to “Girl Power”

It’s no secret there’s a shortage of female talent in the tech industry — but Rackspace’s Open Cloud Academy is working to close that gap.

Through its Linux for Ladies summer program, the academy is creating a local technical talent pipeline by providing a fun and inclusive training environment aimed at women interested in tech. The program was featured recently in the San Antonio Express News:

Rackspace started the program last year to help recruit more women, said Deborah Carter, senior manager of Rackspace’s Open Cloud Academy, a fee-based boot camp with tracks in Linux and network operations.

Rackspace so far has hired about 47 percent of the academy’s approximately 270 graduates, with many others landing jobs at other San Antonio tech companies.

“We do typically see men gravitating toward IT (information technology) subject areas,” Carter said. “We’re hoping to shift the percentages there.”

According to the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, women hold more than half of all professional occupations in the U.S. but fewer than 24 percent of all computing-related occupations, representing a huge pool of untapped talent.

This summer, Open Cloud Academy graduated its second Linux for Ladies class, adding seats in the class due to high demand. After eight weeks of intense training, 21 women crossed the graduation stage and stepped into the community of Linux operating system experts.

Check out this video of the first graduating class, from 2014:

“You’re not just learning a foreign language, you’re also learning a foreign concept at the same time,” Linux for Ladies graduate Jodi McMaster told the San Antonio Express-News.

She described the course labs as a series of “arm wrestles” that she ultimately mastered. “You take things on with a certain amount of faith, that OK, eventually this is going to make sense to me. And as the weeks have gone on and on, things have become clearer and clearer.”

Open Cloud Academy is focused on developing technical talent, and enhancing technical career opportunities in the San Antonio area. While Linux for Ladies is a limited time scholarship program, the Open Cloud Academy offers Linux and Network Operations learning tracks year round.

Interested in becoming a student?  We invite you to attend an information session held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. at 112 E Pecan St, San Antonio, TX, 78205 on the 6th floor.

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