Discover the stories of young people from the periphery looking for space in the world of technology
This report is divided into two parts. read the second part here.
Although promising, careers in Information Technology (IT) remain a mystery to part of the population. Data from the Association of Information and Communication Technology (TIC) and Digital Technologies (Brasscom) companies, which refer to June, show that the southern region began to represent 19.3% of total IT jobs in Brazil, recording a growth of 5% in the first six months in a year. In that period, according to the association’s data, there were 10,582 new employees in the region.
Furthermore, according to the study Demand for Talents in ICT and STCEM Strategy, published by Brasscom in December 2021, the projection is that Brazilian technology companies will demand 797 thousand talents from 2021 to 2025. Reach the low-income population? What projects exist to encourage the entry of social minorities into this area?
Francielle Fernandes Rodrigues (24) explains that she has been in contact with computers since she was young. About 14 years ago, parents owned a lan house (a place to access the Internet very popular in the early 2000s). But the computer science graduate says that it took her a long time to find out about the existence of the course. Resident of the Formosa district, d Dawnand a public school student, Francielle says that during elementary and high school, she doesn’t remember seeing any information in school that alludes to the IT field.
— Until one day I went to a vocational fair, an event promoted by a private university in Porto Alegre, and there I discovered the course. I only knew that I liked to use the computer, but I didn’t know the name of the course or anything like that — remembers Francielle, who is currently in her last semester of matriculation at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).
The participant got acquainted with the course during the fairPhoto: Lauro Alves / Agency RBS
Despite the existence of an IT classroom in the educational institution she attended, she says she managed to use the space several times. At that time, due to the lack of computers for the students in the class, they did not attend the laboratory as much as they could.
Preparation for the entrance exam was another challenging phase for the student. Francielle remembers independently researching which subjects have the most weight at UFRGS in order to enable enrollment in the desired course. He finally got a vacant position through the Single Selection System (SiSU). In the first semester, a surprise: the most difficult subject was his favorite: mathematics. The student should have sought help outside the university to cope with the pace of classes:
“It was quite complicated. I didn’t struggle so much with programming in the first semesters, but with mathematics. I saw that it was very different from what I had learned in previous years. I also noticed a big difference between what I knew and what my peers who studied in private schools knew.
The solution found was to hire a private math teacher to reduce the difficulties. Francielle has been working for three years for a company in the state of Rio Grande do Sul with national book sales operations.
In the family
The student’s fascination with the subject of Computer Science also inspired computer technician Marc Antônio de Souza Rodrigues, 43, Francielle’s father. The computer maintenance expert says he has always been inclined towards the field of technology.
— When she started, she strongly encouraged me to try to join the course. It was something I always wanted, but in my day I didn’t have as much access to a free pre-university course, for example, or racial quota policies.
In 2019, Marco took the state exam for secondary school (Enem), and in 2020 he started his matriculation. He is currently in his second semester and is looking for a job in the field of programming. For him, the beginning of graduation was a challenge from the content side as well.
— I have a lot of difficulties, especially in mathematics. I didn’t get the foundation needed for good from the start. I had to look for resources from outside in order to be able to work well – the student points out.
Until the opportunity arises, the computer technician works in computer maintenance, graphic design, image processing, and separation of images for screen printing. In order to organize his work and study routine, he decided, he says, to leave all subjects in the morning shift. In the afternoon he devotes himself to work, and in the evening he studies for college and attends courses in programming languages:
— The university teaches logic to understand how programs work. But it is possible to learn other languages. I’m always looking for free courses.
“The possibility of emancipation”
Graduated in human resources management, Andreza Rocha gained her first professional experience eight years ago, in the field of human resources for IT companies. Therefore, he was always close to technology-oriented topics. She participated in the establishment of various social initiatives in this area. In Porto Alegre, she was the founder of Afropython, a movement for the inclusion and empowerment of black people in IT. He later founded Afro Tech BR.
— For this work (developed at Afro Tech BR), I was the only Brazilian invited to represent the Brazilian community in the United States, at the main Microsoft event in the world — recalls Andreza.
He currently works at Afroya Tech Hub. The initiative aims to be a global space for projects and diversity for the inclusion, development, rise and belonging of black talent in the technology and innovation ecosystem.
As for the profile of tech professionals in Brazil today, Andreza points out what the research shows: white men, between 20 and 30 years old, with a high school education. For her, misinformation is the main obstacle that low-income people who want to pursue a career in IT have to face. There is a need, explains Andreza, to advertise these professions during elementary school.
— Today, the IT field is not even presented as a career perspective. When this alternative appears, people have already been on the market for a long time and are working in other fields. If we know these are good paying jobs, why don’t we let everyone know about it? Today, IT is an opportunity for emancipation, says the professional.
In addition to encouraging the entry of new professionals into the field, Afroya aims to support those already on the job market.
— The idea arose from this need to create new narratives. There are many of us, we participate in the construction of technologies and we want to be part of the discussion – says Andreza.
The Afroya team is currently working on the development of the Quem Somos survey, which aims to map black professionals working with technology in Brazil. When completed, it will result in a report that should include information about who these people are, where they studied, whether they had access to affirmative action policies, among other information. Data collection began on August 11 and continues until the end of September. The official announcement of the results will take place on November 12 in São Paulo.
/// If you are a black technology professional and would like to participate in the survey, please take about 15 minutes and Click here.
*Collaboration: Guilherme Jacques