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I attended a meeting of the Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a few months ago with my girlfriend who is from Peru. I thought about my 14-year career in information technology and the number of different types of companies I had worked for – insurance, market research, drug study, etc. I couldn’t remember a single person that I worked closely with that was Hispanic.

Bill Clinton made some remarks a while back about the subject, relaying number that said a “study shows that Hispanics, who represent 11 percent of our work force, hold down just 4 percent of the jobs in information.” I wonder what the current statistics are. He also provided 5 steps to creating more opportunities, centered primarily around education, specifically a college education. I slightly disagree, because I’ve made a great career in IT with a college education, but in Jazz Music. My IT career has been made possible by my efforts to educate myself with the vast sea of resources available – books, seminars, etc. Indeed a degree from a major university is helpful, but a degree from some colleges will mean that you are up to date on technologies that will die in a couple of years. Curriculum is dated the moment it is presented sometimes. But are those other resources made available to people from other countries? Do they even know where to look? Or is it a vast sea of English?

A good American/Hispanic combination:


Why is it important that Hispanics, or any other group, have opportunity in IT? It pulls the solution paradigm in a different direction. People with different fundamental backgrounds contribute to a problem in fundamentally different ways. If three people from three different places shine a different kind of light on a problem, different qualities of that problem become apparent, and so the solution becomes almost self-evident. Another inherent value in that scenario is realizing you don’t have to be the only contributor, in fact, you need to rely on help from others to achieve a goal.

I don’t like to stereotype, but I think it’s safe to say that people from outside the U.S., especially from some Hispanic countries, probably appreciate the value of a dollar a little more. I know I take a lot of what I have for granted, things that have come to me easily that wouldn’t necessarily come as easily to others. My girlfriend really values the things she has earned and purchased that I just look at as material possessions. With this in mind, would this fundamental difference produce an individual – a software developer maybe – who is innately focused on frugality (frugalidad)? What differences in architectural options, or coding styles, would be realized from an individual with a drastically difference “human experience” background? Not that any particular choice or options would be right or wrong, but merely having the presence of those values in the discussion – can you see the value?

Si usted es hispano y le gustaría aprender más sobre desarrollo de sitios web o programas informáticos, no crea que necesita previo conocimiento, titulos o alta educacion. No deje su idea, lógrela!

Thank goodness for Google Translate.

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