TLDR: email me at josh at joshbeckman.org
To better open my experience and privilege as a resource for others, I wanted to take some time to explicitly write down the ways I’m available to help folks on the internet that I don’t already know. This is an initial list that will probably grow, shrink, and change over time. This post and some of the wording in it was heavily inspired by Will Larson’s post on the same topic.
I generally prefer email as a medium for these communications, especially in our initial conversation(s). So if you tweet at me or send a LinkedIn message, don’t expect a [quick] reply.
Note that I am a self-taught, white, straight, cis-gender man without a disability. I will try to:
- Not give advice on things I haven’t directly experienced
- Not generalize my experiences
- Be explicit about when my privilege has helped me and may not help others with different circumstances
That said, ways I’m available to help anyone:
- Answer direct question about topics I know about. I really try to answer every concise question I get over email. The more specific, the easier it will be to get an answer for you. If you write a two to four paragraph email with a clear question, I will try to answer it in a timely fashion. Topics that I can answer about quickly are generally anything I’ve written or presented about or worked on. Reach out to me at josh[at]joshbeckman.org.
Ways I’m available to help BIPOC and women in tech:
- Interview advice and practice. I’ve interviewed many people at early- and mid-stage startups for years, so I can help you in situations like that. I am very happy to help practice interviews with you or give you advice on how to best approach different interview structures or scenarios.
- Mid-career job advice. After your first tech position, you really start getting a handle on how wide the world of tech can be. I’m eager to help people figure out the differences in those multiple paths and can share my own experience as a data point to inform your own.
- Startup tech evaluations. Many times people in tech are presented with existing or proposed towers of technical debt when they join a company. I am happy to help evaluate the soundness of those environments or decisions, in a limited capacity.
- Review blog posts or talk proposals. I want to see more writing from everyone in tech, but would be happiest to see those from BIPOC. Any help I can give in bringing your voice to the fore I will give. I’m not the best proofreader, but can help shape ideas and identify those that would be most interesting to others.
Some things I’m not a good resource for:
- Getting your first job in tech. My own career path into and through tech was not traditional (or, I think, replicable). I also don’t have the best grasp on the environments many bootcamps provide, so I will leave the advice for first jobs to those just leaving their first job.
- Getting hired at Big Tech companies. I’ve only ever worked for small to mid-size startups, where I was able to control the vast majority of the hiring process, so I don’t have any advice that you couldn’t discover yourself through Google searches.
- Referrals that are unlikely to get serious consideration. This may be the wrong stance, but I only refer people of make an introduction if I am exceedingly confident that both parties will strongly engage. That usually means I won’t do it, and I save my sponsorship efforts for those individuals I already know.
- Connecting with you on LinkedIn. I prefer having my LinkedIn profile represent my actual network. This is so when people ask me for introductions, I genuinely know the people they’re asking about. To that end, I generally don’t accept connection requests from people I haven’t met in person, or haven’t talked to extensively through email.
These lists aren’t comprehensive, but I hope by being explicit about what I’m available to do then folks will feel more comfortable reaching out, For anything that isn’t covered, writing a concise email to inquire is the best route!