Washington Technology Industry Association hosted its third annual Draft Day event on June 22 at Galvanize Seattle. The event introduces “triple-vetted” candidates from under-represented colleges and educational programs to tech employers in a speed interview format.

Draft Day

Prospective job candidates interview with tech employers at Draft Day. Courtesy WTIA.

Sixteen finalists — 20 percent veterans, 40 percent women, and 65 percent people of color — were chosen from 145 nominees.  The finalists graduated from the following schools: Code Fellows, Coding Dojo, Edmonds Community College, Epicodus, Green River College, HaHu IT Training Center, Kal Academy, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Northeastern University — Seattle, Seattle University, and St. Cloud State University.

Comcast, Tableau, Nordstrom, Boundless, FlowPlay, and UW Foster School of Business made up the Draft Day hiring partners.

At this year’s event, 14 of the 16 finalists were asked to participate in further on-site interviews, the largest number in the event’s three-year history. Each of the six organizations plan to hire two candidates to fill open roles such as software developer, software engineer, web application developer, and information security analyst.

Aside from connecting diverse students to reputable tech employers, Draft Day also helps eliminate institutional bias that can be involved in the interview process by removing all college names and educational background information from candidates’ resumes.

More than 100 nominees participated in Training Camp, the week before Draft Day. Courtesy WTIA.

The candidates chosen to participate in Draft Day must first be nominated by their technical instructors. Then they go through “Training Camp,” an interview prep and resume review session during which mock interview coaches evaluate each job seeker. Those who advance out of Training Camp revise their resumes and are vetted again by tech professionals.

WTIA is a co-op of 800 tech companies of varying sizes. The organization’s mission is to “consolidate the power of member companies to solve business problems they can’t solve on their own.”