Tech Exchange

Join a cutting edge learning experience to prepare you for a career in tech

  • About

    Tech Exchange is a virtual academic program for students in partnership with select HBCUs and HSIs in North America. We’ve designed our program to build applied CS skills and social capital among Black and Latinx students at HBCUs and HSIs. Students from schools listed, who identify with a group that is historically underrepresented in the technology industry, with a particular focus on Black and LatinX folks, are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to take a virtual Interview Prep/Applied Data Structures course in the spring of their sophomore semester. Students will also have optional classes they can take throughout the spring, summer and following fall semester.

    Current institutions:

    Students must attend one of the following institutions to be considered for the program in 2021:

    • California State University Dominguez Hills
    • Florida A&M University
    • Howard University
    • Morgan State University
    • New Mexico State University
    • North Carolina A&T University
    • Prairie View A&M University
    • Spelman College
    • The University of Texas at El Paso
    • University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

    How the program works:

    • Talk to University CS Chair/faculty if you are interested in the program
    • Target students at previously mentioned universities will need to take an assessment by October 15.
    • You can enroll for the class(es) available once you have been accepted into the program
    • You will be required to sign up for the Interview Prep/Applied Data Structures course
    • We will have other optional courses available once you’ve registered for the Applied DS course
    • We will send you additional reading and practice links before the course starts to learn python
    • Virtual courses will start in January continue through end of April and will count toward academic credit and grades
    • Course participants will also be asked to participate in bi-weekly mentor check-ins/ office hours and mock interviews throughout the program
    • Course participants will be able to participate in other Google academic offerings over the summer and the following fall if certain conditions are met

    Why participate:

    • Students who participate in Tech Exchange are given access to cutting edge industry courses to get them prepped for Software Engineer internships and optionally Product management and UX internships and careers
    • Participants get access to the industry through Googlers who act as mentors, and potential future Google referrals who are familiar with a student’s technical skills
    • Past participants and their faculty have reported feeling a ‘sense of confidence with their coding skills and as a student’ after having attended Tech Exchange
  • History

    In the summer of 2017, Howard University partnered with Google to launch a new and innovative academic moonshot called Howard West. After a successful pilot, one of the most important goals for the program was to expand across additional HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) and HSIs (Hispanic-Serving Institutions), enabling similar opportunities and benefits across our Black and Latinx communities.

  • Additional info for students

    We’re looking for students with comfort programming in a language such as Python, Java, or C++,, including comfort with parameter passing, iteration, problem solving and an exposure to recursion and basic data structures such as lists, arrays, stacks, and queues. Students from schools listed, who identify with a group that is historically underrepresented in the technology industry, with a particular focus on Black and LatinX folks, are encouraged to apply.

    Program prerequisites when applying: We're looking for students with beginner level experience programming in Python, Java, Javascript, C or C++. In addition, experience with parameter passing, iteration, problem solving and an exposure to recursion, and basic data structures such as lists, arrays, stacks, and queues.

    Prereqs for Sophomore level students by the time they start the semester (January):

    • Proficiency in basic programming (loops, functions, parameter passing, recursion, object oriented programming) (a “CS1” course)
    • Experience with Python in loops, functions, parameter passing, and some experience with using objects (but not necessarily writing classes from scratch) (new)
    • Knowledge of Basic Data Structures: (linked lists, binary trees, binary search trees, sets, stacks) (a “CS2” course)
    • Discrete Mathematics is recommended

    Upon completion of this course, students can expect to:

    • Analyze runtime efficiency of algorithms related to data structure design.
    • Select appropriate abstract data types for use in a given application.
    • Compare data structure tradeoffs to select the appropriate implementation for an abstract data type.
    • Design and modify data structures capable of insertion, deletion, search, and related operations.
    • Trace through and predict the behavior of algorithms (including code) designed to implement data structure operations.
    • Identify and remedy flaws in a data structure implementation that may cause its behavior to differ from the intended design
    • Gain practice with applying basic data structure and algorithms to real-world problems
    • Gain experience with thinking about boundary conditions and running time while coding problem solutions
    • Learn skills required for solving technical interview problems
      • Gain comfort with technical interviews through frequent mock interview practice
      • Deepen one’s ability to solve time sensitive programming tasks