Posted March 18, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Academic/Education

[PROFILE] In 25 Words or Less: Albrey Brown (Education: Tech)

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Albrey Brown / Telegraph Academy
Pictured: Albrey Brown (center, seated) and graduating class at Telegraph Academy, a 12-week program in Oakland that focuses on people of color underrepresented in tech.

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In 25 Words or Less

Posted: March 18, 2016


Editor’s Note: Focused on the opportunity that lies within a problem, Telegraph Academy, co-founded by Albrey Brown, has emerged in a short period of time as one of the most respected coding bootcamps in the country, creating employable software engineers through its 12 week program.

Name: Albrey Brown
Age: 20s • Status: Single • Kids: No
Place of Birth: Berkeley, CA • Raised: Berkeley, CA
Professional Background: Albrey Brown is a software engineer and community leader who is dedicated to bringing tech education to groups traditionally underrepresented in the industry. A graduate of Hack Reactor, Brown cofounded Telegraph Academy, an East Bay-based software engineering career accelerator for people of color.
What achievement or position are you most known for? Brown cofounded Telegraph Academy, which has quickly established itself as the premier software engineering career accelerator for people of color underrepresented in tech.
Contact/Follow: WebsiteEmailFacebookLinkedInTwitter
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: I used to be a personal trainer, but that was actually remarkably similar to what I’m doing now from a personal development and motivational standpoint.
Field #!: Tech / Education
Yrs of Experience: 3 years in tech, many years in personal development.
Title: Co-Founder
Organization: Telegraph Academy • We’re in the East Bay. More specifically, we’re in my hometown of Berkeley, but we’re moving to Oakland this spring.
What it does and what I do: Trains people of color underrepresented in tech for full-stack engineering careers. I cofounded Telegraph Academy. I didn’t see many software engineers in the industry who looked like me, so I’m building the pipeline with local talent.
Current Big Project: We’re growing Telegraph Prep+, our part-time, foundational programming course. It’s the first step to transitioning into tech and a direct pathway into Telegraph Academy.
Staffing/Resource Needs: We’re always looking to invite professional software engineers, especially engineers of color, to visit us and give technical talks, do mock interviews with students, etc.
Field #2: Tech / Education
Yrs of Experience: 3
Title: Co-Founder
Organization: Telegraph Prep+, which is the second program we run at Telegraph Academy. • Berkeley, CA (moving to Oakland)
What it does and what I do: Telegraph Prep+ is the pathway to our full-time immersive program for serious and motivated beginners. The class prepares people for our immersive program’s admissions process.
Current Big Project: 300+ people have taken the class and now have the technical foundation they need to break into tech, so we’re growing this local talent pipeline.
Staffing/Resource Needs: We’re always looking for teaching assistants, mentors, and partners.
Additional Organizations: I’m a Hack Reactor alum, former Qeyno Labs fellow, and a member of Black Founders. I’m also a proud Berkeley High School alum. Go, Yellowjackets.
Significant Challenge: We do a lot of education around our accelerated program model. Some people still think you need a CS degree to be a software engineer.
Significant Mistake/Regret: Before Hack Reactor, I founded a startup called Piqd. It failed, but working with a team of software engineers inspired me to become one.
Significant Accomplishment: Building Telegraph Academy from the ground up. In less than a year, we’ve made a huge impact on the opportunity landscape locally and nationally.
Biggest Strength(s): My arms, legs, abs… just kidding. I’m a fast learner, super focused, and have a growth mindset.
Biggest Weakness(es): I always have a lot on my plate, but I have an amazing team and have become much better at delegating. Team is everything.
Career Advice: Find partners. Early backing from Reactor Core and the White House’s Tech Hire team have been tremendously helpful. Find a champion who believes in you.
Significant Challenge: My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was in high school. I was lost. I struggled through community college and eventually dropped out.
Significant Accomplishment: I almost didn’t graduate from high school on time. When my mom got sick, I turned things around and ended up giving the graduation speech.
Life Advice: I’m big on friendship, family, and growth. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, support you, and believe in you. Build community wherever you go.
Trait(s) most admired in others: Grit, confidence, and positivity.
Some causes/organizations I support: Qeyno Labs, The Hidden Genius Project, Hack the Hood, Black Girls Code, Code2040, Impact Hub Oakland, Black Founders, Oakland’s Tech Equity Collaborative.
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): President Obama; everyone on my team, our students.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 4
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: Boxing, working out, playing basketball.
Some of my favorite local hangouts: Nick’s Lounge; The Missouri Lounge, affectionately know as “The Miz”; Barney’s Burgers. Best karaoke, best random, best burgers — not necessarily in that order!
Some of my favorite TV shows: I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I get the chance, I’ll check out NBA on TNT, ESPN…
What news outlets or media sources do you most rely on?: Twitter
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Bali, Indonesia
Place(s) I would like to visit: Ghana, South Africa, Kenya. I’d also love to see more of the US: Chicago, Philly, Detroit, ATL, St. Louis, Houston, New York, etc
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): Boxing, working out, and hooping.
Favorite Book(s): Carol Dweck’s “Mindset”
Something about me that may surprise you: I’ve broken my right arm 9 times. Yes, 9 times!
Capital One is sponsoring full scholarships for Telegraph Academy, we have scholarships for Telegraph Prep+, and we’re teaching a FREE Intro to Programming class (http://bit.ly/1WudLCL)!
Reactor Core: “Capital One Brings More Women into Tech with Scholarships to Telegraph Academy”
GeekWire: “US CTO Megan Smith Promotes Obama Tech Initiatives”
TechCrunch: “Telegraph Academy Bootcamp Teaches People of Color How to Code”
• More press at www.telegraphacademy.com/press