Phan had left Seattle jobless and was now broke and living in a homeless shelter.Interest on his student debt was growing, and his hopes of making it were shrinking.Three months later he would be living in the South Bay, earning a six-figure salary at a major tech company.Phan, the son of Vietnamese immigrants, was born in Port Arthur, Texas, and raised by a single mother who moved him and his brother to Seattle when he was a toddler.Phan left Seattle, and with $250 remaining in his bank account, flew to San Francisco for an employment program he had researched called Code Tenderloin, which promised connections and interviews with tech companies like Twitter, LinkedIn and Github.Each day would start with being forced out of the homeless shelter at 5:30 a.m. He would then go to Peet’s for a coffee and work on his computer for an hour.“I was doing store protection, like protecting their assets, and the people I often got were homeless people that I would have to lie down and sleep next to, so that was kind of like an awkward thing,” he said.After eight hours at Ross and three hours of Code Tenderloin classes, Phan would often make deliveries for Postmates on his skateboard while waiting for a place to sleep at a shelter.The process for finding a bed was complicated and involved making a reservation by phone or in person, something many found frustrating because calls often go unanswered.[...] it hit him — most of the people waiting for beds had cheap cell phones that ran on Google’s Android operating system, which he knew how to program.“I started developing an application where you can make the bed reservation through your phone and walk to the nearest location,” he said.The idea was not warmly received for various reasons — there’s already a host of apps available for the homeless, including one designed by Zendesk called Link-SF — but Phan was undaunted.Code Tenderloin, started in 2015, is just one of several Bay Area organizations that train people with nontraditional backgrounds to work for tech companies.According to LinkedIn spokesman Stephen Lynch, it’s an effort to remove bias from the hiring process by focusing less on theory in interviews and more on a candidate’s finished projects.“We were hoping to find people like Preston without a traditional computer science background but who we felt could contribute,” Lynch said.LinkedIn offered him a job as an apprentice software engineer with a $115,000 salary and corporate housing near LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale headquarters.To some, Phan’s story may resemble a rags-to-riches tale akin to Will Smith’s portrayal in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” but Code Tenderloin’s Seymour insists that it’s not that kind of story.Homelessness was a barrier Code Tenderloin was prepared to deal with, according to Neil Shah, a former financial analyst at Gap Inc. and Trulia who designed the boot camp.“There’s racial and socioeconomic discrimination in tech, and those factors combined don’t make an equal opportunity for people coming out of the training program,” Shah said.Phan said he is now paying back the loan to his brother and moving ahead with his life, but he said there is a nagging feeling that keeps pulling him back to the project he started while at the homeless shelter.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
FOREIGN BUSINESS CORPORATION
2014 - PEET'S OPERATING COMPANY, INC.
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