Becky Bell has joined the TechChange team as a Junior Web Developer! We recently sat down with Becky to learn more about her background and experience. So excited to have you on the team, Becky!

Can you tell us a bit about your background before joining TechChange team?
I graduated from MIT in 2017 with a bachelor’s in computer science and decided to stay a little bit longer to complete a one-year master’s program there as well. As a grad student I worked as a TA in an introductory CS course and did research involving the development of new machine learning tools for an online news analysis platform.
What originally interested you in joining TechChange?
In college I became interested in how technology could be used to address important issues in society and how I could help support those efforts with my background in computer science. When I came across TechChange, I was really struck by their mission and the fact that with technology advancing at such a rapid pace, education and training are paramount. I loved the idea of getting to help build something that would help democratize access to tech and I was especially excited about the focus on international development.
What exactly are you going to be working on at TechChange?
I’ll be working with the rest of the tech team on improving, maintaining, and developing new features for TechChange’s online learning platform.
What interests you about this type of work?
I think web development is cool just because the Internet is such an integral part of everyday life and I love learning all the nuts and bolts of the underlying systems that make it work. I love the challenge and logic of programming and being able to apply my skills to help others learn and continue to do important work.
Is there anything you are looking forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next few months?
I’ve mostly worked on front-end web development projects, so I’m excited for opportunities to work across the entire stack! I’m also looking forward to learning more about the international development space in general!
Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?
I grew up in Texas so I’m a bit of a taco snob. I’m a pretty easy-going person, but tacos are one thing I will not compromise on.

Amber Seira recently joined the TechChange team as an Instructional Design Fellow! She just finished a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Peru and has a very interesting background. We recently sat down with Amber to learn more about her previous experience. Welcome to the team Amber!

Q: Could you share a bit about your background before joining the TechChange team?

I’m a Fulbright Scholar in tech innovation and entrepreneurship policy. I completed my grant July 2018 in Peru. Prior to Fulbright, I was working in Washington, DC as an advisor in President Obama’s administration. I was appointed to support the president’s economic policy at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

My academic research includes government adoption of blockchain technology, postcolonial computing, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. My policy practices are both domestic and international implementation of small business and innovation programs.

My civic tech endeavors address gender and racial inclusion in the technology industry. Most recently I co-hosted three, full-day conferences at various sites in Peru encouraging young women to explore education and career opportunities in the STEAM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) field.

Q: What originally interested you to join TechChange?

I’m excited for their work in filling the void between people who want to do good in the world and the technologies that can make that happen.

Q: What exactly are you going to be working on at TechChange over the next few months?

My largest role will be helping to facilitate the TechChange course, Blockchain for International Development.

Q: What interests you the most about this kind of work?

The online learning platform removes the time and place-bound barriers to learning. I like the idea of guiding individuals in their desires for continuous learning.

Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next few months?

The opportunity to engage with so many curious and enthusiastic students from around the world.

Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

When I was a senior in high school, my friends and I had this food eating competition phase. I defended my title by eating an 8×8 at In-N-Out. That’s eight beef patties by eight cheese melts between sandwich buns. They actually don’t let you order anything more than a 4×4 these days.