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Giving Back In The Tech World

A Woodstock man has been stopping by local high schools, to teach the students a bit about coding.

WOODSTOCK - A Woodstock Man is living his dream working for Google in Kitchener. 

Senior Test Engineer Brian Vanpee started working for the tech giant after losing his job with Blackberry. Vanpee says he loves working for the tech giant.

"The hours are very flexible, the idea is as long as you are getting your work done by when it needs to get done by, it doesn't really matter when you come in. The first thing I do is usually grab breakfast, because every Google offers a Cafe where you can get a free breakfast, lunch and dinner." 

Vanpee says the movie The Internship actually offers a pretty good glimpse of what it is like to work at Google. They do have a lot of fun at work, while also getting down to business.  

Vanpee says the tech industry as a whole has a problem with diversity and Google is trying to attract more women. 

"The industry tends to be dominated by Caucasian males, women tend to make up only about 30 percent of the workforce and it would be more healthy if the the numbers skewed more towards 50/50 like a lot of other industries do. What Google does is we try to do a lot of activities, which I'm also involved in, to try to get more people going into those fields. Studies have shown that women for example, tend to make up their minds over what career they do in grade 8 or grade 9, so we tend to do a lot things at high schools to get more women software engineering." 

Vanpee has been visiting local schools in Woodstock in hopes of attracting local youth into a tech career. 

"We do a lot of coding activities, we will have coding activities, coding contests and bring a lot of people, getting them to learn coding and to see if they like it. I personally have done a lot with some of the high schools in the area because my wife works at Huron Park, I did get in touch with some of the teachers doing some of the enrichment programs in Woodstock." 

Vanpee says he tries to bring that exposure to Woodstock.

"In Woodstock we don't get as much opportunity to learn about coding, in Kitchener they have some big schools and some big companies and I'm trying to bring that exposure to our city. I get a lot of the high school enrichment programs, every February I will bring in students to the Google office in Kitchener to tour the office, give them a feel and understanding of what you can do with software engineering." 

The tech industry is growing at such a high rate that they do have problems finding the right candidates to work in it. 

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