On December 14th, the Thinkful team watched in horror as Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC brazenly dismissed concerns about his agency’s proposed rollback of net neutrality protections. A few hours later, after a hearing what could only be described as theatre, the FCC’s commissioners officially voted to repeal regulations supported by over 8 in 10 Americans.
From possible difficulties of accessing course materials to the potential stifling of the innovative fields our students choose to enter, we understood as educators that the consequences of the rollback were potentially dire. We therefore felt compelled to do something but knew we would need the buy in and support from our students to make it happen.
Between late December and early February, we partnered with recent Thinkful graduate Mike Schmerbeck to create Take Back the Net, a mini-site built using the MERN stack that shows where every candidate running for Congress in 2018 stands on the net neutrality issue.
We knew Congress has the legislative tools to reverse the FCC’s ruling so we hoped that the site could help move the needle by giving the public access to this information about their representatives and the folks that are challenging them in 2018.
While the Battle for the Net is just beginning, one of the most exciting outcomes from this project concerns Mike. Just last week, Mike was hired as a software engineer. He said that his work on this project was what ultimately sold his employer to hire him.
”I seriously believe,” said Mike “that your awesome recommendation really had a part in this company's decision because they were aware of how little experience I had and the role has a ton of responsibility.”
We are excited for Mike and call upon our fellow technologists to help us continue to fight for a free and open internet.
This post was sponsored by Thinkful.