Wipro’s Nathan Carson helps people around the world find a path into tech
Computer programming was a hobby for Nathan Carson when he went to Center Grove High School located 30 minutes south of Indianapolis. He was in a garage band, too. They were just things he did because he liked them. At the time, he couldn’t have imagined a successful career in the tech industry or his current role as a senior consultant and technical lead at Wipro, one of the world’s leading IT consulting companies and Salesforce developers.
College wasn’t in the cards for Nathan so he “bopped” around at a few transient jobs, as he described it, before he was asked to help a couple of friends from high school with their Internet of Things startup. The startup was a good experience where Nathan got to apply what he knew and learn some new technical skills, but after a few years he was ready for something a little more conventional and stable. He set out to get a job in tech.
“I thought it would be a lot easier than it was, actually,” Nathan said. “I like to think of myself as someone who is privileged and pretty smart, but I blew it at more than a dozen interviews before Appirio [now Wipro] took a chance on me.”
Now with eight years of experience and seven Salesforce certifications on his curriculum vitae, Nathan is leading by example and helping people who, like he did years ago, need a little help getting a foot in the door of the tech industry.
There are many pathways into tech
“Nathan is one of our super star volunteers,” said Karene-Sean Hines, executive director of Pi-TaP, an international nonprofit that empower mothers, youth and adults in transition with technical and soft skills. “He assisted us with teaching the Salesforce Administrator & Service Cloud classes. He even offered ‘office hours’ where participants could schedule time with him to troubleshoot their issues. Throughout the class, Nathan was so kind, respectful and had a wonderful sense of humor! He put nervous participants at ease, and helped build their confidence. His can-do attitude was one of the best parts of both classes.”
Pi-TaP is a workforce development organization dedicated to offering those in transition career readiness classes in Salesforce and entrepreneurship. Participants are primarily those who have not traditionally been employed in technology and entrepreneurship.
Programs like Pi-TaP are proving to be powerful alternatives to traditional educational routes into tech employment. Nathan himself has worked with individuals in the U.S., Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America, for example, who were able to learn valuable Salesforce skills, earn their certifications and secure employment.
It’s the dedication and drive of Pi-TaP participants that so impressed Nathan and makes him proud to be a volunteer with the program. One gentleman from Russia would sign into class or contact Nathan during his office hours and they would always remark on the time of day—it was usually two or three in the morning, but he did what he needed to do to learn and grow.
People need just a little bit of help
“While it’s true that you don’t necessarily need a four-year degree to get into tech, that’s still the path most people take,” Nathan said. “Sometimes there are courses and training programs out there that make it sound like you can show up to a few Saturday classes and suddenly you’re in, but it’s just not that easy. However, it is possible, and that’s why I love working with Pi-TaP. I know I’m making a difference and I actually know the people who are lifting themselves up with a little bit of help from me and the program.”
Nathan says he is grateful to have a fulfilling career and the opportunity to do creative work that he would honestly do for free, just like he did when he was in high school and trying new things in coding as a hobbyist before landing his first official tech job at Wipro.
I’m just really lucky,” Nathan said. “I get to solve puzzles and problems for a living, which is kind of like getting paid to play games for someone like me. And now volunteering with Pi-TaP over the past couple of years … I guess I just feel lucky to get to do these things. It’s very, very rewarding.”
Karene-Sean said volunteers, like Nathan, are the lifeblood of Pi-TaP. They are allies who volunteer their time to teach classes, share their expertise and social capital with program participants. Currently, Pi-Tap has about 30 volunteers and they are seeking additional ones to assist with new classes. Visit https://www.pi-tap.org/volunteer to learn more and become a volunteer.