If you really tried, you could catch all the stories that teem beneath the roar of the crowd at Technical.ly’s annual NET/WORK jobs fair, where we link local tech companies that are hiring to the people who dream of working there.
As hundreds of jobseekers bustle between the booths, exchanging pleasantries with company reps and clumsily handing copies of their resumes, what passersby are really seeing are pivotal moments in the making, and human lives that might be about to change.
That’s what we saw on Tuesday evening at The Fillmore, as the Philly iteration of the multi-city event series took over the concert venue. Hundreds of developers, engineers and designers did the rounds along rows of swag-cluttered tables.
From large financial services companies like Vanguard to nascent startups like Crossbeam, some 55 companies met potential future staffers last night. But they were so much more than their resumes let on.
Here are the stories of three Humans of NET/WORK:
Nicole Dalbo, 25
Donning a yellow jacket and a carefully selected blouse that matched her business cards, content marketer Dalbo drove two hours from Scranton, Pa., to get within earshot of Philly tech companies in a bid to make Philadelphia her home.
But it wasn’t just the pull of the big city that landed her in the middle of a job fair: The Scranton startup she had recently worked for was “falling apart,” she said, so it was time to quit and find her next thing.
“My dream company is one that’s sort of laid back,” said Dalbo. “A place that lets me do my job.”
Alex Moreno, 41
Moreno, a front-end developer, is one of 3 million Venezuelan migrants who have left the South American country amid a widespread economic and political collapse. He moved to the U.S. in 2017, and last October he relocated from Chester County to West Philly, ready to reconnect with his tech skills.
(Moreno’s also an operatic tenor. Seriously: Listen to him here belting “Granada” for the back row at Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church.)
Until the right job shows up, he’s making ends meet doing night-time cleaning shifts at a Center City shopping mall. He’s hoping his coding skills can outshine his English — which he admits is at “communicative level.”
“I think that I can make a good impression by completing projects even if I don’t speak perfect English,” Moreno said in Spanish. “I’m curious about working for a high-growth startup, a place that can let me use all of my skills.”
(Full disclosure: This reporter, a fellow Venezuelan, had previously met Moreno through friends in common.)
Sharday Shaw, 30
Social worker Shaw spends her days helping families with small children in the autism spectrum have access to essential services like physical therapy.
After all, the program cost her life’s savings.
“I need to see that pay off,” Shaw said.-30-