I thought of myself as a tech-savvy millennial… and then I spent the day with Girls Who Code at Fullscreen Media. Sitting in the audience as teenage girls presented business recommendations about social sharing and streaming video, I realized that there has never been a more exciting time to be at the intersection of tech and media, and that I have a lot of catching up to do!
AT&T is currently hosting a Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at our offices in Los Angeles (in addition to 5 of our other offices across the country). The 7-week program provides female high school students with skills in coding, app development and web design, as well as field trips to relevant companies so they can experience what careers in these fields are really like. On July 8, the LA girls took their first field trip to Fullscreen Media, which is located in the heart of “Silicon Beach”, the city’s hub for tech startups.
Fullscreen Media (Fullscreen) is an exciting, social-first entertainment company that is part of Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. They recently launched a video streaming platform that offers original and licensed video content for millennials along with engaging social features. Recognizing that the Girls Who Code participants are their target audience, Fullscreen provided the girls with free access to the streaming app for a week leading up to their field trip and asked that they come prepared to provide feedback.
The girls took the assignment seriously, spending hours perusing the app and preparing pages of notes on the user experience, sharing capabilities and content. During the field trip, the girls worked in groups alongside members of Fullscreen’s product and engineering teams to create implementation plans for their top recommendations.
Their work culminated in presentations to Fullscreen’s leadership team, including Sarah Harden, President of Otter Media. I was blown away by the girls’ confidence and poise as they shared insights and actionable advice for the team – one group had already produced a wire frame for their chat concept. What I loved most was that while the girls were tasked with providing suggestions, they repeatedly and passionately praised Fullscreen. One of the girls described Fullscreen as “if Netflix, Instagram and Snapchat had a baby” - the ultimate compliment coming from a digital native teenager.
Sarah thanked the girls for their invaluable input and explained that their day was not unlike a career at Fullscreen, which brought a hopeful smile to many faces in the room. She also announced that all of the girls would receive free access to the Fullscreen streaming service for a year so that they can continue to offer feedback – and the crowd went wild!
I left the day humbled and inspired. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect and impactful field trip for the Girls Who Code class – and I think the leadership and employees at Fullscreen got just as much out of their visit.
As AT&T and Fullscreen continue our partnership to advance premium digital content and millennial programing, I look forward to finding more ways for our companies to collaborate on future initiatives that develop the next generation of tech talent.