Aaron Brooks left his job with Fearless to run the technical talent pipeline company he started last year. “I believe tech can change lives,” he said.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, we’ve often heard that you gotta go all in.
In September, Aaron Brooks took the leap and left his job of four years as a DevOps engineer at Fearless to become the full-time CEO of Mastermnd, his technical talent pipeline company.
Building on experience as an instructor with the Baltimore Black Techies Meetup, Brooks started streaming introductory tech talks last year and soon launched Mastermnd in August 2019. Along the way, he found support from Fearless, as Mastermnd was a member of the first cohort of the downtown digital services company’s incubator, called Hutch. Still, with growth came a decision point.
“While I was doing both, there just wasn’t enough time,” said Brooks about when he was juggling both roles at Fearless and Mastermnd. “I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all at either. It had gotten to that point. That’s when I knew it was time to step out all the way on my own.”
Brooks saw an access gap in tech. He saw a need to “scale opportunity.” It wasn’t that it was hard to be a software engineer. Rather, it was that the process to be an engineer was a mystery to most people. That mystery could be the reason the IT trade group CompTIA reports, via the Wall Street Journal, that around 918,000 tech jobs are unfilled in the U.S.
What Mastermnd does in practice is run tech boot camps and training virtually through Twitch and Youtube. At 7 p.m. every Monday-Thursday, Brooks does what he calls “edutainment” and teaches Python to close to 7K followers on Twitch.
“The goal is to make the process of becoming an engineer a very public one,” said Brooks. “So, they can understand it and see the ups and the downs.”