One Man’s Mission To Teach More People Of Color How To Code

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Antoine Patton is on a mission: He wants to teach more people of color to code. His goal is to help 2,020 people learn how to code by the year 2020. Patton wants to increase gender and racial diversity in the tech industry. “If more people of color had easier access to learn how to code, program, project manage…then there would be a lot more people of color in tech,” Patton asserts. “[There would be] a wider pool of people for employers to select from and hence a lot more diversity.” It’s no secret that diversity is lacking in the tech industry. When looking at the demographics, women, Blacks, and Hispanics are grossly underrepresented. One study found that 70.6% of computers programmers in the United States were White. The 2018 diversity report in major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook reflect similar findings. And while it is commonly understood that the STEM field lags behind in this area, it has been difficult for companies to make strides toward increased representation.

Antoine Patton teaching his daughter, Jay Jay, how to code.Antoine Patton

In an effort to close this gap, Patton has made it his mission to teach others how to code, offering free online classes. Patton first learned to code in 2011 while incarcerated. He found a book on JavaScript and began teaching himself. He was then mentored by another inmate who was proficient in computer programming. Patton’s mentor made him promise to pass the knowledge he shared with him onto others once he was released from prison. Patton stayed true to his word and began sharing his knowledge of coding with others. Before becoming the chief technology officer at his software consulting firm, Patton worked at three different tech companies and had over 50 freelance jobs. He teaches the coding courses through an online school he is developing called Unlock Academy. The purpose of Unlock Academy is to teach others about the tech industry and to educate people about the essentials of programming. The coding classes are taught in a live and interactive environment, that allows students to ask questions. After completing the course, the participants are connected with business owners who can provide internship opportunities. Patton is adamant about teaching kids to code at an early age. He taught his 10-year old daughter how to code and she was even able to build an app for him. “When I was released from prison, I started teaching my daughter how to code…my charity had a website but I never got around to building the mobile app. In November 2017, my daughter took the initiative to start building the app and was done building it by February 2018. It was live in the app store by April 2018.”

Research supports the benefits of teaching skills, like coding, at an early age. The Center for Childhood Creativity came out with a 2018 report on the roots of STEM success. The report indicates that an early focus on STEM learning can positively impact a child’s brain architecture and thinking skills. There are also several documented advantages to teaching coding in the classroom. Students who know how to code are better equipped for the technology revolution. In addition, teaching students how to code helps them develop and harness skills that will make them more marketable on their job search. More schools should consider making coding a regular part of the curriculum.

Increasing diversity in the STEM field goes beyond simply hiring and retaining more diverse talent. It starts at an early age. Research indicates that for the majority of scientists, their interest in science began well before middle school. Being able to spark a child’s interest in the STEM field and offer opportunities for them to grow and develop that interest, may be the missing ingredient to fostering more diversity in the tech industry. “It’s important to teach our youth how to code. They will out-consume us when it comes to mobile device usage so it’s critical we start teaching them how this technology they love so dearly is created and maintained…we want them to willingly grab the torch and lead the digital era we live in,” Patton says.

[“source=marketingweek]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]

How Personal Credit Affects Small Business Borrowing

Unlike the CEOs of major public companies, whose personal financial situation has little effect on their companies’ borrowing, if you are a small business owner, your personal credit is a major factor influencing your company’s access to capital. The power of personal credit scores to predict small business loan repayment, the legal structure of many small businesses, and small business owners’ use of personal guarantees and personal borrowing to finance business operations, all link small business owners’ personal credit to their companies’ access to capital.

Many, if not most, lenders will look at your personal credit score if you are a small business owner seeking a loan for your company. A 2006 report written for the U.S. Small Business Administration found that 71 percent of banks used small business owner credit scores when underwriting small business loans.

The use of the owners’ personal credit scores makes sense. As Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta researchers explain, the personal credit record of the business owners is a good predictor of the repayment of business loans of less than $100,000.

The legal structure of small businesses also links personal credit to business access to capital. Approximately 72 percent of U.S. businesses are sole proprietorships, Internal Revenue Service data indicate. Because the debts of sole proprietorships are not legally distinct from those of their owners, lenders and trade creditors pay careful attention to the personal creditworthiness of sole proprietors.

Even when small business owners set up corporations to limit their personal liability for the debt of their businesses, they often tie their personal credit to their companies’ borrowing by personally guaranteeing the debts of their businesses and personally borrowing to finance their companies’ operations. According to analysis by the Federal Reserve, 41 percent of all small business loans and 56 percent of small business borrowing are personally guaranteed.

Studies show that many small business owners borrow personally to finance their business operations, further intertwining small business borrowing and owner personal credit. A paper by Alicia Robb of the University of California at Santa Cruz and David Robinson of Duke University indicating that about one quarter of new companies are funded by the personal borrowing of their founders.

For many small business owners, tapping home equity is an important way personal credit is transformed into business capital. Analysis by Minneapolis-based market research firm, Barlow Research shows that about one quarter of small business owners tap the equity in their homes to finance their businesses either by using their homes as collateral for business loans or by taking home equity loans and plowing the proceeds into their companies.

Drawing on personal credit card credit lines is another way that small business owners use personal credit to finance business operations. According to Intuit’s Future of Small Business Credit Report, small business owners have $150 billion in outstanding credit card debt that they have used to finance their businesses.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Separating Your Personal and Business Finances: Why and How

Why and How to Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

New business owners may seek to keep things simple and co-mingle their business and personal finances. This is a BIG mistake. Here’s why, and what you can to do to appropriately separate your financial activities.

Why and How to Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

Why Keep Finances Separate?

There are important financial, legal and tax reasons to separate your finances:

  • Financial. It’s difficult to know how well your business is doing if you can’t easily eyeball a bank balance devoted to your company. You may run into cash flow problems using a single account for business and personal expenses. Also, having a separate credit card for the company helps to build business credit scores.
  • Legal. If your business is a corporation or a limited liability company, you can lose the personal liability protection you sought by setting up such an entity by co-mingling your finances. The reason: If you don’t respect the separate legal status of the entity, creditors may not have to and can go after your personal assets to satisfy their claims. There’s a legal doctrine called “piercing the corporate veil,” which means courts can ignore your entity’s status for purposes of your personal liability for any claims against the business if you haven’t observed the formalities of a separate business entity.
  • Tax. For federal income tax purpose, the law requires you to keep good books and records. This can only be done if you have a business bank account into which you deposit income and from which you pay expenses. A rookie mistake is thinking you can remember what expense is for business, such as a meal, when it comes time to prepare your tax return; you can’t — and it can cost you tax deductions!

How to Keep Finances Separate

It’s really a no brainer. All that is needed to keep your business affairs untangled from your personal money matters is to have a separate business bank account and a separate business credit card. If you choose to use PayPal, also set up an account for your business.

You also need separate accounting for your business income and expenses. So, for example, if you use Quicken or Mint.com to track your personal expenses, use a separate accounting solution, such as QuickBooks, for your business.

To make sure you input expenses into the correct accounting solution, be sure to keep business receipts separate from personal expenditures. This can be done using separate files for paper receipts or separate online folders for e-receipts. Online options, such as Shoeboxed can help you keep track of business receipts.

If you use a home office, business with personal matters can all too easily get mixed up. In order to claim a home office deduction, the space must be used regularly and exclusively for business. Incidental personal use may not kill the deduction, but it’s better to keep personal things out of the home office area.

If you use a paid professional to prepare your tax return, ask that you receive separate invoices for services related to your business and personal income and expenses. For example, if you’re self-employed, an itemized bill enables you to take a business deduction for the cost of preparing Schedule C; the balance is deductible only on Schedule A if you itemize.

Conclusion

Keeping your business and personal life separate is extremely helpful. It’s easy to do. It merely requires a little housekeeping to set things up properly, and then to follow through.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

How AI Is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

Artificial Intelligence and digital marketing are beginning to go hand in hand. With the ability to collect data, analyze it, apply it and then learn from it- AI is transforming digital strategy. As it continues to advance, so will the capabilities to use it to improve digital marketing strategies and valuable customer insights for companies.

Here are 3 ways AI is changing digital marketing for the better.

Better User Experience

The most important aspect of a successful digital marketing strategy is great customer experience. When the content is relevant to the user, they are more likely to convert and become recurring customers and have brand loyalty. Artificial intelligence can significantly help with that in its ability to collect data and decide which content is the most applicable based on things like location, historical data and past behavior. When doing so, it gives the user the impression that the brand was built specifically for them.

For retail, AI can be a game changer for online shopping experiences with new advancements in augmented reality where customers can actually “try” a product before making a purchase. There are now apps where you can actually “try on” clothes to see how items will look on you without ever stepping foot into the store. This means less dissatisfied customers, lower returns and higher engagement online for a brand.

Voice search technology is also a great addition of AI in digital marketing that can get faster results. Companies can now write their site to coincide with virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home and SIRI. If you do it correctly, you can move your brand to be the first result on a voice search which can really help with brand recognition.

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Predictive Customer Behavior

Not only can AI personalize a customer experience on past behavior, but it can also predict behavior for new and existing users. With the help of data management platforms (DMP) collecting second and third-party data now, AI can collect information about your users across the internet and not just in a session on your site. This can help personalize to their needs automatically through journeys and profiles enabling you to target your potential leads and eliminating those unlikely to convert enabling you to concentrate on formulating and executing effective marketing strategies.

While it is far from perfect, AI is constantly collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to get smarter at utilizing it. With new algorithms, all the time, accuracy of customer journeys will get more efficient and help determine sales forecasting and ROI so that your business can provide the best experience for customers and right tools to help your business succeed.

Real-time customer support

One of the biggest things customers look for in a good digital experience is quick resolutions and response. With the introduction of AI chatbots, an automated tool that gives the impression of talking to an actual customer service person in real time, AI can deliver that experience in real time.

Chatbots can use terms to seem more “human-like” and can answer basic questions, track and fulfill orders and help solve simple issues. Facebook messenger has integrated the chatbot feature for company Facebook pages to help improve customer service for businesses. These bots can be available 24/7 and can reduce call wait time for customers having issues which can increase customer satisfaction overall.

Artificial intelligence continues to grow and improve and won’t slow down for a while. Implementing AI into your digital marketing strategy will help customers have a better experience and give your business the insights it needs to succeed.

Artificial intelligence continues to grow and improve and won’t slow down for a while. Implementing AI into your digital marketing strategy will help customers have a better experience and give your business the insights it needs to succeed.

[“source=forbes]

How The Midterm Elections May Affect Your Student Loans

How could the midterm elections affect your student loans?

Here’s what you need to know – and what to do about it.

Student Loan Debt Statistics

Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – second only to mortgages and higher than credit card debt. According to Make Lemonade.com there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, while the average student in the Class of 2017 has almost $40,000 in student loan debt. Approximately 11.0% of student loan debt is in default or over 90 days delinquent.

Here are a few potential ways that student loans could change at the federal and state levels:

1. Reauthorization of The Higher Education Act

As its name suggests, The Higher Education Act governs higher education policy, including student loans.

A lack of bipartisan agreement has led to the failure to reauthorize The Higher Education Act in recent years. However, with Democrats in control of the House and Republicans in control of the Senate, bipartisan leadership may be needed during the next Congress to get things done in Washington.

While both parties have indicated a willingness to simplify student loans, divergent views remain on the specifics.

How This Affects You: If both parties can find common ground, key issues could include the cost of higher education, how to address growing student loan debt, repayment plans and student loan forgiveness, among multiple others.

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2. Increased Oversight of Student Loans

Expect Democrats in The House of Representatives to increase oversight over the U.S. Department of Education, which is led by Betsy DeVos, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

At the state level, regulators may ramp up oversight of student loan lenders and student loan servicers to ensure proper business practices. A recent example includes state attorneys general suing student loan powerhouse, Navient.

How This Affects You: Increased oversight comes at a cost, but is meant to ensure that student loan borrowers get a fair shake.

3. End of Student Loan Forgiveness?

How This Affects You: While student loan forgiveness may end, the time it takes for student loan forgiveness under income-driven repayment may not be worth it to student loan borrowers in the long run. You may be able to pay off student loans faster or refinance student loans to save money.

4. More Choices To Borrow and Repay Student Loans

President Trump wants to increase the role of the private sector – particularly private lenders such as banks – in the issuance of federal student loans.

Trump believes that the federal government generates too much “profit” from issuing student loans, and wants private sector lenders to participate in federal student loan origination.

How This Affects You: You may have more choices when it comes to borrowing student loans. This can result in more competition and lower rates, which can benefit consumers. It also means that – through student loan refinancing – you can continue to refinance student loans and may receive a lower interest rate.

Next Steps

At the federal and state levels, there’s no guarantee that any changes become policy or law in the near-term.

That’s why it is imperative for you to take action on your student loans – regardless of what politicians do.

[“source=cnbc”]