The Collab Lab / About

Our Mission

The Collab Lab exists to help early-career developers gain their footholds in tech by providing real-world experience working on software teams.

Our Origin Story

In June of 2019, Andrew Hedges grabbed a quick beer before that month’s PDX Junior Developer Meetup with PDX Code Guild graduate Scott Stine. The two were talking about the difficulties involved in making the leap from coding bootcamp to first job as a professional web developer when Andrew came up with the idea for The Collab Lab.

At the Meetup, Andrew recruited Caitlyn Greffly—who at the time was attempting to make the transition into her first developer job—to participate and it was clear the idea had merit.

Collab Lab kicked off our first cohort that August with Scott, Caitlyn, Stacie Taylor-Cima, and Kate Sowles participating as developers with Andrew mentoring the group through the 8-week project.

Since we launched, the response to Collab Lab has been overwhelmingly positive, further confirming the need for what we’re doing. We’ve collected a long backlog of early career developers who have expressed interest in participating and are working hard to scale up the program to accommodate demand.

Collab Lab gave me a framework for how to navigate relationships on a software development team. I feel more confident and prepared walking into my first dev job with the communication experience I gained through all of the code reviews, retrospectives, and pair programming sessions. So thankful for the program and the supportive mentors who make it happen! ~Mindy Zwanziger, Associate Software Engineer at New Relic

Support Collab Lab!

Collab Lab mentors and participants taking part in one of our weekly check-in calls
Cohort 2 and mentors taking part in a weekly check-in call

The Collab Lab is volunteer-driven and free for participants. We intentionally and actively work to overcome barriers to opportunities for women and other under-represented minorities in tech.

We make use of free/freemium tools (i.e. Airtable, Firebase, GitHub, Google Docs, Netlify, Slack, and Zoom) as much as possible. We would love to have the ability to use upgraded versions of some of these tools to provide a better experience for our volunteers and participants. To this end, we accept sponsorships through GitHub. ❤️

Get in touch!

The Collab Lab is on Twitter @_collab_lab. We post periodic updates about the program on our channel. Press inquiries may be directed via email to Andrew at