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Engineers

By all traditional estimates, Merline Saintil was not destined for success. Growing up as a poor girl in Haiti, she never dreamed of working side by side with world-class engineers and leaders in Silicon Valley. But, one afternoon at a career fair changed everything. “Actually, my first love was math. I only stumbled into computer science (CS) during a career fair in college. I credit this fortuitous event for propelling me from humble beginnings as a 5-year-old immigrant to living in the epicenter of Silicon Valley in less than a

On May 8th, 2017, at precisely 11:41 am, I walked on stage at the San Francisco CTO Summit to give a talk. At $995 for the session, and with over 200 attendees, the event is billed as senior engineering leaders from startups (75%+ are CTO/VP’s/Dir Eng) with previous presenters being the CTOs/VP’s of Stripe, Coinbase, MongoDB, Zenefits, Warby Parker, Squarespace, Shopify, Birchbox, Tumblr, CustomInk.   As I took my place on the stage, I looked out at the crowd and posed the question, who identifies as an African American. No

Erika Hairston grew up playing video games like Dance Dance Revolution and Need for Speed with her older brother, which sparked her interest in learning more about tech. When a high school research project led her to a documentary produced by Stanford University, entitled She++, about the lack of women in tech, Erika knew she wanted to change that reality. She took her first Computer Science class in college and hated it. Instead of being discouraged, she remembered the documentary, which prefaced that computer science wouldn’t always be easy, but

Oluwatoyin Yetunde Sanni is a Nigerian based Software Developer currently working with Andela. How did you get involved in technology I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart, figuring out how they worked and then putting them back together again. I was introduced to a computer very early. I remember opening my first yahoo account when I was barely 12 years and this was the era when the Internet was not a luxury as it is now. Even though I earned a degree in Computer Science [from the University of Ilorin]. But

Like father, like daughter, Los Angeles native Kymberlee Hill fell in love with music watching her dad work as a music producer. When the industry shifted to incorporate more technology, her dad shifted right along with it, creating websites and graphics for artists in addition to his producing. Fascinated by her father’s work, Kym started teaching herself how to use digital design tools like Photoshop and InDesign. “Music, creativity, and entrepreneurship were taught to me at a very young age,” Kym said. “My dad and I had our own radio

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m currently a full-time software engineer on the Customer Acquisition team at Slack (a collaboration hub for teams) at their headquarters in San Francisco where my mission is to make your working life more straightforward, more pleasant and more productive. Previously, I worked at Accenture’s Liquid Studio as a software engineer and AR/VR intern and as a Front End developer at 80|20 (now Array Digital) back in Norfolk, VA. I’ve been working professionally as a developer since 2015, and I

Tell us a bit about yourself? Hey Michael I’ve been following POCIT since one of your first publications, and I’m pretty excited to contribute to the community. A bit more about me – I was born in Chicago, spent my childhood in Mississippi, and grew up in Seattle. Over the past 11 years, I’ve worked as an Engineer, or Team-Lead focused on building web-based business-to-business and consumer apps. These days my home is split between Barcelona Spain, where I’ve lived since 2014, and New York City where since 2017 I’ve

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? My name is SaaSha Pina; I’m a full-stack software engineer. I’m a second-generation American. My mother is from the beautiful island of Bermuda, and my father is from the beautiful West African island of Cabo Verde. I was born and raised in Boston, MA. I’ve always been a tough, determined cookie that tried to break the stereotypes that my appearance emits. I’m a mixed martial artist, a lover of Xtreme flipping and parkour, and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I am Alex Fefegha, co-founder and head creative technologist at Comuzi. We are an experimental research agency working at the intersection of emerging technology and culture. We help our clients answer questions about the future and experiment with emerging technologies with the purpose to build a better world. We identify blind spots, coming up with high-quality research tangibles in order to develop real-world opportunities. How and why did you get involved in tech I got involved with tech because the

Meet Tsion Behailu, a Google Software Engineer in the San Francisco Bay area. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelors in Computer Engineering. Tsion is not only a diligent and driven person, she also has a heart of gold. She is dedicated to helping others reach their highest potential. I’m lucky enough to have her as my cousin and mentor. When she’s not out conquering the world, she travels, spends quality time with family and friends, and inspires others to pursue computer science. Tsion was born in Metehara, Ethiopia and came to Atlanta, Georgia with

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