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In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to attend several conferences that focus on progress towards diversity, inclusion & equality from the non-profit, advertising and commercial sectors. Most recently, I attended the 3% Conference in New York City on behalf of Adobe. As I sat there, I tried to wrap my mind around this topic. I realized that being a 28-year-old African-American male, I have subconsciously thought about this topic every day of my life. I have always been in the position to view myself as others

I decided to write a blog post on 4 things I have learned in my 7 months as a junior data engineer to document my learning and in the attempt to help others. These points are in no particular order and can be applied across engineering roles. When you have an idea, build it! There was a time when I raised my idea for a project, then waited for validation before I built it. I was told my idea was okay, and it remained in the backlog of tickets to do

I’ve been working on the CodeNewbie Challenge (aka #CNC2018) for months. It’s a project to help coders do one of four things: start coding, code more, blog more, or get a job. You pick a challenge, and over the course of 5, 7, or 9 weeks, you get a weekly mission with reading, research, and a homework assignment to help you reach your goal. It’s based on powerful questions, guided research, and curated resources to help point you in the right direction. You can learn more and sign up here

Virtual Reality Virtual reality is estimated to be a multi-billion market, that includes gaming, automotive, architecture and real estate VR walkthroughs, schools and learning labs. While 25–30% of men experience motion sickness from headsets, 75–80% of women are affected due to “postural sway” — essentially the “physical differences between the sexes, such as height and center of balance.” The most attractive market for VR is the $100+ billion gaming market, where despite the stereotypes of teen boys as the main audience, a strong percentage of gamers are women. Women represent

A Black woman in tech who has raised over $1 million for her company is considered a unicorn. Those whose companies have been acquired are even rarer. In a time when M&A is the new IPO, the number of black women who have had successful exits is as much a celebration of their accomplishments as it as a measure of the industry’s progress. Acquisitions don’t happen in a vacuum. They are often the result of access to a strong network, funding, social proof, company visibility and knowledge of, or guidance

I know that sounds strange. The thing is, there are so many resources for learning to code that it can get easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. But approaching your coding education as if you were learning a different language will give you a helpful framework to operate from. Using a framework to will allow you to structure your learning progress. This will provide you with direction, milestones along your path, and a destination at the end. One of the main advantages of this technique is that it divides up

What makes up the ideal programmer, in your mind? Is it a computer whiz who has been coding since they were seven years old and making million dollar apps? Is it an experienced developer with 10 or 20 years in the biz, who knows every language (but only the good ones, of course) and can build a website in the time it would take you to get another cup of coffee? Is it a code artiste who can write code so beautiful that it makes everyone simultaneously weep in awe

Imagine yourself sitting in a room. People are around you, in a circle. Each person is talking at the same volume. Your eyes close, trying to focus in on what’s in front of you, or at least one voice. One person is assigned to give you a task. Half the people stop talking. You try to zoom into what that person in front of you is saying. The task at hand seems simple, but then someone else approaches near you and starts talking. They may not be talking to you,

What does it take to be a really good web developer? If you’re working at your first programming job, you probably found out quickly that it’s not easy. It’s one thing to watch coding tutorials, read programming books, and make portfolio sites. It’s quite another to have to build websites from the spec, to meet deadlines, and most importantly, to make sure that your bosses and clients are happy! On top of all that, technology changes fast. You may feel like you have to stay on top of trends or risk

When it comes to fostering diversity and inclusion in your company, either go hard or go home. Seriously. You can’t do light touch diversity and inclusion. It’s not a box to tick, a “nice to have”, or something you can dip in and out of. It requires long-term commitment and a significant investment of your resources. After all, what thing worth having comes easy in this world? I won’t bore you with the overwhelming data on diversity’s positive impact on profitability, McKinsey among a number of other reputable firms have

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