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Career Growth

When Brittney Ball was pregnant and homeless in Washington DC, she never imagined she would be a successful software engineer, public speaker, and mentor just six short years later. But with hard work and determination, she has proven that your past doesn’t have to define your future. When Brittney found out she was expecting, she knew she had to get off the streets. The Salvation Army, Turning Point Center, opened their doors to provide transitional housing for Brittney and later her son, Liam. While there, she enrolled in Year Up,

As my senior year at Dartmouth College progresses, many people have asked me, “What piece of advice would you give an incoming college freshman?” Upon reflection I settled on this “…regardless of your major [and if the opportunity presents itself] take a Computer Science and a Statistics course.” Computer Science has impacted every industry you can think of, finance, technology, engineering, energy, oil & gas, etc. As society progresses, so does technology. Programming is a super-power. Someone can have the next “Facebook” or “Snapchat,” but without the necessary tools to

I finally made it to Blavity’s AfroTech conference in Silicon Valley last month thanks to Product Hunt & AngelList sponsoring me. Here’s what I learned while I was there: 1. Feeling included leads to high levels of self-belief and inspiration. Feeling like an outsider in the industry has been a common theme in my career. It’s what has led me to obsess over making the industry more representative of wider society and of course feel more inclusive. AfroTech represents something like a pilgrimage for me as a techie. It was the

“The most important thing is knowing that it’s going to be hard and that you’ll learn something every day. Over time, being patient enough for that to play out lets you get so far.” This was surely the case for Zorah Fung, who grew up with a passion for the arts; she played the guitar, bassoon and piano and even dreamed of becoming a graphic designer for Nickelodeon. Despite both of her parents being programmers, becoming a software engineer had been the last thing on her mind. But as the

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m Brenon, a second-generation Filipino-American born and raised in Vallejo, California, right outside of San Francisco. I currently live in Harlem, New York and recently joined AppNexus as a UX Designer. Before AppNexus, I worked at Havas as an Experience Designer, Bloomberg as a UX Research & Design Intern, and Comrade (now CI&T) as a UX Designer. User experience design is a pretty nebulous term, but if I had to summarize what I do, it would be this: I understand

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the day you’ve been dreaming about since you started the recruiting process: the day you receive your full-time employment offer. This is an honor. This is a blessing. But before we get blinded by the giddiness, we need to get one thing straight: sign on your own terms. Yes, the idea of money is so enticing and oh so close, but remember this is a negotiation. To get the most for yourself, you need to know your own worth. Then add tax. Letsgetit! Step 1: Consider

I recently attended my first, second, and third tech conferences as a scholar. Here’s what I learned, what I wish I would have known, and a jump-start to help get the most out of your first or next tech conference. Takeaways primarily focus on my experience as a RubyConf 2018 Opportunity Scholar, but are widely applicable to other tech conferences BEFORE THE CONFERENCE Release any preconceived notions 💡 Maybe it’s just me, but HBO’s Silicon Valley a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶r̶o̶o̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶d̶i̶a̶ ̶l̶o̶l̶⠀nearly had me convinced that programmers are socially inept and

Andy Ayim is the Managing Director of Backstage London. This is the first in a series of stories introducing the Backstage Accelerator team in London. Amplifying Voices Last year, through some chance, frustration, and a stroke of genius, I had arrived at an inflection point in my writing. I began to share stories about what I was learning in tech with a tone of voice that came from the streets I was raised in. It was sometimes assertive, always authentic, and very unapologetic. I wanted aspiring founders to have access

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

Today marks my one year anniversary working at Product Hunt. These are five things I’ve learned that I hope will help you grow in your career. Going from full-time founder to side hustler doesn’t mean you’ve failed —in fact, it could help your business When Emily and Ryan first started talking to me about joining the community team they both agreed that Hustle Crew could remain a priority in my life. Ryan explicitly said he wanted to increase the number of women makers in the Product Hunt community and that Hustle Crew

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