January 13, 2016

Jacky Alciné, Engineer

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a web developer by day. I try to understand and get better at all things security. 

What made you decide to work in tech? 

My father taught math, mathematics was his thing. Back in 06, me and my sister really got into computers. My dad saw it as a viable option and got us a computer and a C++ book.

Fast forward a few years, a friend of mine who was working in a php agency in New York asked me if I wanted a job. I had initially saw this all as a hobby, I was fully prepared to go to school to be a scientist. I wanted to an astronaut and go to space, last frontier kind of sh*t [laughs].

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What is your experience being a POC in Tech? 

That’s a good question. I would say some people while not necessarily being ‘afraid’, were perhaps reluctant to come to me in a work environment.

I had one incident when my hair was longer. A new co-worker just ran their fingers through my hair as if it was cotton candy. I was like ‘Hi, I have a name’. It was done again, and it was a pattern for about two weeks. My manager probably assumed we were just friends, even though that wasn’t really the case yet. I mentioned it to HR, and the retort was that ‘I wasn’t being attacked’.

What tips would you give to high school/college students who want to enter tech?
  • While you are in school, have personal projects that you are able to explain, it will honestly show so much more.

  • Also if you are still in school, learn to use version control! Career wise, that will save you so much time and headache in future!

Any personal plugs? (i.e. projects you are doing, collaborations, etc.)

Follow my twitter. I’m working on a few projects related to twitter. I don’t know if I’m a power user, but I use it a lot. There’s a few things that bother me about the platform. Related to your previous question, I’m scratching my own personal itch, and that’s something that’s always worth trying. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, as the saying goes.

Michael Berhane

Co-founder and CEO of peopleofcolorintech.com & pocitjobs.com. Also the co-host of the #Techish podcast! Full Stack JavaScript developer by trade.

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