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,

“I’m now at a point in my career where my skill set is sought after by many tech companies. That is amazing to me; I have leveled up.” For Angie Jones, leveling up is an everyday occurrence. Aside from staying up-to-date in the forever changing tech world, she helps others become better engineers. Angie had no idea that enrolling in her first computer programming class at Tennessee State University would lead to a career in aiding aspiring engineers all around the world. Before beginning her journey as an automation engineer guru and

“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

While in elementary school in Clinton, Maryland, Ijeoma grew up with a passion for reading and learning new languages. She never thought she would find herself in the technology industry. Initially, she dreamt about being an entrepreneur, owning an international hotel chain and traveling all around the world. However, during high school, she joined a pilot robotics program, which opened her eyes to the world of engineering. While learning about robotics and practicing coding, she developed a strong desire to build things. One of her most memorable projects was hacking

We hear the story of Shereen Messi, the technical lead of Re: Coded Iraq [a program that creates future tech leaders of Iraq and Turkey], She coaches fellows to become incredible Android and full-stack developers in class and throughout their client projects. “I always loved science and math, but when I was a kid I didn’t know that one day I would go to college. None of my family members went to university or even high school. As a kid, I thought that people only go to middle school and

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

1 2 3 4 5 11 Page 3 of 11