Stony Brook University – Computer Information System Director of Web Development and Production www.abrianharris.com What made you decide to work in tech? Isn’t it obvious? Girls love nerds, duh! However, in all seriousness, “tech” involves all that is new, exciting and creative. I love all of the aforementioned, so it was a no-brainer to decide to get paid for it. The adage is: “Do what you love.” What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle?  I don’t “look” like a nerd. When I use

  What made you decide to work in tech? I’ve just liked computers for as long as I can remember. What’s your earliest programming memory? I didn’t start programming until I was in high school. I took a computer science course. We used JavaSwing to draw things, and it was really awesome! What was an obstacle you faced ? Oh yeah. In college, I had a project based class. My professor made me lead developer. I was normally the only girl developer in my class, and I was the only girl

What made you decide to work in tech? Working in tech was something that I fell into; it wasn’t exactly a conscious decision. As a teenager I ended up teaching myself how to code and fell in love with it. From there, it turned into a career. What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle? I think the biggest obstacle I faced was ageism in the industry. Being a young person of color, it was tough for people to take me seriously at first. I still

What made you decide to work in tech? I’ve been interested in technology for almost as long as I can remember. I used to go to my dad’s office and play snake on his computer. At this time, I kept wondering how you go from circuits to what I saw on the screen. Fast forward to middle school when I found out what an engineer was and that there was a type that specialized in computers. I knew then what I wanted to do. What was an obstacle you faced

What made you decide to work in tech? I applied to a non-technical summer program at Google because I thought that Google seemed cool. I was very fortunate to have gotten accepted, and ended up seeing a talk by Megan Smith who talked about the power of engineering. I was really inspired and intrigued so I decided to give programming a shot.  What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle? My biggest issue has always been feeling like I’ve started coding too late and that

Iheanyi Ekechukwu is a Software Engineer in IBM Watson, a cognitive system that enables a partnership between people and computers. Check him out on his podcast Two Black Nerds, where he and his friend tackle topics such as diversity in the tech industry, current events, and life after college. What made you decide to work in tech? I didn’t start coding until college. I got into tech, as I was always into video games when I was younger, and wanted to be a games developer. But once I got into

Catt Small is a Product Designer at Sound Cloud where she builds prototypes and designs to increase the user experience and engagement. In her spare time she also volunteers at Code Liberation, an organization that teaches girls how to code through gaming. Check out the game she created: Prism Shell. What made you decide to work in tech? I grew up surrounded by technology. It’s always been a part of my life. Over the years, I naturally transitioned into tech by experimenting with games and web design. By the time I was 18, I knew I wanted to go

What made you decide to work in tech? I was a late bloomer. I originally started out as an aspiring (non-technical) founder. I was working on my own e-commerce startup fresh out of university, and ended up scraping together some coding knowledge out of necessity. The startup dissipated, but the newly found skills remained. I enrolled in Comp Sci masters and the rest is history. What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle? Mainly the perception I had internalised that you had to have been

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