Being black in certain spaces can definitely make you stick out like a sore thumb and at times even make you
uncomfortable. While you may be comfortable in who you are you may not be comfortable in where you are. Now, I don't
want to scare you because this statement applies to anything you may do in life not necessarily just tech. When I get on
social media, specifically Tik Tok people tend to glamorize having a job in tech, and while I'm sure it depends on the
specific responsibilities of the job, working in technology is no walk in the park. If you find yourself interested in the complexity of how things work then you may be a perfect fit for IT, engineering, or being an analyst. (Side-note: All tech jobs don't consist of coding!!)
I find myself to be more of a creative person so it can be challenging when you're dealing with concepts that are cut and dry. Now, technology can have it's creative bits when it comes to thinking of new things such as Group FaceTime, or flying cars (like many of us have been told by older people or have told younger folks), or all the exciting technology that comes in a Tesla. And while thinking of things that would make our life easier or we would like to use, typically the execution is way more complex, hence is why we don't have it or it takes years for it to come about. I love brainstorming and coming up with ideas whether it be technical or business ideas but I can tend to not think the execution through. So, if you find yourself in the same boat, try to keep that in mind when deciding if you truly are a tech nerd or just a creative thinker. Make sure you pick a job that will allow you to do what it is you find yourself good at.
I've been in the tech space for about six months now and it definitely has been a learning experience. In just a short time
I've learned more about myself, about different software (more or less), and capitalism. Coming from a non-technical
background has added to the confusion that I experience on a day to day and as I begin to understand one thing, I tend to
become confused about another. What makes the field so challenging is the technology itself. You have to understand the
product in order to sell it, use it or teach it and depending on how quickly you learn, you may find yourself feeling like
yourself on a hamster wheel. Working in this field is the perfect example of how you never truly know everything. I work
with people who have been in the field for YEARS and may have to get back to me on certain questions I ask or will have
to troubleshoot because they're not one hundred percent sure on the issue that we ran into.
When beginning my job in tech, I was the only Black woman in my new hire program, I'm sure this is no surprise as when we think of who dominates the tech field like many other spaces is white men. However, there are many people who are working in other countries while we sleep to make sure that the technology that we use everyday runs properly. In a sense, "the face of tech" are people like Mark Zuckerberg. Considering that most of the successful tech companies and startups are founded by white men, for example, Google, Microsoft, and Apple just to name a few but we have to look at the people that help get and keep these companies high ranking. When trying to get advice or guidance on your journey through the tech world it may be hard to find someone black and even harder to find a black woman. Though it may tough there are people who look like you doing what you are doing or what you want to do. That's why we need communities like AfroTech, Blacks in Technology, and Black is Tech to acknowledge Black people, connect them, and celebrate them. (If you're really in a reading mood, here is an article about Black women tech founders)
I hope this didn't discourage you if you're interested in beginning a career within tech, but instead gave you more insight, resources, and better idea of what different careers may look like within the space . After all, you can't knock until you try it! If you have any questions or want any advice, feel free to reach out to me. As always, thanks for reading and I'll see you in my next post!